friendly new italian restaurant, great italian food, savory meal, recommend frankies, friendly waiter, great chowder experience, fantastic service
Hanging with my hubby in the Melrose area on Sunday afternoon and wanted to find a nice, quiet, authentic Italian restaurant. I'm Italian afterall, and he's been adopted in. We drove up and down the street and saw Frankie's. A quick Google search showed a well-written review stating that it is true New York Italian style, food like Frankie's mama used to make, they've been around for 20 years, it would make me long to go back to New York (never been there - I'm from L.A.), etc. So we gave it a shot.
The restaurant had just opened and we were the only patrons. The carpet was old and filthy (but it sort of went with the whole old restaurant vibe, so it didn't bother us so much). The waiter, Jaime was pleasant enough. His assistant, Gregorio was wonderful. The menu was very basic - I cook more complicated dishes at home. We decided to order the authentic Caesar Salad with garlic croutons, Chicken Piccata with a side of pasta in red sauce and the Chicken Marsala with roasted veggies.
The Caesar salad was just a pile of chopped Romain leaves and some gloppy bottled Caesar dressing. The croutons were hard, boxed, flavorless nuggets. How difficult is it to make homemade croutons? We asked for chopped anchovies since the salad doesn't come with them (I thought it was authentic?). They were chopped too large to eat. Returned most of it uneaten.
The mediocre wine was $10 a glass (didn't know that until the bill came!). The Chicken Marsala was pretty good actually. Flavorful Marsala wine sauce, plenty of mushrooms and good grilled veggies. The Chicken Picatta was another story. There was WAY too much butter in the sauce, it was too heavy and overpowered the chicken. The side dish of pasta tasted like the sauce came directly out of a can and was heated in the microwave. No self-respecting Italian would make or eat that sauce.
If this is how Frankie's mama cooked, well, I don't want to disrespect anyone's mama, but that food should have stayed at home and not have been foisted upon unsuspecting patrons.
I also fully expected a 50's Rat Pack kind of scene based on how the review was written. The only photos were of Frankie and his family (presumably) and the music was a mix of Beach Boys (Seriously?! In an Italian restaurant?!), oldies and blues and it was all too loud to carry on a conversation. Where's the Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and other great crooners? What a serious miss.
Fail! We will never go back again. Avoid it if you can.
Wonderful restaurant: (response to "Filthy").
I have just returned home from having an amazing meal at Frankies. Everything we ordered was fantastic. The mussels in red sauce was so good, that when the mussels were gone we asked to have the sauce wrapped up to take home along with the bread for dipping. The caesar salad was perfect. Both my friends ordered the veal parm and said it was the best they have had. And the New England clam chowder, which was a special this evening, was wonderful. And this review is coming from a girl raised in New England and who also lived in NYC, so I have good Italian food and chowder experience to compare it to!
In addition, the waiter was both friendly and helpful. And Frankie himself came to the table more than once, to check in with us and make sure we were enjoying our dining experience.
I have to disagree with the review titled "filthy". And I have to assume that "Edmond Dantes" does not have very much experience with lobster. I also doubt that his waiter said that green part of the lobster was the brains. The green line in a lobster is called the tomalley. And is my grandfather, from Boston's, favorite part. Officially it is the digestive system, gland, "liver" of the lobster, and chefs often use it as a flavoring in lobster bisque and seafood stews. Some consider it a delicacy, like foie gras. While others prefer to remove it, as it is also the "filter" part of the lobster. In either case, whether one chooses to eat it or not, it is a normal part of lobster.
I find it interesting that the extensive negative review above, came from a person that did not even have the courage to give his real name, and instead calls himself Edmond Dantes, the protagonist in the book / movie The Count of Monte Cristo.
Frankies is a very good Italian restaurant. And extremely reasonably priced. With a well established wine list. I recommend the restaurant to anyone looking for classic Italian food, at a good price, in the Melrose area.
