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Sì, ritrovarla io giuro from Rossini’s La Cenerentola, sung by Michele Angelini.

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LIST OF THE WEEK: TEN STORIES INSPIRED BY GREEK MYTHOLOGY
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Some of the books that are going to be released in 2014 and that I’m patiently waiting for dying to read; 

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Best Book Series: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Helen felt as if the whole world had turned into some gigantic punch line that she had waited patiently for, and then when she heard it she found it insulting. If she had been in a comedy club she would have gotten up and walked out, but instead she had to go to the comedian’s house after school and let his cousin beat the crap out of her.

So, what can’t you take? Decide which of the two options is harder, and do the other. That way, no matter how hard your choice turns out to be, at least you can find comfort in knowing you’re avoiding something even worse.
—  Josephine Angelini, Starcrossed
Angelini Osteria

Sorry guys, I know I’ve been slackin’ like crazy. I just haven’t had the time to go out and enjoy delish food. So it’s a loss for me too. But I’m going to try and get back into the groove of things. By the way, I haven’t used my cameras in months, and was a bit rusty. Any how, on with the food.. 

Before a showing of Wicked at the Pantages, where should one eat? Well I’ll tell you what I did. My friend had told me about a stellar Italian restaurant, Angelini Osteria, in Beverly. Ended up nabbing a 6pm reservation (perfect pre-show time), but showed up a few minutes late. No problem. Not only was there ample parking, but the restaurant wasn’t as filled as I imagined it to be. 

So before I got to the restaurant, I did a quick Yelp search and discovered that the restaurant was featured on the show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Reading deeper into the reviews, I got a sense that the Lasagna Verde was what I should order (and what Giada claimed to be the best lasagna ever). I’ll be the judge of that.

When we arrived, we were seated at a tiny 2 person table. A bit cramped for LA standards, I felt like I was dining back in NY or SF again. 

Also, nothing too special about their interior decor. Pretty bland if you ask me. What’s funny is that they have actually have more items on the “specials” menu than their original. And trust me, the specials menu is where the better looking food was at. 

The bread was served with a bit of Olive Oil and Balsamic. Pretty norm.

My favorite phrase at a restaurant? “Compliments of the chef.” It can always bring a smile to my face. We were started off with an amuse bouche of a Farro Bean Salad. Very playful and a beautiful start. However, it would’ve have been good for the summer, I went in the dead of winter (in LA standards). 

Wow, what a terrible picture, yuck! I’m going to place the blame on the wonderful bottle of Napa Pinot that I indulged in. But this was the Beef Tartar Crostino with Arugula Burrata. A perfect blend of flavors and textures. I was hoping there would be more Burrata, but that dollop would do. Each bite packed an umami blast of flavor and then was quelled by the herby arugula.

Our next appetizer was a plate of Bone Marrow with Saffron Gnocchetti, Asparagus and Aged Balsamic Vinegar. The Saffron Gnocchetti was a winner in my book and I wished a had a large portion of it. Even though bone marrow is one of my most favorite things to eat, the ones here were pretty unappealing. I wish they gave you some crostini or some type of vehicle to eat the marrow with, as well as a sweet contrast to the saltiness. But hey, that’s just my opinion. 

Here it is ladies and gentlemen, supposedly the best dish at Angelini Osteria. The Lasagna Verde, “Omaggio Nonna Elvira” with Veal and Beef Ragu. Absolutely delicious! The Lasagna was perfectly done, with a ton of flavorful layers. Add in the contrast of the crispy fried spinach and it’s pretty much everything you’re looking for in a dish. This is one lasagna Garfield would wake up on Mondays for. 

Finally, we ended the night splitting a plate of their Linguine with Sea Urchin, Olive Oil, and Chives. I’ve always loved Sea Urchin (Uni) pasta since Basta Pasta. Unfortunately for us, we had to leave ASAP since we had a date with Wicked. I only got in a few bites, but from what I could tell, it didn’t even come close to the one at Basta Pasta. It was just missing something that could bind all the flavors together. 

Angelini Osteria Scores:
Food: 7/10 - A lot of hit or miss dishes, the lasagna and tartare were winners, but the others weren’t exactly complete losers either.

Restaurant Environment: 6/10 - A bit cramped, and lacking on the decorative side. 

Service: 8/10 - Our server tried everything in his power to navigate through the narrow spaces to make sure we were doing well. They even gave me a copy of the specials when I asked for it.

Value: 6.5/10 - Maybe it’s because im starting to get acclimated to LA prices, but realistically the dishes were about the same you’d spend anywhere else. Perhaps even a bit less. 

Overall: 6.5/10

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