Hollywood has never exactly been on the radar for true dining destinations but it is starting to look much different these days, especially Cahuenga Blvd. Much like many of the neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, exciting restaurants have slowly become friendly neighbors with pawn shops, massage parlors and worn down memorabilia stores. The building that now houses Aventine Hollywood has an interesting history of its own but that is all forgotten once you step inside this charming space that has similarities to a quaint Italian villa.
The space inside is rustic, charming and full of character. Brick walls which date back to the 20’s, cast iron chandeliers and a wood-burning oven create a warm environment to say the least. A garage door opens up to a gorgeous backyard patio which includes a full bar with stools, beautiful wood tables and trees wrapped in lights which helps set a romantic atmosphere.
The food here is the true highlight which focuses mainly on classic Italian dishes with locally sourced products. Nothing screams California quite like blueberry butter which is served alongside fresh focaccia bread. It definitely won’t satisfy the savory eaters but it complements the bread nicely.
If you can’t find something on their extensive list of appetizers then you need to dine elsewhere. We opted for the Burrata and Arancini Di Riso otherwise known as fried rice balls. I know, most Los Angeles diners consider the word ‘fried’ a curse word but don’t worry, these are not your typical dense rice balls that you would get at your corner Italian shop back in New York. This dish is light, airy and packed with flavor. The red bell pepper sauce is a pleasant touch and adds a different component than the typical marinara sauce you would most likely see with this dish. The Burrata is absolutely perfect and the baby arugula pesto that it is served with adds a whole new dimension to the plate.
Our entrees were just as delicious as our first course. We opted for the Tartufo pizza with black truffle honey, creamy béchamel and wild arugula. The super thin crust let’s all the flavors shine perfectly. The black truffle honey is not overbearing and works extremely well with the bechamel sauce. The Agnolotti stuffed with short rib is the closest thing to food heaven you will find. A perfectly executed dish with a cream sauce that is so good you will want to take it home and pour it over anything you cook at home from that day on.
We didn’t have nearly enough room to order dessert but from looking at the menu we would have definitely opted for the Zoccolini or Cannoli. Aventine is the perfect date spot but the patio is very inviting to groups as well. This is definitely a great addition to the Cahuenga corridor and should have great staying power.
Aventine Hollywood is located at 1607 N. Cahuenga Blvd Hollywood, CA 90028.
- Truffles, can’t get enough of it! (aidamania.com)
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