Recently, we tried this little place on the recommendation of our foodie friend who enjoys discovering little restaurant gems around town. Mosto Enoteca was on our radar this evening, a tiny place that's replaced "Killer Shrimp" on Washington Blvd. in Marina del Rey. Pulling up, we appreciated that the restaurant still had free parking in the strip-mall lot.
The hype on this place was huge, with it supposedly being the 5th highest rated Italian place in LA. according to Zagat. Not sure how that came about, as the three of us were a tad disappointed.
Luckily, our pal had a coupon which came in handy. We settled in for a cozy meal on this frigid night, glad to be indoors eating hearty food.
Be warned; this is a small place. It's best to have reservations, as it probably seats, at the most, 50 people. Although the food was nicely presented, something was lacking in all the starters and main dishes we ordered. Both of my pals are fine cooks, and we all agreed that the dishes were below what we had expected. It seems that they had been engineered for those with health problems, so some of the zing that I was expecting was sadly absent.
My squid ink pasta with asparagus, shrimp and tomato needed more garlic and salt, in my opinion. When I asked for parmesan cheese, the owner pulled rank on me and said that it wasn't advised. Big deal. In my history of working in restaurants, if the customer asks for something, you deliver. Who cares if it's proper?
The lobster ravioli, although pretty, was a bit bland. Where was the lobster sauce that was promised from the menu?
Our tuna carpaccio was decent, although spartan in size. This is not a doggie-bag place, as the portions are smaller than many Italian restaurants.
However, we all devoured the fig tart, which, in my opinion, was the best part of the meal.
Oh well. We're sad to say this was a disappointment. But we'll continue on our culinary adventures in our quest for a new Italian restaurant we can finally call home. I know we'll find a place that meets our expectations.
517 Washington Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90292