January 13, 2006

Vitello's Italian Restaurant

By posted in

Vitello's Italian Restaurant in Studio CityOf all the restaurants at which we've had the pleasure of dining, our favorite has got to be the one we chanced upon Vitello's during a late-afternoon stroll — Vitello's Italian Restaurant in Los Angeles' Studio City area.

Spying a few well-dressed gentlemen gathered around some plants growing against the corner parking lot's half-wall, we wildly concluded that:

  1. these were tomato plants
    and, therefore, that
  2. the gentlemen obviously must be restaurateurs

A stretch, we know, but … we were right. And thus we found Vitello's. It's turned out to be our favorite Italian restaurant. Many an evening has been spent quickly zooming off for a quick meal, or trotting a succession of family, friends, visiting colleagues and companions down to Studio City, simply because the food is excellent, even sublime. Doesn't matter who they are; our gang (whom we can't bring ourselves to refer to as a "posse") finds the experience pleasant and satisfying, the atmosphere cozy and comforting and the high-end Italian cuisine divine.

Vitello's small lobby is flanked on the right by a large wine rack; the wall to the left is plastered with autographed celebrity photographs running right up to the desk where Vitello's staff stand ready to greet. Call for a reservation and they duly respond, but the subtext implies that they're not too serious about reservations — likely because Vitello's has three rooms, one of them huge. We've only had to wait once, and that wasn't for long.

And that's good because, on any night, Vitello's fills with diners. This being Los Angeles, it means a real mix of people: yuppies, families, what looks like a rock musician and his mother, just about anyone straggling in for an excellent meal in comfortable surroundings.

And so, to the food. This is not just Italian food; it's Italian cuisine in the highest sense of the term. Vitello's offers a huge menu, but we recommend always that you start with their "French" bread — a warm, just-from-the-oven soft-centered loaf with a thin, just-slightly crispy crust. Served on a board with creamy butter. We haven't seen anything like this outside of San Francisco, and then only once and years ago.

And the menu: well, it covers just about anything you can think of. Scampi the way we think it should be done, with angel hair pasta and wedges of lemon. Chicken cacciatori — that old homey standby — becomes a highbrow yet hearty culinary delight in the hands of whomever Vitello's chef(s) might be. The husband swears by their Pollo Arancillo which, if we did not love other dishes more, would quite do it for us. Let us just say that there's more where that came from.

One night, we heard what we later found to be live Opera … and there, in the back bar room (and loosened, perhaps, by a bit of drink) were said Opera singers … just out for a drink and having a good time.

Vitello's Italian Restaurant
4349 Tujunga Avenue
Studio City, California
(818) 769-0905

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3 Comments for "Vitello's Italian Restaurant"

  1. angelina says:

    do you have entertainment,on weekends or any day

    Comment posted on 3/1/2006 @ 2:17 am
  2. Editor says:

    Hello, Angelina. I think there's been a misunderstanding … we're customers of Vitello's, not the owners. Unless you were asking something else?

    Comment posted on 3/1/2006 @ 3:29 am
  3. Editor says:

    Hm … but there's something we didn't know. <It could happen>

    Ages ago, we'd happened to be there on an evening when opera singers were doing their thing in the back room, but that seemed more impromptu than anything else.

    But we zipped down to Vitello's today and discovered that it's under new management (apparently sold to someone close to the family) … and they do indeed have entertainment now. The March 2006 calendar shows a mix of classic movie nights, karaoke nights, nights for opera, piano, jazz (we note DC Quartet, Antonio Santa Ana [Brazilian jazz] and Django Reinhardt, and such classic American groups as Hall of Famers The Coasters. Looks like dinner and entertainment — but, again, we're not Vitello's, so give them a call at (818) 769-0905.

    Comment posted on 3/5/2006 @ 12:52 am

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