La Vecchia

La Vecchia
2654 Main Street
Santa Monica, 90405

Type: Restaurant
Category: Lunch, Dinner
Company: Traditional eaters
Tip: Don't skip the bread, and angle for the table next to the window

La Vecchia is old italian, meaning that it has been on Main street for over ten years and is just as busy or busier than any of the younger and neighboring bars, tapa houses, and pizza joints. Aside from delving in to a robust and tasty menu, La Vecchia has what most italian restaurants do not - a full bar. And a bar menu. Which means that you can get your vodka soda, gin and tonic, or apres-meal night cap straight up or with a twist. Now isn't that grand.

I have yet to go wrong at La Vecchia, but if you want spot-on here are a few gold-glowing winners:

Lamb shank and mashed potato: tender, gigantic.
1. Caprese: Layered multi-colored tomatoes nestled next to a scoop of burrata, leaves of basil, and a tangle of prosciutto, a final touch of drizzled balsamic and olive oil makes this a winning appetizer to share

2. The complimentary bread basket and dish of basil, garlic, and olive oil. Best make sure your friends eat it too; it's a pungent and seconds-worthy

3. Rigatoni Bolognese

4. Rotolo Alla Brace: Chicken wrapped around eggplant, zucchini, and mozzarella (I think this is my favorite!)

5. Ossobuco Alla Romana: Braised and messy, it's melty enough to eat with a spoon

6. Molten chocolate cake with ice cream: Can't go wrong here

I've also been told the pizza is divine and the steak is one of the best in the city. Mangia!

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