Best In Show
This neighbourhood of converted warehouses in downtown Los Angeles is a fitting setting for the no-frills, rustic Italian eatery that is Bestia, last home of the 2012 pop-up dinner series Test Kitchen and now permanent station for Chef Ori Menashe (previously of Angelini Osteria and La Terza).
From the outside, where the restaurant name is printed on a wall of corrugated metal, to the interiors featuring brick walls, copper-pendant lights and glass shades, Bestia boasts an industrial canteen vibe that perfectly prepares the palate for the fuss-free but thoroughly delicious fare.
To start, the list of antipastis includes house-cured meats and headcheese, alongside roasted marrow bone with porcini breadcrumbs, or beef heart tartare with fresno chilli for the more adventurous.
Classic pizzas (Margherita, Romana, Blanca) and pastas (Agnolotti with braised beef cheeks, Cavatelli alla Norcina with house-made pork sausage and black truffle) round out the menu, with a whole Orata, Cassoela Milanese (with braised pork and veal ribs), and grilled half hen on offer too.
Desserts like chestnut doughnuts and bittersweet chocolate budino are from Menashe’s wife and co-owner, pastry chef Genavieve Geris. As for drinks, the mostly-bitter craft cocktails are by seasoned bartender Julian Cox, while the wine program by Maxwell Leer features a range of bottles sourced from the Dalmation Coast to Slovenia. When it comes to Italian in LA, Bestia does indeed do it best!