I went to Frankie's on the recommendation of someone who loved it. Now, I wonder why she loves it so much. It is the filthiest restaurant I've ever been in. The bathroom looks like someone got shot in there, the carpets are 100 years old with stains & the paint is a dirty orange at least I think it's supposed to be orange. I put that past me though hoping the food would make up for it. I went with two other people who were visiting from NY. One ordered the Eggplant Parmesan, the other ordered the Julia's Chicken & I ordered the Lobster.
I kid you not, no joke, the Lobster came out Green. I asked the waiter what's this? He said it's your lobster. I said why is it green? He said those are the brains sir.
I couldn't eat one bite. Whatever happened to presentation or class? The friend that ordered the Eggplant Parm said it was soggy & lacked flavor. M other friend enjoyed the Julia's Chicken which is Grilled Chicken & vegetables. Hard to screw that up. The Barolo red wine we ordered was extremely overpriced & after the waiter poured the wine & got our order we didn't see him again until the check came. He even had someone else bring the food out. Then when we got the check we saw that we'd been charged for something we hadn't even received because the waiter "forgot" it. Instead of taking it off the bill they made us a salad to go, but we wanted the item just taken off since we were ready to leave. They insisted on not & for the sake of just leaving we paid it. I will never come back to this place it is a filthy cesspool that should be condemned.
Worst Italian food in LA. Hair in salad. Sand in Clam Linguini. Ripped off on price of wine. Insulted by bartender. Charged for everything. Need I say more?
Don't Listen to the Fools. Frankies is Fantastic. Don't know what these other people are talking about. They need to get off their high horses. Frankies is such a great place with no pretentiosness of other flashy LA restuartants. It is a throwback to NY eateries with the family atmosphere. Their seafood salad is the best in the city and everytime I go there I get something different and it never dissappoints. Do not believe the reviews of these other fools.
What a waste of money and time.
My wife and I had passed by so many times before we finally went for dinner. I wish we never did.
We should have been suspicious already, since no other customers were at any of the tables. just two people hanging out at the bar. The music was annoying. The waiter was friendly, though.
My wife ordered clams , they came with loads of sand in it. I had scallops with pasta (one of the specials of the day). The scallops were good, but the pasta was too salty. When I shared my opinion with waiter he offered to bring another side of pasta (less salty). For 29$ for the entree I could get a decent meal at a decent restaurant. This place will never see me again.
Forget it it - Take your money elsewhere.
OK... Being a native NYer who loves Italian Food I thought it was time to try this restaurant. I should have made a u turn when I saw a "B" on the front door when entering.
I ordered the Lobster Fra Diavolo -- the worst I have EVER had. The lobster had NO TASTE!! My dining partner had the oiliest chicken parmigiana.
Save your money and go elsewhere if you want a true NYC Italian food experience because this place is not it.
Pizza. The pizza is great here! I went on a date and we shared a large pizza...something causal. It is the best pizza i had in a while!
Great seafood!. I love this place! It's a lil' pricey but the seafood it dishes are worth it. i usually go on sundays...its not too crowded.
Scallops Linguini, if you please.
My wife and I walked into Frankie's on a Monday night. We had intended to go to Blu Jam Cafe, but they're not open on Monday evening. Neither was Vienna Cafe. So we kept walking until we found the first place open. Frankie's. The torn seats in some of the booths did not inspire confidence, but I was hungry as hell. The waiter recommended the scallops linguini. I ordered it; my wife got the salmon. The salads were pre-made and not too great. The caprese my wife ordered was an abomination. The scallops, however, were outstanding. Perfectly cooked and seasoned on a bed of linguini and sauce that's among the best I've tasted. The salmon, my wife tells me, was outstanding as well. I've been back several times and have ordered the same thing every time. If you go, get the scallops linguini. It's not on the menu, but they've had it every time I've gone. It's outstanding.
I've seen a lot of negative reviews for Frankie's, and, perhaps, some of them are warranted. The service is sometimes not as swift as it should be and some of the simple dishes (like caprese) are half-assed. Not the best restaurant in the world, but if you're in the mood for scallops linguini, this is the best I've had in the city.
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