Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Portofino Cucina Italiana is Open (again) !

The new Italian restaurant opened on the seemingly cursed corner of 5th and Main a little over a month ago. As happy as everyone was the place was now home to a well-meaning, determined restaurateur Diego Ortoli , it closed to as much sadness as they battled plumbing issues.

Diego thought it best to close while he worked out the plumbing fix. About three weeks later, he opened back up this past Monday. The food is just as good (if not even better than we recall).

One of my neighbors had gushed about the gnocci, so I knew exactly what I had to order.. Gnocchi piccanti

Gnocchi piccanti
from the menu: "Home made potato dumplings with broccoli, roasted garlic, jalapeno and imported romano cheese"

While I didn't notice broccoli so much, the roasted garlic was deliciously prevalent and the jalapeno added just the touch to make a cheesy, spicy, garlic-y goodness. I was wishing I had a spoon so I could scrape every last drop of the sauce from the bowl. Seriously.

The spouse ordered the Scaloppine di manzo alla Piemontese:
Scaloppine di manzo alla Piemontese
from the menu: "Thinly sliced Sirloin steak sautéed with garlic, parsley, roasted bell peppers and basil in a white wine sauce, topped with fresh mozzarella, served with roasted rosemary potatoes and vegetables"

I am in love with these rosemary potatoes!! I swiped a couple from Sean so I could use them to mop up the last bits of my gnocchi sauce. The steak was tender, and IMHO ran a little towards sweet.. (Sean disagrees with me on the 'sweet' description, but this is why I don't do reviews usually).

Suffice to say I liked his dish enough I want to order that next time we go. Diego says he has a lot of new staff (3 weeks is a long time to go without regular work honestly) including a new chef who has over 20 years in the cruiseline business. He came out to our table and checked on us, and me not being in my "nosy blogger" mode I didn't get his name, but he seemed friendly and his food is great!

Sean wasn't wanting dessert, but I still had room to split something, so Diego surprised me with this great cinnamon-y apple cake/torte:

if you order this, try it without the chocolate first.. the cinnamon and apple is light and clean (and very filling) and I thought the chocolate murdered the cinnamon. In the words of Sean when I asked him what he thought of the cinnamon, he said "what cinnamon" but he had drenched his first bite in the chocolate drizzle.

I asked Diego if he'd be doing breakfast again and he said for now, no.. I guess there weren't enough people knowing he was open for breakfast.. so I can only hope that'll come back eventually..


Diego mentioned that he found out from his legal adviser that he can do BYOB Wine! So as long as he has "nothing to do with it," you can bring your wine bottle in a paper-bag, along with your own glasses & corkscrew and have that wine with your pasta. So all my friends whinging about "what's pasta without wine?!" you can stop whining and have your wine. =)

Just stay classy ok??? ;P

so.. you know the deal..

Portofino Cucina Italiana
464 S. Main
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Portofino Cucina Italiana"

the blogdowntown article:
Portofino Cucina Italiana Opens at 5th and Main"


Anonymous said...

surely the BYOW policy is.. dubious at beast? but hey, mom & pop Italian is hard to find in DTLA so... Thanks!

meekorouse said...

I'm not sure how it works; their lawyer is saying it's doable if they don't have anything to do with it.. but I found an LATimes article saying it's illegal.. but if it's illegal then why are so many restaurants (like Colori Kitchen or Gram & Papas for instance) allowed to do it?

Personally I don't care if people want to bring their own wine from home as long as they take the bottle home with them. One of the things I hated about all the 'free wine' at Art walk is the bottles left littering the sidewalks. Was totally glad when the galleries stopped doing that. =)

I live here.. I would never think to go to someone else's neighborhood and trash it up.. just saying that cause it's art walk I guess.

Back on topic though, if bringing their own bottle of wine encourages my neighbors to bring their friends and enjoy dinner I'm all for that.. People doing well in the neighborhood is a good thing..

(then again being drunk & acting stupid isn't.. hmmm Ok.. well I have to think about that..) =)