Not long ago, I took a drive to Los Feliz area in Los Angeles to check out the Griffith Park Zoo and the Greek Theatre. Later in the evening, my guests, photographer Bill Jones and local TV personality Valerie MacConnell, decided to try out some Italian food.
We visited Louise’s Trattoria, located at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd., in an old, quaint neighborhood surrounded by large, old, architecturally interesting mansions.
Manager Anthony Ko greeted us. As I understand it, Louise’s Trattoria is approaching a decade in the area and has quite a following, partly because of their special dinner and entertainment package. It is a dinner and concert combined. Patrons dine and then they are shuttled in a limo bus to the Greek Theatre just up the hill for entertainment by some of the largest names in music.
My guests and I started with the 14-vegetable Minestrone Soup, which had a twist: It was topped with shaved Grana Padano cheese, served with a Garlic Crustini.
Oh yes, and the Crab Cakes-they are splendid. They are made with sweet blue crabs and tender shrimp seasoned with fresh herbs and spices, then pan seared. They are a delight when served with Mango Aioli and Avocado Relish.
My guest Bill Jones, who says he is somewhat of a meat and potatoes guy, decided to order the Fettuccini with Shrimp and Scallops. It was everything you’d expect in a fettuccini dish and lightly spiced, according to Chef Gilberto Chavez.
Other dishes that come more highly spiced would be the Pappardetti with Italian Sausage, served with plum tomatoes, topped with fresh garlic herbs and red pepper. The dish is finished with a light, cream tomato sauce.
For myself, I enjoyed the Blackened Salmon. It is hand-rubbed, pan seared, then blackened to perfection. This entree is topped with a Balsamic reduction, served with fresh vegetable julienne.
Louise’s Trattoria truly serves Italian California cuisine with a light flair.
They also serve 10-inch, thin-crust pizzas, and the entrees are moderately priced. Their servers are friendly and very knowledgeable about the menu items, as well as the local history.
So sit back, perhaps have a glass of vino with your dinner, and get ready to enjoy a concert at the Greek Theatre.