One of my favorite restaurant strips in LA is on Little West 3rd Street in between The Grove and Beverly Center. Restaurants come and go, but Gusto is here to stay.
In what was formerly Zen Grill, the space is intimate seating 38 diners. The hand model & I lucked out getting a table senza reservation at 6pm on a Saturday night.
We were more than impressed by our waiter Al's attentiveness. He crouched down tableside to make sure we could hear all the specials, and gave his opinion on the best seasonal & signature dishes. Al even offered to keep the hand model's birra bottle on ice in between pourings.
Chef Vic Casanova, formerly of Culina, serves up "free-range Italian" with Handmade Pastas, Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables, and local Meats & Seafood. Make sure to save room for Dessert, because their Coconut Gelato Pie truly is a slice of heaven.
- perfect in every way from its crunch to kiss of sweetness and the fact that the cheese did not runneth over, Picchi Black Mission Figs with Local Burrata, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale & Fettunta $14
- a potpourri of sweet, spicy 'n briney flavors, Cavolfiore Caramelized Cauliflower with Pistachios, Golden Raisins, Garlic, Anchovy, Chili & Lemon $9
- simple signature dish with lapable sauce 'n spice, al dente verges on chewy, Tonnarelli Pasta with Tomato & Basil Sauce $16
- delicate meat sauce is overpowered by the pasta's thickness, but it didn't stop me from inhaling it, Tagliatelle Pasta with Ragu Bolognese & Parmigiano $18
- soft 'n pillowey, butter's just right, not too garlicky and refreshingly complimentary, Garlic Bread
- like a massive white cold 'n creamy orgasm with crunchy Graham Cracker bits, fluffy Cream, and a Chocolate ring, Coconut Gelato Pie with Chocolate Fonduta & Toasted Coconut $9
Bravo to Gusto for their innovative, yet still simple 'n fresh Italian fare.
8432 West 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048. 323-782-1778.