The mantra at Hostaria del Piccolo Venice is "Eat Less Taste More," a saying that drives the restaurant's focus on vibrant flavors presented in modest portion sizes. The menu opens with a bevy of antipasti, including Venetian-style eel or baby octopus, as well as crispy fried pigs' ears and seared fresh ricotta. Every day of the week has a pasta special to call its own, but the most popular item on the menu is the pizza. Diners choose from 29 varieties of hand-crafted pies dressed in sauces that, like your favorite capes, come in varieties such as red or invisible. Pizza toppings include Sicilian olives, mozzarella di bufala, and housemade porchetta, among others. The weekend brunch crowd sips bellinis and aperol spritzes while tucking into plates of ricotta pancakes, smoked-salmon benedict, and frittatas.
Whether they are seated inside The Slice’s newly remodeled dining room or by the warm fire pit on the outdoor patio, customers can satisfy pizza cravings with bites of freshly baked pie. These mouth-watering discs are made to suit any taste, and options include traditional pizzas with pepperoni, stuffed pizzas with double crust, double cheese, and peppers, and gluten-free pizzas. Rounding out the menu are crisp mixed green salads, ziti with marinara sauce, buffalo wings, eggplant parmigiana subs, and homemade cookies.
Fresh ingredients rule at Stefano's Pizzeria, with homemade sauce and farmers'-market herbs and veggies spreading their power over a doughy dominion. The menus at both the Santa Monica Place and Howard Hughes locations manifest four kinds of hand-tossed pies, including thin New York–style pizza ($2.75–$4/slice), which Stefano's native New Yorker owner carried with him to the coast, transporting simple cheese pies beneath the seat and in overhead compartments. The thick Sicilian–style ($3+/slice) has traveled even further, embodying secret recipes handed down through generations. Inventive gourmet varieties ($21.50–$24.50 for 18") present creative concoctions of barbecue-chicken-and-four-cheese pizza, and stuffed selections ($5.25/slice) arrive tableside, bursting with toppings and oven gossip.
Spumoni Restaurants' homey locations brim with Old World ambiance and warm zephyrs laden with the aromas of mouthwatering pastas and hand-tossed pizzas. From plump gnocchi dumplings layered with mushroom sauce to chicken breast dressed in a marsala wine sauce, Spumoni's chefs prepare a spread of culinary indulgences not seen since the reign of Emperor Boyardee. Throughout courses, servers fill glasses with pours of wine or a selection of Italian beers. Spumoni's expedient food runners can also deliver Italian staples to homes, businesses, and Muppet-infested trashcans.
Santino's Tapas & Grill's friendly chefs and servers delight patrons with warm welcomes, a convivial tapas-bar atmosphere, and menu of shareable plates, delicious pastas, paninis, and steaks. The outgoing staff members pride themselves in making each guest feel at home, entertaining visitors with positive energy, witty banter, and sophisticated Vaudevillian comedy routines. As diners eagerly devour fresh salads, mouthwatering Spanish finger food, and juicy cuts of meat, a colorful display of weathered-wood accents, colorful artwork, and interesting cork sculptures excites the eyeballs.