Happy New Year!  We decided to eat our last meal of 2015 at Vespaio, the new Italian restaurant in the ground level of the Emerson apartment building on Grand Avenue, next to The Broad museum.  We made 8:30pm reservations so we would have plenty of time to get to a midnight gathering just down the street.


We were greeted at the door and seated at a cozy window table that overlooked the courtyard between the Emerson and The Broad.   The main dining area was beautiful, reminiscent of a vintage cruise ship.  There was a bar at the front of the room with sofa and lounge seating.  For New Year’s Eve there was apparently a “special” New Year’s Eve menu, but the most noticeable difference from the menu posted on the restaurant’s website  was higher prices.


My husband started with a Booster Martini ($14).  It was a martini made with fresh mixed berries, vodka, freshly squeezed lemon and a splash of simple syrup.  He loved it… so much that he ordered a second one.  I started with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc ($11).  We started with a their freshly baked bread.  For $3 you get a loaf of ciabatta, whole wheat, brioche, pizza bread or focaccia.  We picked the brioche, and it was warm and delicious.  It was odd that it was served without butter.  However, the couple dining next to us received oil and balsamic vinegar.

My husband ordered the Baby Kale salad ($20) with beef heart tomatoes, avocado, gorgonzola topped with extra virgin olive oil.  We loved this fresh and healthy salad.  I started with the charred  Octopus ($22) served with fingerling potatoes, green beans and cherry tomatoes.  This dish was visually spectacular, but not the most tasty.  (If you want delicious charred octopus, go to Little Sister restaurant.  Little Sister’s charred octopus is amazing.)

Before we even finished our appetizers, our main courses were delivered to the table.  My husband ordered the Lobster Topini ($32) served in a light pink sauce.  This item is not on the regular menu, and it probably shouldn’t be.  There was barely any lobster in this dish.  It was quite disappointing.  I ordered the Pappardelle served with a Wild Boar Ragu ($29).  This was a perfect pasta dish.  Delicious!  Once again… a hit and a miss!

We really can’t decide on Vespaio.  We loved some of the dishes, but were disappointed in the others.  We felt very rushed, especially on a night when we should been encouraged to relax and enjoy the evening.  Have you dined at Vespaio yet?  Please let us know if we need to give the place another try.  Follow our DTLAexplorer on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or email us at

Vespaio 225 So. Grand Avenue (next to The Broad Museum) 213.221.7244


About DTLAexplorer

Come along as we explore all the Downtown Los Angeles has to offer!
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