GIRASOLE | LARCHMONT VILLAGE
Really good food scenes on film and TV can be almost pornographic. Every time Jack McCoy and his assistant DA of the month gorge on take-out Chinese on Law and Order, I head to the nearest Panda Express and order a double Orange Chicken with chow mein. When Bill the Butcher sears and scarfs his ultra-rare steak in Gangs of New York, I bee-line it to Mastro’s to daydream about their bone-in rib-eyes in the parking lot. And when Sollozzo and McCluskey start digging into some fine veal and pasta right before Michael Corleone whacks them in The Godfather, well, I run to Girasole for some serious authentic Italian food.
Girasole, Italian for sunflower, is truly a bloom in the desert…..without the cheesiness I just indulged in. Chef Sonia Tolot hails from “Vittorio Veneto, a small town nestled in the foothills of the alps, North East of Venice in Northern Italy.” Opening the doors to this charming and cozy restaurant in 1993, Chef Tolot has consistently provided a soothing ambience for her loyal customers with minimal decor, a home-like atmosphere, small room capacity, dim lighting, and of course her signature Italian food inspired by her roots in small town Italy. There’s a sophisticated rusticity to her dishes that is delicately balanced by graceful simplicity, which is hard to find in L.A.
Start off with some hard-hitting Bresaola (Italian cured beef with arugula, parmigiano, lemon and olive oil), coupled with some fresh Buratta (heirloom tomatoes, basil and olive oil), and your palate will be parted like the Red Sea. Move onto the awesomely comforting entrees like seafood pasta (LINGUINE MARI E MONTI), meat lasagna (PASTICCIO con RAGU), smoked salmon bow-tie pasta (FARFALLE con SALMONE AFFUMICATO), or just some good ol’ Spaghetti and meatballs (SPAGHETTI con POLPETTE) and you’ll simply be smiling. The balance of the flavors on all the dishes I’ve tried were pitch-perfect and the portions just right.
They also offer daily and seasonal specials inspired by the freshest ingredients available at the time. And perhaps the greatest offering of all: BYOB with no corkage fee!!! Yes, that’s right, it’s time to crack open that box of Charles Shaw and head on down to Larchmont Village for some Girasole….another reason why we love Hancock Park!
225 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Neighborhood: Mid Wilshire