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Iconic Italian American

October 31, 2013
Rao's

Even without the merit of its food, the mere fact that Rao’s is considered the single most difficult reservation to score in Manhattan (be it in East Harlem, Manhattan) meant its arrival in Hollywood was received with much fanfare, and a celebrity-studded opening night in September. Luckily then, that the food is well deserving of the hype – they say practice makes perfect, and the family-owned original has been dishing up its celebrated Italian American favourites, exactly the same way, for 117 years.

Rao’s Los Angeles is the restaurant’s third branch, following the 2006 opening of an outpost in Las Vegas’ Caesar Palace, from where James Beard-nominated chef Nicole Grimes comes, by now well familiar with preparing the house signature red pepper salad and famously huge-but-tender meatballs. You’ll find the complete list of classics – lemon chicken, veal parmigiana, osso bucco – and it’s all served up in the 95-seat in and outdoor space, which is outfitted as per tradition with a red façade, dark wooden booths, white linens, Christmas wreaths year round, and of course, signed celebrity photographs (Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen are regulars). For now it’s still possible to get a reservation even without being on first name basis with notorious co-owner Frank Pellegrino, but with a reputation like theirs in a town like Hollywood – it won’t be for too long.

1006 Seward St / Hollywood / +1 323 962 7267 / dinner Mon-Fri / raosla.com
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