Motivated by the success of their first restaurant, the beachside Caffé Delfini in Santa Monica, co-founders Alessandro Ercoli and Gianpietro Silardi joined forces with Franco Lupinacci to expand their culinary expertise to Beverly Hills. The result of their collaboration is Delfini Città, which holds true to the threesome's Roman roots by welcoming whole families to carouse across several upscale Italian dining rooms, a chic bar, and a rustically urban pizza lounge where head pizza chef David Santiago unleashes his award-winning brick-oven pies.
In the central dining room, plush red pillows are individually strung behind the benches of long wooden banquet tables, offering each guest a comfortable way to recline between bites. Textural, but primarily monochromatic artwork adds sleek panache to the setting without steeling attention away from Luca Buaffi's Italian dishes, including hearty pastas and free-range veal in delicate wine sauce.
Wherever a group decides to enjoy dinner, the glow of moonlight is never far away, as most of the walls are littered with enormous picture windows. To continue revelry even after dessert, patrons can stop by the bar for a recommendation from head bartender Mark Disalvo, who mixes a diversity of Italian-inspired cocktails as well as pours from a vino list that includes more than 20 world wines and 50 by the bottle. Then, amid Delfini's low light, tipplers can enjoy their libations of choice while watching black-and-white movies on the bar's flat-screen TV, originally purchased in 1932.
The Nosh of Beverly Hills resolves East Coast–West Coast rivalry with a unique formula: it’s a blend of New York–style deli and health-conscious California diner. The result, as the restaurant’s website puts it, is “a place for people to meet and talk and nosh.” Groups gather over three meals a day, with special dietary menus and plenty of health-centric options to make everyone feel welcome. The chefs take pride in their baked goods made without the use of preservatives, their from-scratch salad dressings, and, especially, their sourcing: all meats, including free-range chicken and turkey, grass-fed burgers, and Niman Ranch roast beef, are completely free of hormones and antibiotics.
Breakfast specials kick off the morning with some lox and cream cheese on a signature bagel or a south-of-the-border treat, such as the breakfast enchiladas. At lunch, the deli serves a repast of triple-decker cold-cut sandwiches alongside a selection of melts. Those who spelunk deeper into the extensive menu will find such dinner eats as grilled salmon served on a bed of Israeli couscous, New York steak with sweet potato, and a brisket plate. This comes alongside a full slate of classic deli staples, including matzo ball soup, pastrami and corned beef, and organic house-made hummus and falafel—all washed down with organic coffee and tea. Parking at the restaurant is free after 6 p.m.
Ravi and Sunitha Koneru don't much care for limitations. Not in their food, their decor, or their vision. When designing the menu for Chakra Cuisine they saw the entirety of India as a source of inspiration, from the tandoori of the North and the curries of the South to the street food of Bombay and the recipes of their native Hyderbad. And then they looked even further. What they found were ingredients such as banana leaves, scallops, and caramelized pineapples—ingredients rarely used in Indian cuisine that expertly matched the flavor profiles they dreamed up. The result is a blend of traditional and modern, where classic dishes such as chicken tikka masala segue into spicy reinventions, including a vegetable masala quiche.
The dining space is likewise a mix of old and new. Indian accents anchor the sleek, contemporary aesthetic of the dining room and private lounge, while colors drawn from the dishes themselves combine to create a cohesive backdrop. Red and gold dominate the interior, but brighter colors surround the bar, notably inside its seven specialty martinis. As for the outdoor patios, their tables center around a circular fire pit, whose flames tempt guests to sit amid the mandarin-orange trees and tell scary stories about hitchhikers with samosas for hands.
Tanzore's owners, artist Nikki Sood and her art-enthusiast father Sudesh Sood, employ the eclectic talents of Indian-born executive chef J.K. Paul to craft a modern, experimental menu of Indian fare that suits a bold, streamlined design aesthetic. Curving steel and ceramic plates provide a minimalist backdrop to local, seasonal ingredients blended with traditional indian spices and placed in artful arrangements, posing with more grace than a ballerina performing atop a kayak. A glass box surrounds 2,000 bottles of international wines arranged on steel racks, looming between bare wood floors and ceiling. A modern, round-edged bar lined with inset lights offsets tables surrounded by yellow-cushioned chairs and subtle pieces of Indian art. Staffers keep the private party room's blue-cushioned benches peppered with multicolored throw pillows, and project films onto the walls. Tanzore holds public events for Indian festivals and holidays, such as the Festival of Lights and Diwali.
Brothers Mario and Sal Marino keep Neapolitan-style cuisine artfully alive by offering dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. For starters from the current summer menu, tantalize your stomach with savory spuntini such as polpette al sugo, a pair of meatballs served with ragu ($6). Insalata di carciofi hugs your tongue with freshly shaved artichoke, arugula, and parmigiano ($13), and a Milanese sandwich treats tasters to breaded chicken breast, organic greens, and tomato, trapped between homemade bread slices ($9). Although non-Italian restaurants resort to using excess lasagna noodles for napkins, La Bottega Marino's lasagna is served di carne, which features traditional meats ($13), or bianca, with mushroom, spinach, and bechamel sauce ($12). After an entree of pollo alla griglia, or grilled chicken breast ($15), guest can put their feasting muscles to rest with warm nutella pound-cake ($6).
Il Forno Caldo translates to the hot oven —an appropriate name for an Italian restaurant where chefs fire up a cavalcade of Old-World dishes to pair with pastas rolled and cut fresh daily. While angel hair, rigatoni, and penne simmer in sauces such as pesto and bolognese, the tireless chefs fashion linguine lassos to reign in clams, mussels, and other delectable sea candies. Out in the dining room, which Gayot calls an "unexpected charmer," diners dig into slices of pizza fresh from the kitchen's eponymous hot oven, or sip one of 300 wines extracted directly from the giant, pulsing grape in the restaurant's cellar.
During the meal, guests can form finger-puppet ghosts with the white linen tablecloths or compare blowfish impressions in the mirrored wall panels. Rich red curtains lend an air of Old-World glamour to the romantic dining room, whose honey-colored wooden shelves display gleaming bottles of rare, classic, and California "cult" wines.