all outstanding service, good italian food, best italian restaurant, beautiful candlelit, highly recommend amazing place, not food, this good meal
Great Italian Seafood!. This is my favorite restaurant in LA for crudo, which is sashimi-like fish but with an Italian spin. They use olive oils and other toppings on the fish. I once had a squid ink pasta with uni that was amazing as well. The wine list is superb, and they snagged one of the best sommeliers in the city after Norman's closed, Peter Birmingham. Great cocktails here too and service is good. It's not a hot spot per se, though you may see an occasional celebrity in here. Also, visit during summer when the chef does special tomato menus from his garden.
Mixed bag. Neither as good nor as bad as billed. Pleasant atmosphere, charming service. Chef-owner himself came out to discuss options w/ my 10-yr-old daughter, who wanted something off-menu. BUT waiter twice overlooked 1 in r party of 6 (not the same 1 each time); no butter or oil w/ bread; plates repeatedly put in front of wrong person; dishes were removed half-full, without asking! Portions v small--do order 3-5 courses. Ordinary pasta, fish bla. Best: tomatoes, desserts, esp choc gelato. Overall, definitely overpriced
I had expected so much more. I had my family in town in from New York and I wanted to take them out to dinner to show them that LA could compete with New York when it came to fine Italian cuisine. I had researched various restaurants meticulously and it seemed that overall Il Grano was going to make a strong case for LA gourmet. Fresh organic produce, daily catch fish and an ever-changing menu are a staple of Il Grano. And while all of the food was most certainly fresh and imaginatively prepared, it was nothing to write home about. Both myself and my brother-in-law had the vegetarian 5-course tasting menu. It is prepared fresh daily specifically based around the likes/dislikes of each particular customer. I told them I was not fond of carrots. My main course, a rather uninspired plated of braised vegetables, featured what else - carrots! My girlfriend ordered one of the fish specials and it was bland and undercooked. Overall, the food was decent; but certainly not worthy of any praise. Had our meal not taken almost three hours - it was almost 1 1/2 hours before we received our first course - perhaps my overall opinion would have been better. But the service was slow and our waiter continuously tried to upsell us on more liquor in the 30 minute waits between courses. The night was sealed when the chef came out to ask us how our meal was. We explained to him how the service had been painfully slow and that had really brought the night as a whole down. Rather than apologize he returned to our table a few moments later with our bill to show us when our order was put in and justify why it had taken three hours for us to get our food. I was embarrassed for both myself and my family, but especially for him. To think that after paying well over $400 for dinner for 5 that I had to sit through the head chef offering excuses rather than apologies for a negative dining experience, that pretty much said it all. I would never eat at Il Grano again; nor would I suggest it to anyone else.
One of the best Italian spots in LA.
Continuing our quest to find the best Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, my wife and I were thoroughly wowed by Il Grano this week. The menu is born of seasonal ingredients and is changed monthly. There is enough variety to satisfy most palates and the dishes are creatively executed. A five course tasting menu is available, as is a vegetarian tasting menu. Additionally, there is a sort of Italian Omakase, where you tell the chef how many courses you want and he gives you whatever inspires him that evening.
Let's get to our meal. For our antipasti, my wife had the artichoke salad and I had the famous crudo. Her dish was good, but mine would have put many of the best sushi restaurants in LA to shame. I paired this course with a nice glass of Sicilian Grillo.
Next we decided to split a pasta course, so we could each have room for a secondi. All except one of their pastas was fresh made on the premises. I forgot the name of the pasta we ordered, but it was almost like a slightly larger macaroni and was prepared with spiny lobster, pureed cauliflower and black truffle shavings. It was like a sort of cheeseless macaroni and cheese, yet it was SO much more. Very tasty. I paired it with a great California Chardonnay.
For our main course, I went with the braised short rib and my wife had the salt-baked branzino. Once again the fish was a standout here, and the branzino was some of the best I've had this side of the pond. My short rib was very good, but I wish he would have left the bone in. De-boning it can take away some of the flavor and leave it a little dry. I paired it with a great glass of Barolo.
We barely had any room left, but we felt that if the meal was this good, we needed to at least try some dessert. We weren't disappointed! They had two novel dessert pasta dishes; a ravioli and a lasagna. We went with the ricotta, roasted pink lady apple, walnut, and golden raisin filled ravioli. VERY tasty. They were a perfect cap to an amazing meal.
Best Italian in LA!!! The tasting menu is a MUST. This I probably the best restaurant experience I have ever had. I've been to many LA restaurants and for some reason have never heard of Il Grano. However, after a friends recommendation, we decided to try it out. First off the decor and atmosphere was very low key, elegant, and relaxing (which is uncommon for LA). From what the charming host told us, they recently remodeled and the place and it looked very modern and sleek. However the highlight is when our server told us about the must have TASTING MENU. Basically, the chef created a five course meal for my wife and I, which was absolutely phenomenal. We had raw fish, pasta, and incredible desserts. I highly recommend Il Grano. Food was wonderful, service was flawless, and the wine list is definitely approachable.
