301 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA | Directions 9021034.069401 -118.400314
Neighborhoods: Beverly Hills
Nice menu, spotty service – I have dined here on many occasions, and I have not been disappointed with the food. However, the evening's mood has been set by our service, which ranges from overly-friendly to completely inattentive. I do continue to return, however, based on the wide selection of high quality offerings.
Decent Food, Bad Service – In a few months, or years perhaps, visiting Via Alloro might become a
wonderful experience. But it's not a good restaurant yet, it is
merely another overpriced Los Angeles Italian with decent food but a
low, low quality of service.
We arrived about ten minutes late for our reservation at 9pm on a
Wednesday. The place was lively and bustling, and we sat in the back
outdoor patio, which has a nice ambiance. We later found out that the
hostess never checked us in on OpenTable, which listed us as a no-
show for our reservation. The first of many mistakes that night.
We waited nearly ten minutes before a waiter appeared, which is a very
long time if you're just sitting there! Having never been there
before, we asked how the wine machines worked, it's a debit card
system, where you put an amount of money on a card and you can serve
yourself wine pours from the machine. We weren't sure how much the
pours cost, though, so we asked to have a moment to look at the prices
before deciding how much to put on the card. The waiter said he'd
return with a card once we'd had a chance to look at it. He never did.
He took our order, an appetizer and two entrees for the two of us.
The food came out quickly, but it all came out at once! The appetizer
and two entrees! We sent the entrees back and ate our appetizer, beef
carpaccio, wondering if we'd ever see the waiter again, or if our
entrees were going to be still warm by the time we got to eat them.
Still no wine and no card to buy it with.
We asked a passing busboy to get our waiter, and he nodded. He
quickly brought over two side plates, placing each one in front of
us. Then he left. His English was so limited we felt bad asking him
if he'd misunderstood us, or if he was still going to get our waiter.
We were by then halfway through our appetizer (at least now we had
side plates so we could share it more easily!), but no waiter, no
wine, and no card to buy it with.
My wife, fed up at this point, got up to find someone, anyone, who
could help us procure wine! She returned with a friendly manager, who
brought a wine card, which we put $20 on, so that we could each have a
$10 glass. She pleasantly assured us that she would take it off our
bill, which we thought was a nice gesture. Unfortunately, she forgot
to do it, so we did pay for the wine. Just one more thing forgotten
or screwed up in what had by then become a long night.
The food was all very tasty, but it's hard to say that it was so good
it was worth all the trouble. The beef carpaccio was very good, we
ate it all, and it was a big plate, with well-seasoned artichokes and
arugula. For entrees we ordered gnocchi verdi alla bolognese, which
was spinach gnocchi in a tasty thin meat sauce, and fettucine
boscaiola, which was wide flat pasta in a similarly very good meat
sauce with peas. Both were really good, though we were never sure how
fresh they were because we'd sent them back, they didn't seem to
suffer from having been under a heat lamp for an extra 15 minutes or so.
The wines available by the glass or by smaller-size tasting pours are
not particularly varied, you might be better off buying a bottle of
something, because the wine list by the bottle is significantly more
extensive and wide-ranging.
Overall, given the high quality of nearby Italian restaurants like
Enoteca Drago and Il Pastaio, it's hard to recommend Via Alloro, which
simply does not provide service worthy of these prices.
Two thumbs way down on this Wednesday night. Look elsewhere.
Better choices in Los Angeles – I had dinner at Via Alloro on Saturday night. We were a party of 6. One of the couples has a young child, so when they eat out they like to make it count. We'd heard good things about Via Alloro. I made a reservation, requested the patio, called to confirm, and received a confirmation phone call. I was told by friends who've had dinner here that the dining room is very loud and suggested the patio. We arrived for our 8pm reservation. I checked in a few times, but we still hadn't been seated at 845. I've experienced this at other restaurants. The professional way to handle a situation is to apologize to the patrons and offer at least to buy a drink or appetizer. We finally sat down at a table INSIDE around 9 or later. The restaurant is so loud it was difficult to hear the people I was having dinner with, but I could barely hear the waiter. The errors continued... the special menu from Friday was put in one menu so the items by boyfriend ordered weren't available, the veal tenderloin a friend orders was not medium rare as ordered, the manager sent over prosecco for our table (a nice gesture, but no one at our table drinks), the waiter didn't point out that the "chefs choice of vegetables" was the exact salad that they ordered as a starter and so on...I eat out in LA and NY regularly at great restaurants i.e. Spago, Bond Street, Matsuhisa, etec. I'd like to say that I've never written a review of a restaurant before, but my experience was so awful I felt compelled to write.
Editorial Review – Formerly Luce, until the Drago brothers got a hold of it, this massive piece of Beverly Hills property is now a polished Italian hub featuring a seafood-heavy menu and an inventive self-pour wine tasting system by Enomatic.
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