Most Likely the Best Pasta Ever | Nerano Beverly Hills, CA

By Sophie Gayot

Nerano Beverly Hills, an Italian delight

Beverly Hills, CA, March 2023

Nerano is part of GAYOT’s 2023 Restaurant Awards, Memorable Dinners of 2023.

• GAYOT’s Rating14/20
• Cuisine: Italian
• Open: Lunch Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Dinner Sun.-Thurs. 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Daily Happy Hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at the bar.
• Nerano is on GAYOT’s:
Best Los Angeles Italian Restaurants
Best Los Angeles Wine Lists
Best Los Angeles Craft Cocktail Bars
– Best Los Angeles Restaurants for Business Dining
Best Beverly Hills Outdoor Dining Restaurants
Best Takeout Restaurants in Beverly Hills

Nerano | 310-405-0155 | View Website
View Map: 9960 S. Santa Monica Blvd. (Wilshire Blvd.) Beverly Hills, CA 90212

A Family Affair

Nerano is a work of love: love of the Amalfi coast by owners Andy Brandon-Gordon and Carlo Brandon-Gordon, love of cooking by executive chef Michele Lisi, love of wines, love of hosting, and certainly love of good food.

Located at the very beginning of “Little” Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills coming from Century City or at the end of it if you are driving west from the famous city, Nerano should be considered a hidden gem. You journey there because you are in-the-know. It is almost like a club for the happy few — and, actually, there is one on the second floor called BG and serving Italian-American fare.

Andy has had a few lessons from his parents: they are none the less than the proud owners of Toscana, which opened in Brentwood in 1989. If it helps, it can also be a challenge to rise above; especially that both Andy and Carlo have a day job. They rely on a great team of professionals, starting at the door, to be continued at the bar, the dining room, the wine cellar and, of course, in la cucina.

The Cuisine of Chef Michele Lisi

Since the opening of the restaurant in 2016, chef Michele Lisi has been at the helm of the kitchen. He came straight from Italy. If I was not convinced by his cuisine that year, just like good wine, over the course of time I have seen Lisi evolve with more precise execution resulting in a better and better experience every time I sit at one of the tables still bearing now-rare white tablecloths (please, Andy and Carlo, keep them). There is nothing fancy about the décor, just brick walls, so when heading to Nerano it is really to experience Lisi’s Italian creations, Bar Director Laird Truex’s craft cocktails, and the wines curated by Wine Director David Gary.

The menu features the “regular” Italian sections: antipasti, pizza, paste, secondi and dolci. The complication of Lisi’s cuisine is the number of ingredients that he uses in every dish and that have to complement each other. Lisi has no problem achieving this. Try the yellowtail crudo served with crispy artichokes, yuzu lemon, olive oil, red mullet bottarga and chives; or the castelfranco and endive salad, caramelized pistachios, pomegranate, and white balsamic apple dressing topped with shaved Parmesan. Both the branzino and the prime filet mignon were cooked the way they should. But, yes, there is a “but,” the Francobolli alle cime di rapa e vongole, described as francobolli pasta, rapini, manila clams, toasted breadcrumbs, as you have read at the beginning of this article, is most likely the best pasta I ever had (and so for my guest at my table). Why? Because the Francobolli pasta stuffed with broccoli rabe is in perfect harmony with the flavors and size of the manila clams. The rapini add another taste, while the breadcrumbs give a kick with their crunchiness. This dish has to be a staple and should remain on the menu forever. I know I will be dreaming of it in the near future and cannot wait to go back to share it with the people I love…

Desserts, The Signature One & The Wines

End your dinner with brio by choosing Nerano’s signature dessert: the Nocciolino, a Guanaja dark chocolate mousse, crunchy hazelnut, gelato gianduja finished with torched Italian meringue. Make sure to plunge your spoon all the way down.

The wine list, which is sixteen pages, focuses on Italian wines starting at $55 for a bottle of Poggio delle Baccanti, Gragnano DOC 2020, to a Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto Merlot Toscana IGT 1998 priced at $2,100. The break-the-bank one is a 2015 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée Saint-Vivant Grand Cru labelled at $4,450. Let’s not forget Napa Valley with a 2018 Screaming Eagle ($3,500) and a vertical of Harlan Estate (2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018).