Porta Via
424 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA
310. 274-6534

Thirteen years ago Beverly Hills resident Peter Garland birthed an idea of a small take-out restaurant in Beverly Hills, called Porta Via, which literally means “take away” in Italian. Soon after opening his petit lunch spot inside Umberto’s famous Canon salon, the rest of Beverly Hills got carried away with his food, and his personal reception, so Peter expanded the space. Recently, Peter doubled the size of his baby and continues to be mobbed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each and every meal is distinctive and scrumptious, but we’ll start by reporting the Eggs Benedict and French toast made from French baguettes served on Sunday, as well as the Bloody Mary’s served all the time, are amongst the best we’ve experienced.

Peter Garland—who couldn’t get any cuter or more Metrosexual—is Porta Via, and he holds court there almost every lunch and dinner, personally greeting by name most of his patrons. Of course there are easy names to remember as he welcomes regulars such as Denzel Washington (who claims it’s the best burger in town with hand cut French fries) to everyone’s prisoner of love, Wentworth Miller, who dines here regularly. Regardless of Peter’s personal warmth, it is most definitely about the food as evidenced by the freshest ingredients selected from the Farmer’s Market and his serving only organic meats and poultries. The service is always excellent, and attractive, whether it’s the hottie women Peter hires, or the even hotter Ted, server extraordinaire, (he’s been with Porta Via for nine years); if you beg him (fine, it’s true, the Dining Duo has begged him), he might just show you his equally extraordinary eight-pack.

There are other specials beside Ted. The ones that stand out for us has always been the Fusilli Chicken Bolognese, an incredibly flavorful sauce made with organic chicken, cumin, celery and onions or the fresh catch of the day which could not be any fresher unless Peter caught it himself. Peter knows his audience and secures the wild salmon ($23) serving it with the tastiest chard we’ve had in years. This is on the menu daily and not to be missed. There are always two soups on the menu and for the waistline conscious they are, naturally, made without cream. We love their flavorful Minestrone as well as the light, tasty Broccoli soup. Porta Via’s salads have always been scrumptious with Michael’s (and Peter’s) favorite being the Arugula with fresh imported shaved Parmigiano at $11.

Porta Via has grown into an adult with a new addition, which is designed handsomely with a used brick wall and shiny white paneling, accented by smart chandeliers and an equally good-looking wall of wine. The menu offers a complete wine list with over 100 bottles and many half bottles, a treat for two of which the Dining Duo can never find enough. Standouts from the full bottle selection includes Domain Le Flaive Maison-Verze 2005, noticeable amongst white burgundys at a reasonable $65. If you want great value, definitely try the half bottle of the 2003 Damilano Barolo 'Lecinquevigne' at $38.

People feel comfortable here, whether it’s breakfast with homemade muffins and a full variety of fresh squeezed juices, lunch for a great burger served on Rockenwagner’s Brioche bun, or dinner sitting beside talent agents, local realtors and Beverly Hills matrons.
And although the desserts are all homemade and yum and a good way to finish any meal, we suggest ending with one more gander at Ted’s mouth-watering Abs.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 6:43 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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