Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Informed Indulgences: My Dinner ar La Vecchia Cucina

My time is coming, sooner than i think. Pretty soon i'm going to have to decide what it is that i am going to do with my life. Will it be something along this newly found passion that i have for food? Or will my consolling affection with music prevail?

In my chaotic attempt to make a decision, my brother in my support, had a friend who happened to know someone, that knew someone that that knew someone else that was married to the new Head Chef/ owner of this italian place in Santa Monica, La Vecchia Cucina Italiana . He happened to mention me and my affection with food and seemed intrigued.

By next tuesday, we were having dinner their. The aroma of garlic and olive oil, the noisy chattering of blatant Westsiders, the fancy pyramidal set tables and me with my usual levis and back-patched black sweater...i felt like a fish out of water. But like so many times before, i was not going to let that ruin it for me.

I was really looking forward trying it out and meeting him. Italian food was probably one of my first cuisines that i've had other than Mexican. (even though it was probably some sort of enriched pasta product with a fake "Ragu" sauce, but it doesn't matter!)
I was also really looking forward to the complimentary bread and olive oil that are given in most italian restaurants, me being the carb-a-holic and all. And soon enough, a big steaming basket full of fresh bread was in our table ready for my carb compelled indulgence.

This was probably the best complimentary bread and olive oil blend that i have ever had. The bread was warm, crusty, and toasty on the outside and soft as pillow on the outside. The oil was was the perfect accompaniment to this, especially since i had a craving for anything doused with garlic. I usually don't like eating olive oil by itself but this was different, not having that "fruity" taste that most store brands have but this rich, smooth taste. It was full of shredded basil and was infused with garlic, but not the Prestos kind of garlic that leaves you reeking of garlic for days on end, but enough.

I don't know why I've been having this huge craving for garlic and this hit the spot. I decided to try shrimp one more time(I don't know why, i'm starting not to like shrimp anymore) and get theLINGUINE MARE E MONTI , Linguine noodles in a pesto sauce with butterflied shrimp and Shitake Mushrooms. It was alright, the noodles were perfectly Al Dente but the sauce was a little bit too creamy for me, and the shrimp...well, i guess i just don't like shrimp anymore. That still didn't stop me from finishing it though.

The best dish was the Penne Arabbiata that my brother got(like always). Exquisitely spicy with a little bit of tangyness. My dad's INSALATA ALLA TIBURCIO, Baby mixed greens topped with roasted pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes
and goat cheese tossed in our raspberry vinaigrette was also quite good. Sweet enough to be a dessert, just how i like it.

After finishing, the owner/chef Mark had recognized my brother and came to ask us how it was. He was very nice, he answered many of my questions about culinary arts and what it took for him to get there. Very informative.

Like if we hadn't had enough calories already, my brother had told my about the chocolate cake they had there. He said, they've had the same jewish lady make it for years and it my brother had told me that it was exceptionally rich compared to other ones we've had before, of course we hadto get it. "Rich" is an understatement. This is one of "the world's going end and you know you're going to die" kind of things to eat. Me and my brother could barely finish one slice! And thats us. I could almost hear my heart crying for mercy....poor little heart

By the end of the night, i know i probably ate like 4 days worth of calories, but i didn't feel bad. It was worth it.

La Vecchia Cucina Italiana

2654 Main St.
Santa Monica CA
(310) 399-7979

La Vecchia Cucina in Los Angeles

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