12.05.2012

Amalfi Ristorante

143 North La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-2504 

Parking: $7 Valet 
Days: Daily 
Time: 5:30-7pm (All Night Mondays & ½ price bottles on Tuesdays) 
Drink Deals: $2 off all drinks 
Food Deals: $7 Happy Hour Menu

Let us take this moment to say farewell to some of our favorite lost shops and eateries along the North La Brea strip: 

-- Rita Flora Kitchen – that terrific flower restaurant adjacent to the flower shop of the same name at the corner of La Brea and 4th Street. It was a charming restaurant with an excellent breakfast and lunch menu, plus beautiful flowers surrounding you. 

-- The gift shop next to Rita Flora – seriously, you could find a special gift or knick-knack for anyone – marking any occasion from birthdays to housewarmings, to “I got fired” to “I got hired.” You catch my drift, it was one of a kind and I miss it so. 

Amalfi, in all its glory

One neighborhood venue along this quirky and cool corridor that I hope survives longer is Amalfi Ristorante, an Italian restaurant that features 3 different spaces within the building. You’ve got the bar to your right just as you walk in; then there’s a sit-down restaurant in the back; and go upstairs and you’ve got your performance space called Room 5. Plus, Acme Comedy Club is right next door.

Happy Hour is at the bar/patio only, but no worries – you can easily make a dinner out of the menu as well as meet interesting company. Kitty Packard and I made a great night out of our visit to Amalfi – where we made friends with a very helpful bartender and several bar regulars there to watch the Celtics on the big screen.

We got there somewhat early at 5:45 and given that it was mid-week and day-jobs can sometimes be kinda tiring, we made a pact to stay for one cocktail and appetizer. That didn’t happen. We ended up leaving after Happy Hour was over – and of course, after a couple of glasses of wine and a series of appetizers and crème brulee later. Love those no-expectation evenings that turn out to be a blast! 

As our helpful bartender friend promised, the food was delicious. We ordered several items from the $7 Happy Hour menu – now, that $7 tag is a little higher than other bars we’ve been to, but the variety and quality of the food is better too. We tried the (very fresh) Bruschetta, the Crab Cakes (at 2 for $7, you’re getting over 50% off the regular price of 3 for $16, dammmmmn, we like those kinds of deals!), and one of my favorite things to order, the Cheese Board. We finished it off with a Crème Brulee on the house (it really does pay to have charming friends :).


Counterclockwise from top left: 
Bruschetta, Crab Cakes, Creme Brulee, Cheese Plate!

The drink deal is simple -- $2 off everything. Again, we’ve seen better deals before, but there were plenty of nice wines to choose from – including the Malbec (Navarro Correas) and Sauvignon Blanc (Sterling Estates) that Kitty and I ordered at $6 a glass. 

We finally left around 8:30 and said our goodbyes to the locals with a promise to return. We haven’t yet, but hope to soon. That bruschetta is calling my name; the siren’s call of the Bruschetta. Sounds like the title of an ambitious early-to-mid 20th Century novel. I like it.


--JB 

Rating: 4 Martinis 
Amalfi Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

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