Ggiata Delicatessen in Venice Beach (The Classic Italian / Photo Paige Petrone)



There has been lots of buzz about a hot new delicatessen on the corner of Windward Avenue in Venice. I live in Venice and every time I drive by there’s a line out front. Well, it turns out Ggiata is quite the sandwich shop! I ordered several for a formal tasting with a friend and when we arrived for pick up the place was seriously bustling with action. The aromas that hit us upon entering meant just one thing — there was major sandwich-making going on! 

We sampled The Draper, The Antonia, and The Classic Italian, all served on special semolina bread. The bread reminded me of the sandwiches I had as a kid in New York, you know, back in “the old neighborhood.” The Draper and a few other choices all feature fried chicken cutlets … again, just like I grew up with. Very delicious. The Classic Italian, yes, was classic! A must-try. Dessert was special too! I had to try the Rainbow Cookies when I saw them on the menu. Probably the best I’ve had in Los Angeles – unless I’m the one making them! Some of the other desserts being offered looked just as appealing. I will have to go back very soon and try them. Join me!

Ggiata has three locations in LA, for menu, click here.

Amarone Kitchen + Bar (Caprese / Photo Courtesy of Amarone)



I recently had the pleasure of dining at an authentic Italian restaurant that left me happily satisfied. Chef Sandro Olivero, owner and chef at Amarone Kitchen and Wine, says with the right knowledge it’s easy to know what to order and how to make the most out of a visit to any Italian restaurant. The ambiance here is charming, and I liked their choice of background music. Hospitality and service were warm, welcoming, and solicitous. I’d say they deserve more than five stars! The food was delicious. The Caprese salad was a delightful start, with fresh tomatoes and creamy mozzarella perfectly complementing each other. The spaghetti lobster was a true standout, cooked al dente and tossed in a rich and flavorful sauce that transported me straight to Italy. And the branzino fish, cooked to perfection and served with a side of delicious spinach, was a true delight. The owner kept checking to make sure we were enjoying our meal and the service. Every bite was a symphony of flavors that truly captured the essence of fine Italian cuisine. I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone looking to experience a taste of Italy with a passionate owner and skilled chef, right here in their own city!

For more, click here.

Loreto (Jurel Yellowtail with mint, jicama, English peas, and whipped feta / Photo Kymberly Chase)



Loreto is a vibrant new Mexican seafood restaurant in the evolving Frogtown. This is the latest from Mexican restaurant group Grupo Almares and Chef Paco Moran, best known for his talent as the executive chef at the lively Cha Cha Chá in Downtown LA’s Arts District. Loreto Marin, who is from Mexico City and co-owns four restaurants there, says he fell in love with the food of Baja after moving to Los Angeles. He has remarked, “Weirdly enough, there was a lot more exposure to that type of cuisine here than I ever got in Mexico City growing up.” With Loreto, he wanted to try something new, something more specific and more subjective. This meant Executive Chef Paco Moran committing to a predominantly seafood menu. Here, raw seafood is followed by more raw seafood. Spicy shrimp aguachile with avocado balances a sweet paloma cocktail. Ceviche Magdalena, a standout, is a vibrant green bowl of yellowtail tossed with honeydew, cucumber, Maui onion, and bright green herbs like cilantro and basil. The menu specializes in refined mariscos, such as ceviches, aguachiles, and zarandeados. In addition to its Baja-inspired seafood dishes, the restaurant also offers a superb selection of cocktails and mezcal along with a robust wine list focused on the refined offerings of Mexico’s most prolific wine region, Valle de Guadalupe. Try it soon! 

For details, click here.

Bao Dim Sum House on Beverly Boulevard (Shrimp on eggplant / Photo Kymberly Chase)



Located along sprawling Beverly Boulevard, Bao Dim Sum House is a loungey restaurant that invites you to indulge in small plates and inventive cocktails. If you didn’t have dim sum just before reading this, Bao is where you can get dim sum all day, seven days a week! The menu features your favorite dim sum classics like shu mai, har gao, and much more, with a wide range of dumplings, noodles, and veggies for a great dinner in the West Hollywood area. Some of my favorites are the shu mai, har siu gok, and beef chow fun. If you have not experienced Bao, now is the time! There are mushroom, pork, vegetable, and spicy chicken options … or order all four! They’re delish! If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t miss out on their crispy-skinned roasted half duck (also a a personal favorite of mine). The service is friendly and efficient with a great atmosphere for family gatherings. There are several dessert options too, and we opted for the sesame balls with red bean inside along with some jasmine tea, which was the perfect way to end our meal. Great spot, worth checking out, casual and cool — and it’s the only place where you can get dim sum dishes whenever the mood strikes, at any time of the day!

For menu and details, click here.