Valentino brings the spirit of Italian dining to LA with exceptional cuisine, an award-winning wine cellar and gracious hospitality. Valentino ... More
Valentino - LA
Valentino brings the spirit of Italian dining to LA with exceptional cuisine, an award-winning wine cellar and gracious hospitality. Valentino presents modern Italian fare that utilizes fresh ingredients flown in from Italy and the best, seasonal food from across the US. The chef's tasting menu which has several different choices, and numerous a la carte choices allow the restaurant to showcase the countless pleasures of Italian cooking by highlighting themes: classic Italian dishes, regional cuisine from different provinces, served in a very comfortable setting. Valentino is dedicated to providing a true taste of Italy and always strives to capture the charm, warmth, and feeling of the Italian kitchen. BR New! Visit vin bar at Valentino. Drop in anytime to taste new dishes created daily. Valentino is the proud recipient of the Wine Spectator Grand Award since 1981 for our exceptional wine list.
We were seated immediately, the atmosphere is airy and modern with a sexy flair. Our table was next to the window and was great for people watching and taking in the scene. The restaurant was busy and not once did we feel rushed or pressured to place our order
After living in the area for 20 years and reading glowing reviews of Valentino, I was anxious to try it. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment. My friend and I had reservations, and we dressed up to enjoy a relaxing, elegant evening. The minute we sat down, we were pushed to order our drinks. Then when the waiter opened the bottle of wine, he put the cork between his teeth-- yuck. My salad was swimming in a cloying honey dressing. The attitude of the wait staff made me feel like I was in a cheap diner with a line of people waiting to get in the door. Meanwhile the restaurant was half empty. Now I know why. For my time and money, I prefer Il Forno, where I'm treated like a guest even when there's a crowd. I'm never rushed or made to feel like an idiot for wanting to take my time and match the wine to my food selection.
Overall, the experience was disappointing. This was a Christmas Eve intimate dinner. Husband, wife, married 23 years. A native of Santa Monica, so we grew up with the reputation of Valentino’s as a local attraction.
I am not a “name,” just a person who works for a living. I telephoned for reservations a week before our dinner date. On arrival, my wife and I were ushered to a large room reminiscent of a military chow hall. The room was large, grey, overcrowded with small two person tables set close enough so that one could eat off the other’s plate if you are so inclined.
I paid $138, plus a $25 tip for: One Jack Daniel’s on the rocks, a third of a glass of house Merlot. Two salads (with a tasty vignette dressing), some kind of white fish platter topped with artichoke hearts (the wife moved those to the side) and for me, a New York steak, carved, paired with over cooked, sliced, boil potatoes (no vegetables) and a frail Bourguignon sauce that was suppose to pass for gravy that needed salt and was served cold!
Overall, I have had a better meal at “Pink’s” near Melrose, plus being spared “attitude.” The wait staff never said, “Thank You” nor “Good night” upon leaving. The maître d’ didn’t even look up. That gives you that feel warm, welcome “Merry Christmas” feeling.
The valet parking carried on the unresponsiveness to no name patrons. While there were bountiful attendances, not one opened the door for my wife – granted that is an old-fashioned practice in manners and consideration and deference as a welcomed customer.
If you are “worth” being treated this way, then Valentino’s will provide the experience. Tonight, we’ll dine at Pinks.
Robert Clark of Santa Monica, CA
Valentino offers premier food, prepared in interesting and artful ways, in a beautiful atmosphere. Everything about Valentino is unique, including its incomparable wine list and its knowledgeable staff. Valentino is wonderful for celebrating special occasions, as well as for a romantic dinner for two. I would highly recommend Valentino to any and everyone.
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