624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9003634.064152 -118.344013
Neighborhoods: Greater Wilshire / Hancock Park, Central LA
Ah, Campanile - what happened? – Salty, salty, salty. My goodness, Mr. Peel - displaying your cook book so prominently in the front of the place is a bit of an ego overkill. Hadn't been back to your place in a few years - and decided a birthday dinner for four would be a good one. This was mentioned to the hostess (I brought a huge floral arrangement in advance) - but it obviously was unnoticed by our waiter, who was pleasant, but seemed lost - as were our cocktails until I reminded him when the appetizers came. A bad sign is when a runner gruffly interrupts the waiter taking the order to plunk down the bread and butter - who is running the table? But then, getting an extra pat of butter for the bread was a challenge. Getting plates cleared without an obvious eye contact - also a challenge. The bartender seemed sleepy - past his bedtime? Took two trips to get out three drinks. All were disappointing - how do you screw up a martini? Well, of course - just use too much bitters. The bibb salad - bitter. The prosciutto-wrapped asparagus - SALTY. The pickled veggies - no flavor. I had foolishly ordered an olive plate - which no one could eat, considering the amount of SALT we had already ingested. The prime rib - I did order medium well, but did not expect it to be thinly sliced and laid out on a SALTY bed of lava beans. The meat - SALTY. My partner's pork chop - enormous as if it were stuffed - but it was not - other than with SALT. Does anyone taste items before leaving the pass? The dessert - passable - and I certainly don't want the Chuckie Cheese singing of service staff - but could you have afforded a candle on the dessert as a simple recognition? Of course not. By the time we were ready to leave, the manager had left - and the box to carry the flower arrangement out had been tossed, apparently. Mr. Peel - as I was disappointed with the Tar Pit - I can firmly say your ex-wife is the better cook - and runs better restaurants. So sorry to see a great atmosphere get buried in a mound of - salt.
Disappointed – I was there over the week-end and what a disappointment. I will never return and have informed friends. It all started with the receptionist and her zero personality , the waiters hover and also are not personable or even polite, and the presentation is poor and the food is not exceptional, no wonder their business is slow. I am used to great dining experiences at Lucques and Tabu Grill in Laguna.
I love this place! – I only was able to sit and have a couple glasses of wine with a friend, but the atmosphere made me feel like I was back in Europe. I would give it 4 stars because I haven't yet experienced, what I hear to be, delicious food. However, the fact that I felt like I was in Italy makes it deserve 5 stars and has me very excited to eat there soon!
Lousy Mother's Day – Mother's Day was a true disappointment. Although the service was a bit slow (to be expected) but the server was very nice, the food was terrible. The charcuterie plate was nothing more than a few pieces of salami and some tomatoes, and the fettucini with mascarpone was an icky, gluey, tasteless mess. Truly disappointing.
Classy, all the way – You can feel the history of this place the second you walk into the room.
Campanile. A seduction in 3 courses. – Campanile is a brunette in a city of blondes.
Not just any brunette. A brunette that has settled down for 20 years in the same home.
No wonder I'd driven past her countless times and not noticed.
But step through the doors of her home, and this is one classy lady. And what a home it is. Once owned by Charlie Chaplin, no less. It's like eating in the enclosed courtyard of a Spanish mission.
But you're not here for the architecture. You're here to taste her.
To take her into your mouth. To chew, to extract, to savor.
Why don't you pour yourself a glass of 2004 Alban Vineyards Roussanne and make yourself comfortable?
Let's start with the appetizer. Poached egg with a porcini mushroom cream. Served on a slice of toast with some simple greens, this seems like an odd start to dinner.
Or is it an invitation to stay for breakfast?
I think I like that idea.
And it is an ideal breakfast dish. A perfectly poached egg, mushrooms and toast. There's something luscious about piercing the skin of her egg and allowing your yolk to spill out.
Honestly, one of the best renditions of a poached egg I've had in recent memory.
But the egg was just a starter.
You hunger for something more. You're here for the main course.
That's right, you want to taste her clams.
Specifically, steamed mussels, fingerling potatoes, fennel and tomato confit. Mmmm, it tastes of the sea with the tomato broth adding a bright sweetness. The fingerling potatoes with a melted cheese sauce on top add a density to the dish.
But the broth is delicious. You could sop up those juices all night.
But you're not done yet.
You still need to eat her pudding.
A dainty, compact bourbon bread pudding with caramel sauce and creme fraiche. On the top, folds of bread burst and spread apart, a thick bourbon caramel sauce oozing into its crevices. But dig deeper into her pudding and you'll find its depths to be soft and sweet and custardy.
