Owner Vito Sasso inherited the Two Guys from Italy restaurant from founders Joseph Calderone and Luigi Devito, who opened more than 250 locations before leaving the original to Vito Sasso in 1995. Today, Sasso oversees the West Coast eatery, where chefs employ fresh garlic and virgin olive oil to craft Italian fare based on recipes passed down between generations through a series of monumental stone carvings of angel-hair pasta. Diners can choose from more than 400 variations of pizza and pasta on the menu, including manicotti, gnocchi a la Romana, and stuffed shells Napolitana. Steak, seafood, veal, and poultry dishes round out the menu.
Caruso's Cucina Italiana whips up authentic Italian fare within the family-friendly eatery. The extensive menu features a flock of sharable, family-style pastas, seafood, and pizza, sure to satisfy an entire brood of unpredictable palates. Starters such as steamed mussels ($7.95) and caesar salad ($6.95) tackle a taste-bud topiary before a main mouth event of breaded eggplant marinara topped with mushrooms and mozzarella ($8.50 for lunch, $14.95 for dinner). Wrap mitts around the number four baked calzone stuffed with olives, fresh tomatoes, ricotta, and mozzarella ($10.90), or try a steak-and-pepper sandwich coupled with fries or a small salad ($9.95). Pie-eyed patrons can give the moon something to sing about with a slice of pizza brushed with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella, and mad food scientists can opt for extra ingredients to create large, no-named monster pies.
“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.
The menu at Fernandas NY Pizza is a culinary collaboration between Italian and Mexican fare. The kitchen staff reaches into ovens and retrieves an array of pizzas, including sicilian, barbecue-chicken, and chicken-parmesan pies that are served whole or by the slice. They plop meatballs onto marinara-filled plates of spaghetti or penne and wedge them between sandwich rolls that diners can wash down with 24 flavors of shakes and juices. South-of-the border flavors appear as breakfast dishes or anytime snacks, including a morning feast of fried plantains and eggs on french bread or rolled-up pupusas, thick tortillas stuffed with beans, cheese, or the diner’s recycled piñata candy.
Behind a no-frills, neon-sign-spangled storefront, Tarzana Pizza Land entices appetites with a menagerie of cheesy pizzas, meaty sandwiches, and flavorful Mediterranean fare. Plates exude aromas of grilled veggies, creamy hummus, and sizzling kebabs, as piping-hot slices of savory pie supply celebratory feasts for birthday parties or successful lemonade-stand mergers. In addition to dishing out Middle Eastern and Italian cuisine, the cosmopolitan cooks craft tasty mainstays of American fare, such as crispy chicken wings, juicy burgers, and hearty deli-style sub sandwiches.
Harry's Golden Grill defies labels. Its menu covers everything from steak-and-egg breakfasts to shish-kebab plates and pizza. This range of dishes is evidence that Harry's chefs don't cook according to a certain theme; they cook according to their tastes. Throughout the day, a variety of cuisines are explored, as grilled hamburgers fill plates at lunch, and heaping portions of rice, vegetables, and seasoned meats are served up for Mediterranean dinners.