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Franco on Melrose

6919 Melrose Ave. (N. Sycamore St.) Send to Phone
323-934-3390 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Order Now! | Menu
Genuine Italian cuisine in a traditional trattoria on Melrose Avenue.

Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat.

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Franco on Melrose, Los Angeles, CA

Franco on Melrose Restaurant Review

: A native of Caracas, Venezuela, chef Franco de Dominicis developed a passion for cooking at the age of three. Returning to his family’s home country of Italy when he was 11 years old, he learned how to cultivate the land in Paestum, the second largest agricultural valley in “The Boot.” After cooking school in Naples and training in France, Spain, Germany and London, he moved to Los Angeles, brought by the Drago brothers in the late 1990s. He cooked at the Jonathan Club and Wilshire Grand Hotel, and served as executive chef of the Biltmore hotel, then decided it was time to open his own restaurant. So, here we are now on Melrose Avenue. The ambiance at Franco on Melrose is more old-fashioned than hip. Guests enter the restaurant through the kitchen, which is unconventionally located in the front. The dining room setting feels like a garden garnished with a vine growing along a wall, white fairy lights and tables dressed with white linens. The menu is as classic as the atmosphere; however, don’t expect to find any pizza. Start with the burrata caprese: generous chunks of burrata resting on thick slices of tomatoes, enhanced by roasted pepper paste and Genovese pesto. You may be tempted to order a second helping. Continue with calamari fritti; beef carpaccio; grilled octopus mixed with crunchy potatoes and pickled Calabrian peppers in a lemon parsley vinaigrette; the roasted pears and endive salad sprinkled with caramelized walnuts and gorgonzola; and, when in season, the zucchini blossom stuffed with herb ricotta set on a rustic basil tomato sauce. There’s a long list of pastas that are all house made and cooked “al dente.” (Gluten-free penne and spaghetti are also available.) Vegetarians will appreciate the tasty vegetable lasagna. The only risotto on the menu is a “Risotto Nero,” dyed black with squid ink and dotted with calamari and rock shrimp. Favor the Mediterranean branzino over the osso buco. As a nod to his birthplace, chef Franco offers a flourless chocolate cake made with dark chocolate from Venezuela, served with berries and pistachio gelato. Other sweet offerings include tiramisu, panna cotta, gelati and sorbetti, and a weekly dessert. As you might expect, the wines are mainly from Italy. De Dominicis must have assimilated the American drinking culture pretty well as he also offers beers from various countries.
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