E Baldi
375 N. Canon Dr
310 248 2633

The Scene: Minimal Pretentious
Cuisine: Designer Italian
Must Try: risotto with white truffles
Star Rating: 2
Average Cost: Entrees $18 to $90

Si puo' dire "atteggiatissimo" in italiano? *

Why do Angelinos flock to a restaurant that is overpriced and filled with enough attitude to make a drag queen weep? Nothing screams rude more than the reception at the newest addition to Beverly Hills’ little Italy: E.Baldi, the prodigal son of Giorgio’s in Santa Monica. Naming the restaurant after himself is an indication of the enormous ego that’s pervasive here, sadly eclipsing the fare.

This tiny spot redefines “minimal”, with picture windows not necessarily allowing one to look out, but rather for others to look in on those silly enough to spend outrageous amounts charged for flavorful, yet basic Italian chow.

Who cares if Nancy Reagan and Jerry Magnin were dining there? After lengthy waits, food runners sported puzzled looks and enquired, “who had the…”. We brought this up to our waiter who arrogantly stated, “that’s how they do it in Italy”; apparently E. Baldi hasn’t figured out yet that we’re in Los Angeles.

We did enjoy several dishes on the menu (and asked the waiter for a copy of the menu, but were told that it’s proprietorial and he couldn’t give us one; apparently the food names are top secret). The specials are much higher priced than the menu, which the waiters don’t tell you, unless you ask. Bread is basic and uneventful. The Pizza Bianca with a layer of melted mascapone, parmigiana and buffalo mozzarela, ($10) was divine, while the pricey Truffle Risotto ($90), was the best we’ve had. The butternut soup ($11) was overloaded with thickeners and lacked in flavor; it could have been anything.

Our dinner mate found her Penne Imperiale, laced with a tiny piece of langostine ($18), to be boring and undercooked; we sampled and agreed. The waiter and owner/chef however did not, and told us so. The waiter retorted the undercooked hard pasta was “al dente”. Our friend returned the dish uneaten, but was still charged. We were told by the Baldi’s daughter (the lackadaisical hostess/manager) that her father tasted the dish and unilaterally determined our guest was wrong, so therefore there would be a charge; after all, she said, “the pasta is homemade and expensive”.

Dessert wasn’t very interesting, except for their pancakes which were tasty. The crepes were so saturated with nutella that you couldn’t taste much of anything else and might as well have eaten the stuff out of a jar.

Our waiter was informed about Italian wines and turned us on to a Brunello di Montalcino by Canalicchio from Tuscany that was superb. Ringing in at over $100 per person, the dining duo suggests that if you want to get screwed, asked to be kissed first.

*Can say “attitude” in Italian?

Posted by The Dining Duo | 2:42 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

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