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3 Finest Italian Restaurants on the Westside

When imagining our ideal Italian meal, an image of an old Italian grandparent with a big smile and flour dusted hands comes to mind. There aren’t many foods that pull at our heartstrings like homemade pasta and pizza. Santa Monica and Venice Beach are home to countless authentic Italian restaurants that will transport you to Italia in just one bite!

Forma

Best Italian FoodPhoto courtesy of LA Eater. (www.la.eater.com).

Just north of the bustling 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, you will find trendy boutiques and notable restaurants dotted along Montana Street. Forma is a quaint Italian restaurant focused primarily on cheese. Need we say more?

Forma Italian RestaurantPhoto courtesy of The Huffington Post. (www.huffintonpost.com). Photographer: Forma Restaurant.

The extravagant cheese menu, alone, is worth the visit – until you see the chefs making fresh pasta through the kitchen window. Three massive parmesan cheese wheels sit in front of the kitchen, and act as bowls for the fresh pasta to be tossed in before it is served. The cheese melts into the pasta, creating a creamy, rich sauce that will change your mind on grated parmesan forever. It is simply maginifico!

We go for the: Truffle Mushroom Tortellini, Cheese Bar, and Cacio e Pepe

 

Scopa Italian Roots

Scopa - Best Italian Restaurant in LAPhoto courtesy of LA Eater. (www.la.eater.com). Photographer: Elizabeth Daniels.

If there were two words to describe Scopa Italian Roots, they would be rustic and chic. These two themes may not seem to go hand in hand, but there is no doubt that the owners at Scopa have crafted a stunning restaurant with an even more impressive menu. From the high ceilings and enormous mirrors, to the beautifully crafted cocktails and rustic Italian cuisine, dining at Scopa is truly an experience. To fully enjoy this restaurant’s offerings, start by ordering some small plates like their crostini topped with homemade ricotta, parsley and olive oil.

Scopa - Best Italian Restaurants on Westside LAPhoto courtesy of KevinEats. (www.kevineats.com). Photographer: Kevin.

The dishes change seasonally, but one of our favorite pastas is their Creste Rigate, which is topped with a rich wild mushroom sauce, fresh asparagus, parmesan and toasted bread crumbs. Most of the charm of Scopa comes from their modern take on an old-school Italian ristorante.

We go for the: Rice Ball, Ricotta Crostini, and Creste Rigate (and the cocktails!)

 

Osteria Venice West

Hidden down a side street, right off of Ocean Front Walk, Osteria Venice West is truly a diamond in the rough. Michelin Star Chef Luigi Fineo has created a casual, bright, and contemporary local eatery where he offers a menu that is one of a kind in all of LA.

In his classic Italian dishes, he incorporates Japanese ingredients, like Matcha green tea. All of his pastas are handmade, and are what you would expect to taste when eating in Italy.

LA Food Tour - Best 3 Italian Restaurants in LAPhoto courtesy of Yelp. (www.yelp.com). Photographer: Elica Y.

Luigi’s Bucatini Carbonara is debatably one of the best dishes, regardless of its simplicity. The Italian-style ham, fresh cracked pepper, and soft poached egg highlight the freshness of the perfectly al dente pasta.

Osteria Venice West - Matcha Pizza - LA Food TourPhoto courtesy of Osteria Venice West. (www.osteriavenicewest.com).

However, his Matcha and Squash Blossom Pizza is like nothing you’ll see anywhere else. He has created a recipe for a perfectly crispy. airy, and slightly…green pizza dough using Matcha powder. Understandably, green pizza dough may sound off-putting, but one bite into his pizza and your view will be transformed. The subtle herbal taste from the Matcha pairs flawlessly with rich gorgonzola cheese, fresh squash blossoms, and earthy mushrooms. Osteria Venice West is a true testament to the inventiveness and skill it takes to be considered a Michelin Star Chef.

We go for the: Bucatini Carbonara, Mussels, and Matcha Pizza

 

 

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