The Best Dishes from Eataly LA Restaurants
Together with our trusted friends in the food and wine industry, we tasted our way through Eataly LA and picked the best dishes from the three on-site restaurants. Buon appetito!
On November 3rd, 2017, Eataly Los Angeles opened its doors in Century City. The whole staff here at Foodiamo had been counting the minutes to the grand opening, so we all made our way there as soon as we could—and so did many Italians working in the food and wine industry.
The lines can still be daunting, especially in the weekend, so what should you eat once you make it inside? Together with seven Italian food and wine professionals, all born and raised in Italy, we picked the best dishes from the three restaurants at Eataly LA: La Piazza (focused on Italian street food, small bites, salumi and cheese), La Pizza e La Pasta, and Il Pesce Cucina (seafood restaurant by Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto of Providence).
If you are planning to visit Eataly LA restaurants soon, make sure to check this list first.
La Piazza: Panigaccio
Named by some attendees “The Italian Taco”, Panigaccio is a typical Tuscan bread, cooked on a terracotta dish, folded in half and stuffed with different ingredients.
La Piazza at Eataly LA lists five choices on their menu: Prosciutto di Parma with fresh spreadable cow’s milk cheese; ham, local pears, and Italian gorgonzola cheese; mortadella, local sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh spreadable cow’s milk cheese; mozzarella, local tomatoes, and house-made pesto; last but not least, house-made pesto, grilled zucchini, and eggplant.
Everyone agreed on one thing – whichever you choose, you are going to love it! As Erminio Bugliosi, owner of importing company Best of Italy, perfectly stated: “The one stuffed with ham and squacquerone [a fresh, spreadable cheese, almost impossible to find in L.A.], has an incredible flavor, which brought me back to our traditions.”
La Piazza: Pizza alla Pala
As Italian food blogger and cookbook author Ale Gambini explains, “Pizza alla Pala (on a paddle) is a traditional Roman style street food.” She continues: “I tasted pretty much all the flavors and my favorite is Tricolore made with Prosciutto di Parma, cherry tomatoes, homemade stracciatella (shreds of fresh mozzarella), and arugula.”
For all of us, the consent was pretty much unanimous—una delizia! Especially if you go for a high topping-to-dough ratio.
La Pizza & La Pasta: Pansotti, Ravioli di Guancia, and More
What is an Italian without pasta? Don’t ask me, because I wouldn’t know! So of course I had to try the pasta at La Pizza & La Pasta. I would recommend the Pansotti, fresh pasta stuffed with ricotta and spinach and covered in a walnut pesto sauce. I had to control myself from the animal instinct of licking the plate!
Entrepreneur, speaker, and Italian food tour organizer Connie Costa had a very similar experience, when she ordered Ravioli di Guancia. “They are beef cheek ravioli, with butter sauce and Villa Manadori balsamic vinegar,” she recalls. “The ravioli were DIVINE! Rich in flavor, but not too heavy. I think a tear dropped from my eye when I took the first bite.”
Paolo Cressi, Sales Director at Vino Direct, recommends the Bucatini all’Amatriciana, a bit spicy, made with guanciale, onions, and pecorino romano. And our own Roberto Croci loved the Tagliatelle al Tartufo Bianco, that is tagliatelle with shaved white truffle.
La Pizza & La Pasta: Neapolitan-Style Pizza
Are you in the mood for something traditional? Actor and Italian food connoisseur Domenico Nesci gave us his opinion on that: “I had the pizza at Rosso Pomodoro and it’s delicious with quality ingredients. I tried both the pizza with spicy salami and the one with buffalo mozzarella.”
Pretty much everybody else agrees, including the co-owner and chef of catering company Passion Chefs, Max Cipicchia. You can’t go wrong with the Neapolitan-style pizza at Eataly LA, it seems.
Il Pesce Cucina: Carpaccio di Pesce Crudo, aka Italian Sashimi
Yes, you read that right – there is such a thing as Italian sashimi. It’s called Carpaccio and it consists of thinly sliced meat or fish, served with olive oil, lemon or other delicate condiments that highlight the flavor of the protein.
Il Pesce Cucina, being the seafood restaurant of Eataly, lists the fish version on their menu. The fish of choice may vary, so you never know which carpaccio you are going to have until you arrive there. The scallop carpaccio we tried, served with pistachios and olive oil, was delicate and perfectly balanced.
Our own Roberta Valenti also appreciated the quailty of seafood at Il Pesce Cucina. “I had some crudo bar bites (albacore, mango and fennel) and loved their refreshing taste,” she recalls. “Being an oyster girl, I also dig into half a dozen: nice and fresh, with a touch of mozzarella emulsion. And no, I did not forget a glass of Prosecco to go with it.”
Il Pesce Cucina: Spaghettoni alle Vongole
Looking for something a little heartier? Il Pesce Cucina has pasta options too, although more expensive than La Pizza & La Pasta. After all, they source their ingredients from the Dock-to-Dish sustainable seafood network that Michael Cimarusti has built over the years for his acclaimed restaurant Providence.
You should go for the Spaghettoni alle Vongole, thick spaghetti with a sauce of geoduck and pacific razor clams, topped with manila clams. Basically a clam lover dream come true. Vincenzo Marianella, Italian beverage consultant and owner of Copa D’Oro in Santa Monica, describes them as “phenomenal.” Besides the quality of the ingredients, he notes, the balance of flavors is something that only great chefs can achieve.
The Best Desserts at Eataly LA
f you’re ready for dessert, you’d better stretch your legs, walk to the lower level, and get ready to sin! “Try some Cremini,” Roberto Croci recommends. “These choc-kko-colae-ttini are made by three layers of chocolate: gianduia, coffee and hazelnuts. And the Gianduiotti, also from Torino, are to die for!”
You will also find a wide selection of Bomboloni, filled with custard cream, chocolate, or raspberry, which you can eat on the spot or take home for a decadent, Italian-style breakfast. )
On your way out, make sure to get a classic Italian espresso at the Caffè Vergnano coffee shop on the lower level. Italians are famously picky about coffee, so you may want to follow our advice!
Eataly Los Angeles Restaurants
Where: Century City Westfield Mall, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067
When: Hours vary for restaurants and counters, call or check online before your visit
Details: Beer and wine.
This feature is unsponsored and unsolicited. Based on the dining experiences of the author and the people mentioned in the article. Photos by Annalisa Rinetti, Roberto Croci, and Raffaele Asquer for Foodiamo. All rights reserved.