An Italian Osteria

H.o.P. strikes again!  We had a late dinner at Angelini Osteria which my brother described as “good solid Italian food.”  Much of the wait staff seemed to be Italian which I’ve usually found to be a telling sign of a deliciously authentic Italian restaurant.  The restaurant is not very big, but there is a small outside seating area which is perfect for a summer dining al fresco.  Unfortunately from what my brother said, there is usually always a wait even when you have a reservation, so we ended up waiting about 20 minutes or so.  Once we got seated, we immediately ordered a couple different appetizers for all of us to share.

It is a little disappointing, but the 2 most interesting appetizers we ordered happened to be the 2 dishes which did not turn out as clearly in pictures.  The dish on the left is soft-shell crab dish.  I can’t recall exactly what it is called in Italian, but the soft-shell crab is deep-fried and served with a mix of lettuce and radicchio.  I really enjoyed the flavors and preparation.  I also liked the grilled octopus even though I’ve probably had better preparations elsewhere.  I think they might have left it a little too long on the grill, because the octopus was blackened a little too much.  However, at least, the octopus wasn’t chewy. In fact, I think it was cooked to the right point before it would have given me a jaw ache.

The Duck Prosciutto was actually very interesting. It had a nice smokey flavor and went well with the apple slices and mixed greens served on the side.  I thought this dish was well-done.

The best part, in my opinion, of any steamed mussels dish is the broth in which it is served.  If it’s really tasty, I dunk every last bit of bread in it and slurp the rest.  In this instance, the broth was kind of unique tasting. It was a mix of garlic and different herbs, but I’m not sure what else.  It was flavorful, for sure, but I don’t think it’s the best I’ve had.

I ordered the risotto with mixed seafood, which may not be a surprise for you regular readers, but I would have ordered the Trofie alla Riviera if both my sister and sister-in-law already didn’t order it.  The risotto was good, but there was something a little off in the flavors. I’m not sure what it was, but I found myself eating more off my sister’s plate.  The Trofie alla Riviera is a short spiral pasta served with shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and spinach.  This was probably my favorite entree of the bunch.  The spiral pasta wasn’t the kind of pasta that I was expecting. Instead of being something like screw pasta, it kind of looked like spaetzle which I found really interesting.  The tomato-based sauce was delicious and the shrimps were well-cooked.  The dish overall was really good.

The duck breast was good.  The meat is not the most tender I have had, but it was pretty well-cooked.  The spinach was a little bit soggy and probably could have used a little more flavor.

The desserts were okay.  On the left is the Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries. It was a little softer in texture than I would have liked, more like a flan, but the berry mixture was pretty good.  On the right, is the Semifreddo al Caffe  with Chocolate Sauce.  I don’t recall ever having eaten this before, but I really liked it.  The consistency was interestingly somewhere in between a coffee-flavored ice cream and cheesecake.

Overall, I thought this restaurant was pretty solid.  There were some really stand out dishes like the Soft-Shell crab appetizer and Trofie alla Riviera, but generally speaking, the food was all pretty tasty.

Angelini Osteria
7313 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

PAFO Ratings for Angelini Osteria:
Price 3½ stars
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 3½ stars


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