Canon Drive in Beverly Hills has become quite a dining scene, particularly at lunch. Since I am there every Saturday for a hair appointment, I have been watching the crowds at Il Pastaio for months. Literally, by 1:30 there are crowds milling on the sidewalk waiting for a table. They only take reservations for 11:30 or 12:00, which is what we did. There were 4 of us for lunch and we had a lovely table outside by the corner of Canon and Brighton Way.
We started with Arancini – breaded rice cones, filled with mozzarella cheese and peas. They were good, but not quite as good as Drago’s in Santa Monica. Also, Drago serves each diner an arancini as an amuse for free while Il Pastaio has it on the menu at a cost of $8.95. Although to be fair, there are 6 in an order.
I don’t have photos of the next 2 dishes.
Carpaccio di Bue – Beef carpaccio served with capers, shaved Parmesan cheese and mustard dressing – excellent
Cesare – Roamine lettuces, tossed with Caesar dressing, shaved Parmesan cheese and garlic croutons – I didn’t taste this dish, but everything was definitely eaten.
Tortelloni di Mascarpone – Homemade Tortelloni filled with Mascarpone cheese, sun dried tomato and a pink vodka sauce – our friend absolutely adored this dish.
My friend and husband ordered the lasagna. John finsihed all of his and then asked for some of my friends. They both defintely loved it.
Scoglio – Spaghetti with calamari, scallops, shrimps, mussels and clams in a light spicy tomato sauce – too often in this type of dish, the seafood is overcooked. Not the case at il Pastaio.
I can see why there are crowds at this restaurant. It is not cheap, but it is hearty food well-prepared and just fun.