For a locale that is not remotely Italy adjacent, us Angelenos excel at being Italian food snobs. We like a wood burning oven, and we know our optimal wood burning temperature. We like our cheese, perfect. Many compete, options abound, it takes a lot to impress us. So when a neighbourhood trattoria comes along and raises our brow, the rest of us sit up, take notice, and tuck in our napkin. Il Piccolo Ritrovo, pass the pappardelle.
While they have recently opened a second outpost to the delight of Playa Vista denizens, we decided to try out their flagship of Neapolitan nuance in the Pacific Palisades. This preference largely driven by Rick Caruso’s newest uprising, where the window shopping is wonderous but actual consumption, questionable. While feasting on fashion only takes me so far, I had to ask, couldn’t we dine decadently here in the Palisades without taking out a second mortgage? Isn’t there a place? Il Picolo Ritrovo (while admittedly hard for me to pronounce), fills in a niche needed in this want for naught neighbourhood. With old school charm and an inarguable authenticity.
Situated next to a gas station, expect nothing fancy and everything genuine – the pasta, ravioli, homemade, same goes for the oven. If you are looking for an extravagant dining experience, move on. If you are looking to sit in Nando Silvestri and Tarcisio Mosconi’s kitchen, pull up a chair.
For dinner, it’s all there. Antipasti, NY style pizza, pastas, risottos, one of the most comprehensive gnocchi collections I’ve come across. Fish is featured too – scampi, spigola, halibut, salmon – I settled in on the lobster ravioli – a treat. The pink sauce, an excellent complement. The Arugula e Carciofi is a great opener, with those shaved artichoke hearts, that parmesan, lemony and truffled. My husband went with the spaghetti integrali, hearty pasta with vegetables highlighted by the lemon and light white wine sauce. Simple and very well done. Everything in this humble haunt appeared to be. Kids cleaned their plates too, and got in on our salad.
Alight with an abundance of what makes Italy such a lure, Il Piccolo Ritrovo is a reflection of the hospitality and hominess that defines its homeland. The meals are made from scratch, the welcome is genuine, and the want to stay for gelato, undeniable. Don’t let the informality mislead you, in a city searching for Italian that merits a meal out, Il Piccolo Ritrovo is a formidable find.
Il Piccolo Ritrovo, 15415 West Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA.
Tel: +1(310) 454-2243
There’s metered street parking on Sunset or you will find some parking behind the restaurant. Open Monday to Sunday from 5:00pm to 9:30pm.
Type of Restaurant: Italian Restaurant, Pizzeria and Trattoria
Price Band: Medium
Insider Tip: Family friendly, very reasonably priced and an easy answer for a family night out.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.
Photographs courtesy of Il Piccolo Ritrovo
You had me at family friendly and reasonably priced in the Palisades! I can’t wait to check this out.
We have eaten at the Palisades location and the new Playa Vista location, and we have enjoyed both. Pizza can’t be beat. Pasta is great. Anything you order is delish.
So nice to read a review of something both geographically and culinarily accessible! Sounds perfect, and as our family is sustained on Italian, we will be checking it out very shortly!
Mmmm, wouldn’t minds some lobster ravioli, or halibut or pizza or pretty much anything you describe there! Sounds amazing and looks delicious.
I’ve heard amazing things for the locals over there!
Oooooo! This is right up my alley. And I need to check out the Plata location! Thanks for the tip, Jolie!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
We have dear friends who live in the Palisades.
Next time we have dinner plans with them, I am going to suggest this restaurant.
There’s nothing I love more than a neighborhood Italian restaurant. Something about the pasta and pizza at the local spot on a weekend evening feels just right. This restaurant has that feel — and the food was great too. The arugula and artichoke salad w/lemon and truffle is worth the trip alone and the warm, rich pasta was the perfect complement for a chilly (it happens!) LA evening. Next time, we try the pizza.
Thank you Jolie for another wonderful restaurant recommendation. I can wait to try some of the wonderful gnocchi choices… my fave!!! Sounds awesome and great to find a moderately priced awesome Italian spot in the Palisades.
I love Italian food and this place looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
Now that’s what our family lives for! A sweet homey place serving delicious authentic Italian food that all of us can savior! No need to change clothes or shower again come dinner time were welcome just as we are! Our evenings there have never been anything but marvelous!
I know exactly where this place is. I’m definitely going to give it a try. It sounds delicious.
I love these kinds of casual places with AMAZING food! Great review!
Yum!! Cannot wait to try it, I love finding new spots near my hood!
This one has jumped to the top of my “Gotta Try This Place Out” list! Thanks!!!
Cozy, yummy, local, affordable… so simple yet so hard to find. Thanks for the review! I will check it out!
I LOVE family owned restaurants. Can’t wait to check it out. Passing it along to my friends who live even closer than I do to both of their outposts. Thanks for sharing it!