If you like your pudding creamy, feel free to add some creme fraiche.
Finish off her pudding and relax in the afterglow of the meal. Feel free to discuss it with the friends you just shared it with.
She won't mind. She likes to share.
Campanile, thanks for reaffirming my passion for brunettes.
I might just call you Mrs Robinson.
Good Food and Great Wine – Visited this restaurant for the first time. Between the four of us we had all tree entrees listed on the dineLA menu. We all agreed the food was excellent. The service was attentive. We especially enjoyed the fountain in the courtyard made in the late 20's by a tile company whose headquarters was just up the street at 173 N. La Brea. The tilery was called Hispano Moresque.
Great Ambiance. Great Food. Great Service. A++ – I want to write this review while the experience is fresh.
I just discovered Campanile and I think I'm now a regular. I love details. The team here, they are detailed. The Ambiance. The Food. The Service. All exceptional.
Walking into Campanile I felt as if I stepped into the outdoor courtyard of a Roman Villa. It is indoors, but the ceilings are so high you forget they exist. The fountain and the tile suggest it was walked on by early Greek scholars in robes. The ambiance is elegant yet comfortable. Reminding me somewhat of the Getty Villa.
I had the Lamb. Easy to say, hard to describe. Phenomenal. Interesting blend of tastes. Very tender. Delicious sauce. With a touch of raisins, vegetables and feta cheese. My plate was clean when they took it away. I loved every bite. My girlfriend ordered the Shrimp and Scallop Stew, which was also delicious (I stole a bit from her plate). Tender shrimp and scallops in a saffron cream sauce. My 2 other friends who joined us ordered the Crisp Flattened Chicken and the Prime RIb and thoroughly enjoyed them (I didn't steal anything from their plates because, well, our relationships are not as close). I will be back to try other menu items.
Campanile succeeds because of its team. A team that understands that great food and great ambiance are only part of the dining experience that is completed with great service.
Our server Brian, exceptionally friendly, personable and very detailed. He was attentively concerned with our experience throughout, reminding us to please let him know if we needed anything. Only problem, we never needed anything because everything was quickly handled before we could realize we needed something. Our waters were refilled well before they reached bottom, more hot water was brought for the hot green tea my girl ordered before she needed it. Even the busboy was friendly and attentive. Taylor, who I believe is the manager, was very friendly, helpful and welcoming.
As we all left we were greeted by the Executive Chef Mark who very friendly and wanted to know how our experience was. I told him I had the lamb and thanked him for every delicious bite. He told me not to thank him, but the woman chef who prepared my entree; glancing to my right through the food portal she smiled and bowed.
If you get a chance to meet Jay, the general manager, you will understand why Campanile keeps such high standards of excellence. Strong and focused with a welcoming demeanor, you can tell he is very proud of his restaurant.
Greeted with conversation from the servers, chef, managers and the door held open by the hostess as we left, we felt as if we left the home of friends who consider us important.
It's great to find a restaurant that cares about what it's doing. No wonder it seems busy every time I drive by.
Rude Vale Service Manager – In my last visit to Campanile, this week, I had to be part of an unusual situation at the parking lot. While waiting for my car at the Valet, the manager was shouting obscenities in Spanish to the employees, and in some way rude to customers. I understand that a parking lot full at lunch time is a confusing situation but that's why the restaurant hires a valet service. They are supposed to know how to handle peak hour traffic and do it with grace. This particular valet manager was not up to the task. It was uncomfortable if not offensive to observe a rude manager abusing his staff in front of the customers. I have been to the restaurant several times for week-day lunch and never had a situation like that before.
Pretty building....TERRIBLE people – I went with a group of friends for a birthday party last night (a Saturday). We waited 45 minutes for a table and the host explained that it was because "they were busy". We were asked to have a drink at the bar and the woman serving us there was awful! RUDE RUDE RUDE! When we finally got a table our server was decent but slow it took 30 minutes to get our drinks! The other staff was awkward, we had the manager greet us saying he was happy we chose that restaurant which sounds nice but he was very intrusive and made all of us slightly uncomfortable. the food was decent but i will never pay 20 dollars for a bowl of pasta again, the desserts were dissapointing and they forgot to put a candle in the birthday girls order (which i had personally asked the weird manager to do) the night was a HUGE waste of time, the only good part was leaving and going to a bar to really celebrate. I would definately stay away!
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