We were not expecting much. The reviews for this place are generally mediocre at best, plus it is very expensive. Although one of my foodie coworkers was recently there and he had nothing but good things to say about the place. I have to say, I am with my coworker on this one. We stopped by about an hour before our reservation and dropped off a special Brunello for them to decant. We then wandered off to Casa Del Mar for a great aperitif on some comfy leather chairs. Hangar One wasabi vodka bloody mary with ginger…ah but this is another review. Getting back to Capo…we were first impressed by the room. We had a nice corner table, very cozy. Our waitress was lovely and knowledgeable, not at all uppity like many of the reviews allude to. We supplemented our brunello ($25 corkage) with a half bottle of a 2002 Jadot Meursault.
Starters included a softshell crab (special for the evening) roasted in their famous oven. It was supplemented by a wagyu steak tartare and a vegetable burrata salad. Of the three, the veggies were most impressive. We really saw the love and care that went into choosing the perfect, seasonal vegetables from the farmers market, and then cooking them just so. If I could have vegetables like this everyday I would eat a lot less meat.
The tartare was just ok. The beautiful, delicate wagyu was overwhemed by too many capers. A shame. Softshell crab was very nice but unremarkable.
Next course was a rigatoni with a tomato-truffle bolognese sauce, their signature dish. This was stupendous. I usually do not associate truffles and tomato-based sauces, but this one blew us away. Again, the quality of the tomatoes, the meat, the perfectly cooked home-made pasta really came through.
Our main dish was a traditional bistecca – Steak Florentine. This was a HUGE porterhouse for 2. It was perfectly charred on the outside and perfectly rare on the inside. Really, really, great. We ordered a side of asparagus to accompany it, and they were the truly the best asparagus we have ever had, including the fancy white ones we recently had in europe.
For dessert we opted for a hazelnut and chocolate souffle. I love souffle. This made us both very happy inside. It was accompanied by a shared glass of Inniskillin Cab Franc – which they comped us for! (I had asked if it was a fresh bottle – I gather it wasn’t but I couldn’t tell from tasting it. Awesome. $55 value)
This was overall a great meal, and yes it was pricey but absolutely worth the money. All the people who complain about the cost just do not understand the quality of care that went into sourcing and obtaining the ingredients, as well as the flawless cooking technique.
1810 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
One thought on “Capo: This is much better than having to fly all the way to Italy”
I couldn’t agree more. Next to Bastide, this is my second favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. The quality of all the ingredients was extreme. One of my favorite dishes was the Burrata and salad accompaniment. There was a fresh beet, and cauliflower, mixed in with extremely fresh greens. I also thoroughly enjoyed the rigatoni with a tomato-truffle bolognese sauce. I could have licked the dish. It was that good. This meal was fresh and wholesome. I felt like I was back in Italy at a local restaurant eating and drinking the local delicacy. I can’t wait to return.