Everybody Eats Where? In LA, Vincenti

When you crave a real Italian pizza, one of LA's finest Italian restaurants, Vincenti, cranks up the heat in their wood burning oven on Mondays to churn out some of the best I have ever had on the left coast. It is too bad they don't do pizzas every day, but then there would be standing room only, and no space for all the other wonderful delicacies they cook in the oven.

Monday nights are a bit more laid back. My friends and I like to sit at one of the seats along the long marble bar where Max always takes such good care of us. Have a glass or a bottle of wine. The list is exceptional, although the prices are a bit higher here than the other Italian restaurants in the neighborhood -- but then Vincenti is numero uno in my book.

This is one of the few restaurants in town that offers seating at the bar for dinner. It is the best place to people watch, if that is your thing. If not, the TV is always tuned in to either baseball, basketball or football, depending on the season.

I like to start my dinner with their version of Caesar salad, which is butter lettuce and polenta croutons in a creamy caesar dressing or the crispy calamari and zucchini with tartar sauce. The black label prosciutto from Parma with roasted tomatoes, burrata cheese and basil oil is also very popular and quite delicious.

I am crazy about the bucatini all'amatriciana with house-cured guanciale and tomatoes. I think it is just about the most amazing plate of pasta I have ever had, anywhere. Then, of course, ya gotta have a pizza to share or not and, if you can't finish it yourself, take it home and reheat it the next day. It's almost better then, but don't tell your Italian friends (mine always scold me when I want a doggy bag in restaurants).

My favorite pizza is the pizza with housemade sausage, fresh porcini mushrooms, mozzarella and summer black truffles, I also love the white pizza with artichokes, burrata cheese, zucchini flowers and proscuitto crudo. Don't worry, there is also a marvelous margarita pizza, with mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil. The pizza menu changes seasonally depending upon what may be available.

This is LA and there are many items on the menu to appeal to the vegetarians, vegans and those with dietary restrictions, and anything can be made to fit those needs. The owner of Vincenti, and hostess with the mostess, is the charming Maureen Vincenti. She will make you feel completely at that home when you dine in casa sua -- so much so that you will definitely want to return to this restaurant again and again, just like us. When you do, please try one of the many items cooked in that wood burning oven, like the Dover sole or the fantastic spit roasted duck.

Vincenti is located on San Vicente in Brentwood, or what I call "Little Italy." It is open Monday through Saturday for dinner and serves lunch on Friday as well.

11930 San Vincente Blvd.
Brentwood, California
Tel: 310 207-0127