2.24.2008

Angelini Osteria... Viva l'Osteria!

My dad loves to eat out, perhaps even more than I. He also loves to cook, but when he visits me we essentially design the itinerary around each meal. If dinner has not been plotted yet, we discuss it and decide during lunch. 

Yesterday, before an afternoon movie, while we noshed on a simple, French lunch of country paté and merguez sausage sandwiches (and maybe a glass of Bordeaux) we discussed - what else, but - that night's dinner plans. Dad was concerned that it was a Saturday night and we had nary a reservation.
 

After tossing a few ideas around and being denied any reasonable reservation times we settled on a 9pm reservation at the counter at Angelini Osteria. I had been there once previously with little fanfare, but it was years ago - and I have always heard great things. I also have such a love for Ita-Cho, right next door, that I have often ended up running in there, even when I intend to go to Angelini.
Things have changed, however.
 

Dad and I rolled in right on time, at 9pm and were immediately led to our two spots at the counter. The space is intimate, warm and happy - every table filled. At first I was a little bummed we didn't get a table, but after a few moments, Dad and I both agreed, we had the best seats in the house. There are only 6 seats at the counter, making it very intimate and easier dealing with sound levels. We were able to see back into the kitchen, which is always fun. We also received lots of attention since we were in a lot of the staff's faces. But not too much attention. You know what I mean.
 

We immediately ordered a couple of glasses of Prosecco to sip while we perused the menu. Along with an enormous bread basket with an assortment of breads, we were handed their regular menu in addition to the menu of specials - an entire page. We opted to start with the Fegatini Chicken Liver with Green Beans and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar ($10) followed by the Beet and Burrata Salad. Both were simple and perfect but the chicken livers were DIVINE. We actually were blown away at how delicious this dish was. It was very rich and set my taste buds into high gear, but yet such a simple dish, with so few key ingredients.

 
The burrata was very fresh and wonderful - always paired fantastically with some slightly sweet, fresh beets. This dish was simply finished with a fine olive oil, coarse sea salt and fresh chives.


At this point we had also ordered a nice bottle of 1998 Vietti Barolo "Castiglione di Falleto" ($57) which was working impeccably with everything.
 

For entree time Dad opted for the Whole Branzino, Roasted in Sea Salt with Aromatic Herbs ($29). The warm and friendly manager, Gino Rindone, brought the fish out, with it's accouterments, and proceeded to deftly and ceremoniously liberate it from it's salt shell, filet it and then present the ready-to-eat meal in front of my dad, all with a smile. The Branzino was exceptionally moist, delicate and seasoned to perfection. Dad loved it.


I went with the Wild Boar Tenderloin
that was on the specials menu. It was served with sauteed mushrooms and a potato puree. The wild boar was drizzled with a port-balsamic reduction with a sprig of fresh rosemary on the side. This dish was very rich and very decadent. I delighted in this dish, which while I devoured - I savored every bite. I even took the littlest bit I couldn't eat home with me for a midnight nosh. The boar was cooked rare and thinly sliced. It melted in my mouth. I swirled the meat, a mushroom or two, and some potatoes around in the reduction to make each bite complex and divine. As you may imagine, this dish was great with that Barolo as well.
 

We had a blast sitting at that counter, sipping our red wine, chatting with the servers and the manager - who even gave us little tastes of this and thats coming out if we oohed and ahhhed. We chatted for a moment with the couple sitting next to us, talked about the food, life, the universe and everything to each other - and even that time I wouldn't eat the f*%!#ing spaghetti squash when I was a little girl, and had to sit at the table all night until I did.
 

I love my dad.
 

We really had a great time and a great meal at Angelini Osteria. You can count on my return, and I will request a seat at the counter when I do.

Angelini Osteria
7313 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: (323) 297-0070
http://angeliniosteria.com/


Angelini Osteria on Urbanspoon
Angelini Osteria in Los Angeles

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