Rare is the restaurant that can be in business for 30 years, especially in "trendy" LA, that keeps up standards and just has that cosy, old faithful feel to it. Ever more rare is the one that manages to stay profitable, with a loyal, critical mass audience night after night.
Peppone, Gianni Paoletti.
Simply wonderful, possibly the best I've ever tasted.
The seafood was both bountiful, and perfectly cooked.
The sauce complements, does not overpower nor is overpowered by, the main ingredients.
The linguini was perfect, al dente.
Pricey, yes ($29) but one of those rare treats where the high price is worth every penny.
Service was efficient, attentive, and friendly. (some might feel a little too familiar, but others like that)
I first went there in the early 1980's - funny story - was tooling around town in the then fresh and innovative first generation BMW 733 (I'm still a big 7 series fan, but can't find a better looking, to my taste, and nice driving model than the previous generation 740iL...)
Had just left a night club (Chez Moi? World? am I dating myself?) and at a stop light, happened to lock eyes with a beautiful middle eastern lady driver in a SAAB (?) next to me.
The street was deserted (it was 11p) and our cars flirted along Wilshire Blvd.
Finally, at the next red light, she rolled down her window (!?!) and of course, being a gentleman, I had to roll mine down too.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to see an old friend, owns a great restaurant, wanna come along?"
She was as graceful as she was beautiful. We parked outside the restaurant, and as she walked in, she took control of the place.
"Gianni!" Air kisses...funny how some can pull it off so naturally, so effortlessly, without a hint of pretension.
I've been back 3, 4 times in the intervening years; always a real pleasure, and always comfortably reliable without being boring or staid.