Archestratus, the first food critic, praised Italian cuisine's "top-quality and seasonal" ingredients and "fair to middling" ability to tranquilize rampaging baboons. Today's Groupon stuns most mammals, and rightfully so: for $25, you get $55 worth of fresh, authentic Italian fare and drinks from Mosto Enoteca. Combining the words for the pre-wine grape juice and a casual, traditional Italian eatery, Mosto Enoteca blends elegant cuisine and warm, inviting décor. The upscale minimalism extends to its private dining room and outdoor patio overlooking Marina Del Rey.
Mosto Enoteca quickly made a name for itself with its seasonal specials, handmade pastas and desserts, and its lengthy list of wines. Mosto Enoteca's lunch and dinner menus encourage you to dine in the tradition of languid multicourse meals that unfold slowly and emphasize each dish's flow from one flavor to the next, like a lazy river that starts inside a water park but ends in a police investigation.
For lunch, you can start with cured cold meats such as prosciutto San Daniele and salame Cresponoe or a platter of cheeses such as caprino piemontese with truffle honey and percorino di Enna with saffron and black pepper (selection of four meats or cheeses, $16). From there, you can sample the homemade gnocchi with gorgonzola, rucola, and walnuts ($14) or the wild-caught salmon grigliato with lentils and sautéed spinach ($18).
When dinner rolls around, starters do too, with crostini, small slices of toasted bread topped with chicken liver and bacon, zucchini with goat cheese, mixed mushrooms with black truffles, and more ($7 each). Journey from there to a baby artichoke salad with parmesan and lemon ($11) or to an antipasti of scallops sautéed with shallots, frisee, and bell peppers. Pumpkin ravioli with butter and sage ($16) opens the door to a flourless chocolate tort that will tuck you in with red wine sauce and hazelnut gelato.
An extensive array of wines stands by to complement and mingle amiably with every taste upon your palate, including reds, whites, sparkling, and dessert vintages from Italy, California, and Oregon. Wines range from the royal Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino ($275 a bottle) to the uncomplicated Planeta la Segreta ($36 a bottle).
Lunch is served Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is Sunday and Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Triple Crème often frequents Mosto Enoteca, saying of the food:
- On my first visit, I was with a group of ten and we shared everything family style. A selection of salumi, cheese and some crostini to start, then a few pastas (many of which are house-made), some fish, then a nice big veal chop, some side vegetables, followed by a couple desserts. On the second visit, we were more conservative - just a spinach pancetta and pine nut salad followed by strozzopretti and clams for me. Every single dish I have eaten here has been executed perfectly, with strong, clear flavors, appropriate servings, plated beautifully. Elegant yet simple. – Bree Crocetti
- The decor and location is inviting, warm, and intimate - you would never think you're sitting in the same location as fast food joints and checking cashing store fronts. The service is just top notch and the menu is full of wonderful, delicious treats. – toontsthedrivingcat, Citysearch
- I had the Parpadelle [sic] al Ragu. It was excellent. Not too much meat to overwhelm the noodles and enough heavenly Ricotta Salada [sic] to make me happy. The wine choices where [sic] excellent as was the service. – JeffG1690, Zagat