Gary and I were invited by our brother Dino, his wife Grace and his two boys to dinner at Osteria La Buca. None of us have ever been there before. It was quite busy and though we were too early for our reservation, they were able to accommodate us.
For starters, we ordered Crispy Octopus with fennel, pistachio, avocado, and basil. Lewis, my 8 yr. old nephew was the only who refused to take a bite of the octopus which we didn't mind so there was more to share with everyone. Dino ordered a "The Classic" Pizza with prosciutto. It was so delicious that Grace thought we might need another pizza and everyone unanimously agreed. This time we got the Guanciale with mozzarella, tomato, chili, rosemary, and olives. That too vanished quickly.
For entrées, Dino ordered the Spaghetti Cacio Pepe; black pepper and aged pecorino. I was afraid to order that since I have had very good ones and I didn't want to be disappointed. Grace had the Bucatini Carbonara with pancetta, poached egg, and black pepper. She shared her pasta with Lewis. Luigi had the Short Rib Ravioli with pecorino, black pepper, and vincotto. It looked delicious.
Gary and I shared an order of Pappardelle Bolognese and Bucatini Carbonara. Both were delightful and aldente of course. There were no leftovers. This family knows how to eat...with gusto!
Desserts were to be shared. We ordered one Budino which was not bad at all. The other dessert took the cake; Chocolate Zabaglione which is comparable to a chocolate mousse with pieces of crunchy chocolate biscotti served with the housemade fiore di latte (flower of milk) ice cream. Our very friendly and capable server, Janell informed us that they splash it a bit with olive oil on top. I've never had anything like it. It was interesting to have the different textures in this decadent mousse.
We left the restaurant very happy and pleasantly full and plump! Osteria La Buca is located at 5210 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles, California.