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9077 Santa Monica Blvd. (N. Doheny Dr.) Send to Phone
Italian small plates and larger plates in a vibrant and bi-level space.
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Dining room at THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Vetro, West Hollywood, CA


: Sam Nazarian’s sbe hospitality group, which includes Katsuya, The Bazaar, Cleo, The Abbey, and Gladstone’s, have made Mercato di Vetro their first venture in Italian cuisine. In order to succeed on West Hollywood’s popular Santa Monica Boulevard, they had to make the bi-level space vibrant and exciting, and they have, while creating different ambiences on each floor. Both have bars, and the ground floor, which is noisier, has an open kitchen where you can see the pizzas being made. The décor is quite modern and eclectic, with big touches of red; we like the tiles downstairs, reminiscent of a French brasserie. Danny Elmaleh, sbe executive chef, is half Japanese and half Moroccan, and he had to put his creativity to task to conceive an original menu. The result? Small plates of antipasti like crostini composed with kale, ricotta, pine nuts and currants, or tomato, pesto, ricotta and basil; hen of the woods mushrooms with aïoli and Parmesan; or (somewhat flavorless) burrata with roasted grapes. Here’s a tip: if you order the bone marrow, spread your bread with the accompanying oxtail marmalade first. There is a “raw” section with oysters seasoned with lime chili paste and cilantro, beef carpaccio (of course) and tuna tartare. After our third meal, we found the pizzas much improved. We liked the versions with sausage and egg, pepper relish, scallions and Fresno chilies, and eggplant with tomato, Parmesan and oregano. If you’re in the mood for fish, try the grilled branzino with curried cauliflower, yogurt and cilantro. We recommend the quail with an espresso rub, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts, too. Also available in the meat department are hanger steak, a pork osso buco or meatballs. And since we are in an Italian restaurant, let’s not forget the pastas: eleven choices, reasonably priced from $12 to $17. Desserts change daily, and it is a good thing that there is no printed menu as we feel they still need a little work. Ask for coffee and enjoy its unique delivery to the table. Wines are approachable, but in this type of restaurant we prefer hand-crafted cocktails. Service is very friendly.

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