Marino Ristorante Marino Ristorante

Marino Ristorante

6001 Melrose Ave. (Wilcox Ave.)
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Cuisine: Italian
Modernized classic Italian cuisine from a prominent family of L.A. restaurateurs.
Openings: Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat.


Marino Ristorante, Los Angeles, CA

Marino Ristorante Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant and the team: When you are rooted in a family of chefs and restaurateurs, does that help or not when you are yourself a chef/owner? (Especially when your father created a legendary restaurant where the regulars were celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis, to name just a few.) The least you can say is it is a challenge. One that has been accepted by both Cirio Marino’s sons after his departure: Mario is in the dining room and Sal in the kitchen. Through the years we have followed the brothers in different ventures in Los Angeles (Il Grano and La Bottega Marino trattorias), but now they are home on Melrose Avenue where it all started back in the ‘50s. They had to infuse a breath of modernity into a space and plates that had more of an old-school feeling --- we are in the 21st century and the LA restaurant scene has changed drastically. Outdoor dining is available.

Likes: Traditional atmosphere for peaceful culinary moments around the table. Professional service under the direction of Mario.
Dislikes: The long wine list will requires some help if you are not a wine expert. (But after all, isn’t this rather a good thing?)

About the food & wine: Sal uses ingredients that he or his team chooses daily to ensure freshness and quality. We know him, he is very picky. Well, he is right because it makes his culinary endeavor and adventure better to the pleasure of our palate. The evening we went, we enjoyed Japanese yellowtail crudo with caviar and blue fin tuna crudo sprinkled with fennel oil powder. The abalone was presented in its shell, paired with chanterelles and shaved truffles --- a daring dish to do as the abalone is a difficult product to work with as it needs to be top quality. The Santa Barbara prawn was barely cooked, just as it should be. A delicious English pea soup; kale salad with goat cheese and almonds; and black cod served with a basil-squash emulsion came to the table next. Then we got to taste some true Italian touches with the burrata and peas, chanterelle and spring onion pizza, gnocchi mare, homemade pasta stuffed with celery root, rabbit Bolognese and the black pepper cavatelli. The sweet ending was a citrus short cake and a triple chocolate dessert. The wine list is quite long, with, of course, a focus on Italy and Barolo and Chianti.

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