AUTHENTIC ITALIAN FOOD AT OBICA IN CENTURY CITY
MILAN CHEF RUNS A TIGHT SHIP
By Michael Hepworth
Obica Italian Restaurant in Century City is a very authentic place although I believe it prefers to be known more as a Mozzarella destination. Of course the famous cheese is an important part of the mix, but with chef Simone Santpietro running the show it is a lot more than just that. The Milan chef has been in America about six years I think, and he loves it here in Los Angeles, even though the restaurant itself and especially the kitchen is quite small by all accounts.
Since the place is located right in the shopping mall it is a perfect spot for a touch of pasta or whatever before or after shopping . Talking of pasta or more specifically risotto, go for the Risotto Gamberie Asparagi ($20), shrimp with asparagus and a lovely Prosecco Risotto that only chefs from Milan can come up. There are way too many other pasta dishes on the menu to mention here, but a few of them are also gluten free
Specialty cocktails are now becoming an important part of any restaurant’s resume these days, and at Obica they have seven to choose from including my favorite of the Ginger Basil Martini ($14) with vodka, St. Germain, ginger, basil, lemon and simple syrup. Another one that looks interesting is the Chocolate Martini with vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and Crème de Cacao. There are even Italian beers like Menabrea Brionda ($6) a lager beer or the Menabrea Ambrata which is more of an amber beer with a touch of bitterness. The Moretti ($5) is a Pilsner that goes perfectly with Italian food.
When it comes to the food all the Italian favorites are available here starting out with the tasting of the 3 Mozzarella di Bufala ($24) which are the Classica, Affumicata and of course Burraa. Coming from the plains of Campania, these farms milk their own cows which Produces a cheese that not only looks good like a virgins complexion, but also milky and distinctive. What is interesting about this place is that each day of the week, they feature a different Italian classic. Starting at Monday here are the daily features: Cannelloni Lasagnetta, Orechiete, Gnocchi, Ravioli, Risotto and on Sunday Taglierini. Out of those I tried the Risotto with Shrimp, light to the touch and a flavorful delight indeed. All the products here come from organic and local farmers and you can tell by the quality.
Also tried the Swordfish which is wild caught in the Pacific and served in small slices as opposed to a big slab and served with Cherry tomatoes, Capers, Black olives, fresh Oregano and Pane Carasau. Since I only tasted a small section of the expansive menu, I can have some more interesting Obica dishes on my next visit. Even though you cannot call the food here edgy or different, what they do have is very fresh, authentic and well prepared.
Address: 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Century City, CA 90067
Parking: Use Mall Parking