My husband’s cousin who lives in Central California calls us and says, “Surprise! We are in Los Angeles. Can we come downtown for dinner?” A few minutes later she and her family show up wanting Italian food. We’re excited because this gave us an excuse to go check out Colori Kitchen on 8th and Olive. For years we have heard people rave about this place, but the one time we went it was packed and the wait was over an hour. Well, tonight we are finally trying it out. It’s 8:30pm and while we were walking to the restaurant my husband looks at the Colori website to make sure the restaurant is still open. Yes, it says they close at 9pm. Just to be safe, he calls to confirm that a party of 6 would be there in 5 minutes. Get this… someone at the restaurant says we can only get take-out. They are no longer seating guests. What? Why does the website say it closes at 9pm? Well, I guess we will try Colori Kitchen another day. Time to make new plans. We quickly redirect our group toward Casa Nostra Ristorante and Bar on 9th street just west of Figueroa. Although we were only 3 minutes away, we check and confirm they are still open and welcoming guests. Casa Nostra is in an odd location, tucked away just west of The Pantry. When we arrive we are welcomed by Alessandro with his beautiful Italian accent. The restaurant has three seating options: the main dining room, the bar and an outside courtyard. We are seated at a large table in the dining room and given menus. If you love Italian food you might have a hard time deciding what to order.
We start with the Parmigiana ($8), an appetizer size portion of eggplant stuffed with fresh mozzarella. It was tasty, but small, only about 4 bites.
We order a few salads. The Insalata Di Kale ($10) is a bed of kale topped with apples, dried cranberries, toasted almonds and an orange vinaigrette. Don’t order this salad unless you love kale. If you do, you will love it. The Cesare Con Pollo ($16) is a traditional Caesar salad topped with grilled marinated chicken breast and shaved Parmesan cheese.
As for pasta dishes, the Lasagna Alla Bolognese ($17) is their homemade lasagna with meat sauce. This is very traditional Italian lasagna. The Farfalle Alla Veneziana ($17) is pasta with diced chicken breast and sun-dried tomatoes in a pink sauce. This entrée was our favorite dish of the night.
We finish up with the cannoli plate ($7) and the chocolate soufflé ($7). Both of these items are delicious, a great ending to a great meal.
I was extremely disappointed that we were turned away from Colori Kitchen, but it worked out great. Casa Nostra Ristorante has great food and friendly service. If you are looking for Italian food in DTLA you should check this place out.
Casa Nostra 825 W. 9th Street (west of Figueroa) 213.362.3311