An LA-staple that lands on Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants list every year, Angelini Osteria is one of the city's most well-regarded Italian restaurants...which I have, admittedly, never been to (it's on my to-do list, ok?). In the meantime, however, I've been able to casually drop by their new, next-door, all-day eatery, Angelini Alimentari. The Italian espresso bar, gelateria, and sandwich shop offers a little something for everyone, from those who want to drop in for a latte to others (like ourselves) sticking around for a full lunch. It's the perfect place to pop in for a quick and delicious bite on a workday, and don't forget to grab some gelato on your way out!
The space itself is beautiful (and totally my style), with lots of carrera marble, white walls, and blush pink accents. A long marble bar wraps around the center of the room, with seats looking into an open kitchen and a bit of extra seating at bars against the windows. Italian market products line the shelves, and juicy pastries are elegantly displayed in the front.
They offer a nice array of tasty espresso drinks, all made with Italian flair. I had a lovely Iced Latte, which was giant but really tasty.
The menu features a handful of egg-driven breakfast items, plenty of Paninos and Piatti, and a few salads and little bites as well. We started with a classic Caprese salad, which was fresh and lovely. The tomatoes were crisp and sweet, the acid offset by the creamy mozzarella. Just the right amount of seasoning and pesto oil finished it off.
Deciding to add on something a bit more indulgent, we also ordered the Arancini. The fried risotto balls were surprisingly light; perfectly crispy on the outside and melty on the inside, they were like cheesy puffs of air that melted in our mouths. An excellent little side dish to your daily lunch salad.
To finally fill us up, we ordered the Il Bambino panino. On simple white toast, the melted ham & cheese sandwich actually resembled more of a meaty grilled cheese than a panini, like an elevated, Italian take on a classic bite from childhood. It was nonetheless really tasty, and the medium-sized portion kept the dish from feeling overly heavy. Did we mention it's a very reasonable $9?
To finish off, we had to order some gelato on a pressed brioche bun. And this was just insane. The cold Salted Caramel Gelato added a creamy contrast to the hot, toasty, buttery brioche bun, while the salt of the ice cream balanced out the sweet beautifully. I would order this everytime.
Overall, our lunch at Angelini Alimentari was wonderful. Casual, hearty, but not overly heavy or indulgent-- pretty much everything you could ever want in an easy, quick Italian lunch. It's the perfect place to pop into on a workday and have a quiet moment alone, or a fun place to go with a friend or date for authentic food in a cool environment.