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PARTY TIME AT BELLA IN HOLLYWOOD

By Michael Hepworth

Bella Restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard has only been open four weeks, but already it has become a real hot spot serving Italian food that is not just to cater to the tourists in the area. A visit there last Tuesday turned out to be a real hoot, with two separate groups of party animals coming in to the 72 seat restaurant to give the place incredible energy.  First some rich kid called the Prince of Singapore came in with his 20 person entourage, most of them happening to be scantily dressed young blonde babes, and then half an hour later Prince Kwame of Ghana turned up with a similar entourage to make it a pretty exciting night for a Tuesday. This is the kind of place you come to when you have had a bad day and want to let off a bit of steam and have some decent quality food and just watch some of the people tripping in and out.

Early in the evening the music playing was Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the Godfather Theme, but just an hour or so later 80’s progressive rock seemed to be the order of the day. Chef Angelo Traversa has been brought in from Allegria Restaurant in Malibu , where he prepared high end Italian food for the folks out there. Here in Hollywood he has been instructed to keep the food simple but creative. Most of his early experiences in the kitchen took place in Florence , including Al Pescatore, a famous seafood restaurant in Florence . He has been in Los Angeles for ten years and has opened restaurants in Newport Beach and Palos Verdes, but now he has a chance to shine in Hollywood .

His style of food can be loosely described as Sicilian with a touch of Tuscany, and what that means is classic Italian faire such as Veal Parmesan, Spaghetti and Meat Balls, Fried Calamari and Pasta. In fact there is a nice selection of pasta on offer all priced between $12-16, and no entrée here is priced above $23. Rather then specialize in a certain region of Italy , Angelo like so many chefs in Ls Angeles is using the all comprehensive style to please everybody. He is determined however to push the envelope out as much as the owners will let him, and throw in some of the more adventurous items that he has prepared in the past.

Start out with the Carpaccio Di Manzo (thin slices of marinated raw beef with balsamic dressing, shaved parmesan and arugula) which is thinly cut meat and a seamless way of getting your greens. The taste was all in the spices, and all of us on the table enjoyed this dish in particular, and another solid dish we tried as an appetizer was the Gnocchi Di Patate Con Pollo ( potato dumplings, grilled chicken and tomato sauce).  He also prepared a white fish dish that was not on the menu that was extremely good as well as a trio of items including a thick risotto with Arborio rice along with ravioli and porcini mushrooms that also hit the mark. Wine pairings suggested by the management and servers also indicate a restaurant that is determined to take the food seriously along with being a fun place. There is a bar area showing sports where you can also eat, but it does not intrude at all onto the restaurant area, that includes seven comfortable booths.

A word here about the waitresses. They were wearing these special outfits designed for them (I forgot the name of the designer), and they were real stylish, sexy without being garish. I wish that more restaurants would invest in proper outfits for their waitresses, and for this reason alone Bella deserves continued success.

Fact Sheet:

Bella- corner of Las Palmas/Hollywood Blvd.

Phone: :323.468.8815

 

Dinner for two w/wine $85

 

Open 11:30am-12.30am every day

 

Lunch served 11:30am-4.30pm

Dinner served 6pm-12.30am .

 

Valet parking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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