Viva la Pasta's kitchens have been bubbling with pots of authentic Italian pasta for more than 10 years. The eatery's owner, Pippo, curates a menu of more than 400 variations of pasta and gourmet pizza that join a plentiful assortment of traditional Italian dishes and paninis. Every Sunday, an expansive brunch buffet meanders across the dining room; it abounds with platters of smoked fish, shrimp, mussels, and lobster, as well as steaming pans of pasta, eggs, and omelets. The softly lit interior houses white-clothed tables, while the outdoor garden patio features towering white umbrellas that supply ample shade for alfresco dining. While they sup, patrons can soak up the serenading of trickling fountains, chirping wildlife, and the husky French folk songs of lost fur trappers.
With more than 20 high-def televisions festooning their walls, Draughts Restaurant & Bar applies a full-court press to unsportsmanlike hunger with a menu that bursts at the seams with American eats and a monster selection of draught beers. Unlike marriages between roller-skates and quicksand, a glass of "Draughts" Amber Ale perfectly suits the Long Board specialty pizza ($9.95 personal, $16.95 medium, $21.95 large), which crowns fresh dough made from scratch with shrimp brushed with olive oil and garlic, and mozzarella and fontina cheeses. Or, pit a pint against Draughts' full menu of appetizers ($2.65-$10.50), sandwiches ($7.95-$11.95), pastas ($2.50-$14.95), and desserts.
Erupting cheers herald hopeful high-fives as Magoo's Sports Grill's 30 televisions broadcast yet another touchdown. Or homerun. Or pads-off, trash-talking battle royal. Regardless, athletics spill from the bar's innumerable televisions, and the kitchen sates sports fans with a full menu of hearty sandwiches, specialty pizzas, and decadent desserts. Time-tested domestic beers from Coors and Budweiser welcome craft brews such as Stella Artois and Sierra Nevada to the beer-and-wine bar, where bartenders pour suds into 10-ounce glasses, 20-ounce schooners, and one-gallon pitchers that may also be used as a makeshift apple-bobbing bucket.
When catering parties and special events, Roma Italian Deli's staffers enter hoisting trays of sandwiches, cannolis, and tiramisu. At Roma's sit-down eatery, visitors can have a tasty party of their own in the dining room or outside on the breezy patio. The menu begins with an antipasto salad layered with cold cuts, fresh veggies, and a blanket of Italian dressing. Hearty subs stuffed with meats, such as genoa salami or prosciutto, furnish bellies alongside a choice of soup or salad, while fettucini noodles tossed in creamy marinara sauce serve as a bed for grilled sausages or an ugly wig for freaking out blind dates.
“It's the best pizza I’ve found in Los Angeles,” says comedian and recognized Italian Ray Romano about D’Amore’s Pizza. He’s not the only star to fall for the authentic slices: owner Joe D’Amore has shipped his cracker-thin crusts to destinations across Hollywood, including the set of Two and a Half Men and Jennifer Garner’s house. Whether he’s serving an A-lister or the average hungry citizen, Joe bakes all of his cheesy treats to-order inside a stationary brick oven or an innovative oven on wheels.
D’Amore’s traditional methods and tempting taste are a family legacy. Born and raised in an Italian family in Boston, Joe D’Amore grew up savoring his grandmother Mommanonna's handmade pizzas—a meal he would miss upon moving to California. Joe asked his grandmother to join him out west and show him the secrets to her trade, but when she pulled the pie out of the oven, something wasn't quiet right. Mommanonna immediately knew that the California water was sabotaging her famous cracker-thin crust, and urged Joe to bring water from Boston. Today, he takes the practice a step further, importing water from Italy along with olive oil, flour, and pizza wheels carved by Michelangelo.
Nunzio Donato Ciaraulo and his wife, Cristina, curate a menu of Old World dishes hailing all corner of Italy, from Venetian-style risotto to coils of tomato-kissed Neapolitan pastas. Though the offerings change regularly, diners can count on classics such as pizzas and pastas joined by a revolving assortment of roasted pork, tender veal, cooked-to-order steaks, and simmering seafood. Sweet teeth applaud louder than an ice-cream truck with subwoofers when they see the dessert menu, which lists traditional mealtime denouements including tiramisu, cannoli, and sorbets.