Bienvenidos a Los Angeles

Each time I go to LA it seems sunnier and more fun than the last visit (despite the horrible traffic).


On my most recent trip I had a number of good meals. Two standouts were Hide Sushi (  and Il Pastaio (


At Hide I had possibly the best salmon nigiri I’ve ever tried, silky, fatty and unctuous. The yellow tail and o-toro were also excellent. And then there was the price.  Fifty bucks for this whole spread including two soft drinks and two bowls of miso soup.


Can’t beat it. It did make me consider crying about the prices in DC. If you check it out don’t forget to take cash.


Il Pastaio is part of a small chain owned by Giacomino Drago, a chef from Sicily.  Despite it’s high-rent digs and ladies who lunch atmosphere the food was excellent. We did have to wait for about an hour at the packed bar (perhaps the beautiful weather had everyone else craving a long sun-drenched lunch as well). However, the meal was worth it (plus it kept us out of the shops). The Polenta Soffice with fresh cheese, mushrooms and truffle fondue was smooth and delicious.  Be warned, however, it is incredibly rich and heavy — ended up being too much for even two of us to finish.  The Carciofi salad was a refreshing follow-up but fairly standard. A homemade spinach pasta with morel mushrooms and asparagus screamed of spring.  The pasta was excellent, perfectly al dente and dressed in just a tad of butter sauce allowing the produce to take center stage. We skipped sweets after the decadent antipasti, but a good deal of what was passing by looked lovely.


I should mention that service at both locations was lovely as well. So next you find yourself wandering the streets of LA craving Italian or sushi give one of these spots a try.