Amici Brentwood 2538 San Vicente Blvd.
Santa Monica, Ca. 90402
310 260 4900

Amici Trattoria 469 N. Doheny Drive
Beverly Hills, Ca. 90210
310 858 0271

There’s Italian, and then there’s Amici.

Amici has become one of our favorite restaurants. The food certainly stands above most of the Italian restaurants in Los Angeles and host/owner, the incomparable Tancredi De Luca, really sets the tone (and lets face it, a host can make all the difference at any restaurant…how many times has a nasty host or bitchy owner set the tenor for an unpleasant dining experience?). The strikingly handsome Tancredi is one of the most welcoming restaurateurs in our fair city. He cut his teeth at Toscana in Brentwood years ago and took that knowledge and embellished upon it with the creation of his Amici dining establishments.

We personally prefer the old brick Brentwood location, as the tables are not as crowded as the Beverly Hills locale. We always start our repast with any one of three or four choices of soup. In the summer we prefer the superb chilled tomato soup, which is thick and slightly creamy, but you can enjoy this fresh tomato potage with basil tips ($6.95), all year around. The pasta fagioli never disappoints.

At Amici in Brentwood it's all about white truffles; we’ve tried truffles at many restaurants but Amici’s truffles from Umbria, shipped directly from Alba, Italy are the most strong and flavorful ones we’ve encountered, and it’s probably due to the fact that our host is not afraid to spend the $3,400 per pound for the best selection (truffles only last for about a week, so this is a big gamble for a restaurateur). Our favorite truffle dish is Fettuccini topped with approximately seven ounces of truffles ($110), a bit spendy, but so worth every mouthwatering morsel.

Both locations offer the best Turkey Lasagna we have had the opportunity to savor at a very reasonable $14.95, and there's a giant plate full of the stuff. It is the perfect combination of turkey ragout and delicately spiced tomato sauce. Scott, who does not eat red meat, particularly loves this dish and rates it a 10 compared to other locals. If you’re in the mood for something tangy, we love their Rigatoni with chicken sausage ($14.50), which has a conglomeration of spices and is swept to the table at exactly the right temperature. As restaurants these days look to improve their bottom line by substituting farm-raised salmon for the wild variety, Amici still serves Wild Salmon that is superb, served over a bed of lentils, and priced very well at $21.95.

Although it’s not de rigeur, it is commonplace for Tancredi to send over some freshly made chocolate chip cookies and biscottis with warm chocolate sauce at no extra charge (and they are good, but they're no "Scott's Dots"). If that's not your thing, make certain to try the Hazelnut Semi Fredo, a exceedingly rich blend of hazelnut, butter and cream, a true Italian dessert ($8.95) which always makes the Duo dance the Tarantella.

A dear friend of ours is a co-owner of one of the better Italian restaurants in town, and yet nearly every time we’re at Amici, we see her enjoying another wonderful meal here too. Free food at her place, or fabulous food at Amici; you do the math.

(Dishes and prices may vary slightly at each location)

Posted by The Dining Duo | 7:50 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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