Enzo & Angela
Many years ago I received a letter from Angela Lansbury telling me about this wonderful restaurant in Santa Monica called Positano. By now it's no secret that the chef is her daughter, also named Angela. Enzo and wife Angela always cooked together, and from the moment I met them I was hooked on their terrific Italian cuisine, and captivated by their devotion to each other. My original quotes about their restaurant referred to it as being a gift waiting to be found. And I will always believe that if the Italians didn't invent romance, they elevated it to an art form through eating, and "holy cannoli," it doesn't matter what you order because it's delicious.
Anyway, I became a fan, and have recently gone to their third-owned restaurant in California called Enzo & Angela. The menu is marvelously appealing, with all the combinations that LA likes; also prices that can help the dating scene. Everything about the place is pleasant and charming, whether one is looking for power-lunching, partying, or meeting the girls for shopping. In addition, this particular mall is located on the corner of Wilshire and Barrington where the Enzo & Angela Terrace stands out boldly from the street making it easy to find. They have their own second floor staircase, and like a jewel in the crown, it's decked out in umbrella'd tables with friendly cordial service people anxious to help.
A focal point upon entering is the fabulous humongous oval glass window with a panoramic view of Wilshire Blvd. and beyond. The tables are crisply set in white linens and matching napkins, with everything color matched in white and blue, starting with white washed brick walls, and blue couches at the entrance. Moreover, it was a treat to see Enzo's personal paintings on the walls among blonde tables and chairs under drop lamps from the ceiling. There's also a cappuccino/wine & cocktail bar, and when you ask for a dry cappuccino the waiters know what you're talking about, (foam only without extra milk).
While surfing the menu a basket of fresh homemade bread was set on the table alongside a garlic & oil dip. I was looking for a tasty salad and found about 14-listings, making it difficult because each one was unique. My choice was 4-marinated grilled strips of salmon filet on a heap of baby greens with slivers of onion and capers. It's in my highly recommended file, ($16). However others were topped with turkey breast/avocado; grilled eggplant/bell peppers; calamari & shrimp; grilled breast of chicken with pine nuts, and the list keeps going, including grilled swordfish on spinach with mushrooms & tomato.
All the Panini sandwiches were "sided" with salads, and although I haven't had the Italian Sausage, it was noticeably being enjoyed by others.
There are over two dozen pastas tossed with everything from crustacians in tomato and white wine sauce, to my favorite of "Puttanesca," named for the "ladies of the night." These "girls" didn't have much time for cooking, so used to throw anchovies, capers, black olives, garlic and fresh tomatoes into a pot of cooked pasta; ate quickly and got back to work. The intense flavors are zippy, and I suppose it helped to keep them awake!
All the meat and fish dishes include traditional Italian recipes, such as Chicken a'la Romana, Parmigiana, Milanese, and Griglia, with several Scallopini's, Piccata, and Cioppino.
The dinner menu isn't priced much higher than about two to four dollars more than their lunch menu, however the portions are large enough to take half of it home! A favorite dish of mine on the dinner menu is "Pollo Delizioso," a chicken breast rolled up with fresh Mozzarella and spinach, baked and covered with an Italian herb sauce. Even if you're not ready to dine, stop at Enzo & Angela's for a take-home menu. This is a good place to feed your inner child with Italian comfort foods.
Lunch; Antipasto, Sandwiches, Salads, Pizza & Pasta, topping off at $16 for Spaghetti Mare, with clams, mussels, octopus, calamari and shrimp, also Meats, chicken, & fish dishes. Some special lunches, all priced at $18! Risotto di Salmone al Torno with scallops & baked Arborio rice; Capellini pasta tossed with fresh asparagus & smoked salmon; Filetto di Spigola (Filet of importe Mediteranean Sea Bass); Fresh sole filet sauteed with lemon & capers; Rigatoni with filet mignon imported with Sicilian sun-dried tomatoes and fresh mushrooms; Pasta Spinaci co Porcini, (Spinach pasta with porcini mushoom, garlic, fresh tomato and Parmigian cheese); Pasta Scallops, (Fresh tabliolini with Scallops and shrimp in a light rose cream with a touch of brandy). Go for it!
Monday-Friday lunch from 11:00am-3:00pm. Dinner 7 days from 5:00pm. Monday thru Sunday at 9:00pm. 11701 Wilshire Blvd., West Los Angeles; (310) 477-3880. Catering; street parking, or validated on lot: otherwise $2.50. www.enzoandangela.com