This is the worst Italian restaurant I have ever been to.. Because the other reviews were glowing, I was excited about trying this restaurant. Unfortunately, for the prices the food was terrible. The bass we ordered tasted bland, and it didn't taste fresh. The Foccacia bread was fantastic though. I ordered a raviolo, and the creamed corn tasted like it came from it can. It was freshly made, but it tasted very regular like from the grocery store. I am a frequent goer of Italian restaurants, and I was very disappointed. I have to say though that all the staff was very nice although our server was confused about what the specials were.
Organic produce enhances nuanced Italian cuisine at this upscale West L.A. eatery..
Falling somewhere between bistro-intimate and haute cuisine-elegant, this retooled dining room hums with the mellow chatter of a mature, Westside crowd. Warm lighting pours from gauze-fixtures, softening the all-white, unembellished interior. Sommelier Peter Birmingham, with a company of well-synched servers, seeks to engage each guest, gliding from kitchen to bar to table to drop suggestions and samples. An intimate, post-supper greeting from chef-owner Sal Marino relieves some stuffiness from the space.
Altered every month, the inventive, nouveau-Italian menu is enriched by seasonal produce and artful plating. Reputable crudo plates change daily, marrying slivers of fresh fish with flavor accents; albacore tuna shines on a bed of creamy daikon radishes and Meyer lemon sauce. Fish continues to reign as the memorable entree option, with plates like mouthwatering, salt-baked sea bass. Fresh goat cheese and walnut tuilles bathe in a warmed, white peach soup, an afterthought that is at once delicate and divine.
I don't get it? Two words: extremely disappointing.
Awful. It defies logic that this had a 9.5 rating at the time of my visit.
I had the "tasting menu," and what a disappointment. As my 1st course, I received what was clearly "left over" scraps from my guest's sushi appetizer; while the folks at the table next to us, having ordered same, received something different (but it didn't look any better). Thereafter, I received 1/3 of a shrimp (yes, that's right) that tasted fishy. My 3rd dish was a small portion of pasta w/ red sauce that was absolutely uneventful & deficient in taste. The 4th dish (which I sent back and got the bill) was the worst fish entree I've ever been served. It was so salty it was inedible, not to mention that it was "beyond" fishy (2 bites left me w/ an awful aftertaste for hours). My guests also tried my "fish" and, too, were disgusted. I advised the mgr that the food was "very sub par" (sent it back), and was responded to very rudely. The food was simply NOT GOOD, and that alone warrants a 3 out of 10 rating. But, alas, it gets better: I requested a "wine paring" with my menu. The paring was laughable. The amt of wine in each "paring" (one came w/ ea. dish) was, frankly, 1 swallow. The 6-course paring at a HEFTY fee would have been (had I had all courses) cumulatively about a half glass of wine (in total!).
The experience as a whole was dreadful. We waited 30-40 mins for our 1st courses. [Because I had the wine paring, during this wait, I had nothing to drink. No one apologized for the inexplicable wait.]
This visit was a 40th bday dinner. My 2 guests ordered from the menu. One said his halibut was excessively dry; the other had an oxtail pasta dish (touted as a specialty) that he found to be lackluster and way overpriced. The bill was close to $300 (and NO, the restaurant did not reduce the price of my tasting menu or wine paring EVEN THOUGH I returned the 4th dish and skipped the last 2). Never again.
Il Grano has a tasteful, minimalist atmosphere, a good wine selection, and the food is very good. Oxtail ravioli were buttery, savory, and scrumptious, as were the menu staples "fantasia" (sushi medley) and halibut with potato-corn bed.
That said, the service was somewhat aloof, especially toward the end of the meal, when we probably spent 45 minutes between finishing entrees and getting the bill. And the bill itself, dinner for two with a cheap half-bottle of wine, was 200 bucks! The food was good, but it was NOT that good. I'd rather spend that much money at La Cachette or JiRaffe, where you know the food is consistently exquisite, and the fine dining intangibles like service will be perfect.
In short, worth a try, but brace your wallet.
True to Italy. In all my years traveling to various regions throughout Italy, I have rarely found a restaurant true to authentic cooking here in L.A....until now. I was pleasantly surprised to meet Chef Marino who shared his secret ingredient for one of the best lasagna's I have ever experienced. Although the service wasn't perfect, the attitude was polite and the warmth of owner Marino was infectious. Everything tasted on the menu was exquisite, including the refreshing desserts. I highly recommend this restaurant for any meal or occasion...before leaving, I booked a party of 10 for a birthday celebration. In all my years of dining experience (more than 10), I urge you to consider Il Grano for your next meal.
Do not go to this restaurant!. This was one of the worst experiences of my dinning life. I went there with a group of friends. The table was not ready, we were on time. They seated us and we didn't get a menu or any waiter for about 15 minutes. The service was horrible. I have to mention that the noise level was the worst I have experienced in 10 years of dinning. It sounded like I was in a chicken koop. I couldn't hear a thing anyone said. The food was so bad I couldn't finish it, either could anyone else. I was shocked at the bill, I don't mind paying for great food but this was so out of line. I do not recommend this place to anyone at all! Please take my word on this one.
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