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Gusto

8022 W. Third St. (Crescent Heights Blvd.) Send to Phone
323-951-9800 | Order Now!
Chef Vic Casanova offers approachable Italian fare at this larger iteration of his trattoria.


 
Cuisine
Open
Open Sun.-Thurs. 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 6 p.m.-11 p.m.
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Gusto, Los Angeles, CA

Gusto Restaurant Review

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About chef Vic Casanova : We've been following chef Vic Casanova since he landed in L.A. at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, where he ushered in a more approachable dining experience at the property as the opening chef of Culina Modern Italian. He went on to open Gusto, a tiny trattoria on Third Street, and Pistola, the nearby Italian steakhouse whose larger space Gusto has since taken over. (Local diners might also remember it as the former home of a.o.c.)

About the décor: The layout is the same, but the décor has a new look. Upon entering the low-lit, high-ceilinged space, there is a marble bar on the right and wood banquettes (hard to sit on) and tables to the left. (The dark wood tables are covered with brown paper that we could do without.) Ascend the stairs to discover a mezzanine with more seating and a patio with a retractable roof.

Likes: Approachable, straightforward Italian food.
Dislikes: We were somewhat disappointed, compared with what we know Casanova is capable of.

About the food: At Gusto 2.0, Casanova continues to offer a menu of simple Italian fare, organized in the traditional manner: small plates, pizzas, pastas and larger plates. To start, bypass the eggplant "Parmigiana" in favor of the beef tartare (a little too finely cut for our taste) or charred octopus with a kick of harissa, set atop a foundation of cannellini beans. The wood-fired pizzas (six variations) sport crispy, thin crusts, while the pastas are all made in house by hand. You'll find Casanova's bucatini carbonara alongside linguine with blue crab, sea urchin, zucchini and fresno chili in heavy sauce. Larger plates might range from a dull roasted half chicken with mushrooms and whipped potatoes to salmon nicely presented with fennel, celery, green apple, basil and lemon. As for dessert, you can opt for the crunchy crust of the coconut gelato pie, or the "affogato," vanilla bean gelato "drenched in espresso."

About the wine and drinks: An Italian-centric wine list lends easily to suitable pairings. For the first time, Gusto now offers a full bar program, overseen by mixologist Devon Espinosa.
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