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 The 20 Best L.A. Italian Restaurants

 
  By Jonathan Gold

 

Bologna the Fat

In Bologna, one tends to eat very well on the prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and mortadella of the region, on creamy emulsions and chickens stuffed with butter, on long-cooked ragus that incorporate the entire barnyard into a few tablespoonsful of sauce. It is not for nothing the city is often called
Bologna the Fat. Il Moro, which recently transformed itself from a better-than-average office-building restaurant to a center of Bolognese cuisine, may be the only place in Los Angeles where you can taste the cooking of the region — the tiny, meat-stuffed cappelletti floating in a deep-yellow capon broth, the baked lasagna enriched with a wheelbarrowful of bechamel, the house-made pasta, alive under the teeth, buried under an ultradense sauce fashioned from tomatoes and minced pigeon. Prosciutto and salami are served in the traditional Modenese way, with gnocco, oblong, unsweetened beignets that would be equally appreciated by New Orleanians and by Homer Simpson. Tucked into the corner of the Westside where you might least expect a restaurant, busier at lunch than at dinner, it backs up onto a rather romantic patio, has an attached wine bar with occasional live music — and is usually pretty easy to slip into without a reservation even on a Saturday night. A useful restaurant. 11400 W. Olympic Blvd., W.L.A., (310) 575-3530.