2960 Beverly Glen Circle
(310) 475-7404 Fax: (310) 475-4436
Weekday hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Weekend hours: Noon to 10:30 p.m. 7 days
Credit cards: Visa, M/C, American Express
Reservations: "Highly suggested"
Average dinner cost (1 drink): $23
Drinks: Wine, beer, soft drinks
Special dishes: Baked Mozzarella (appetizer), Grilled Eggplant Caprese (antipasto), SautÃ©ed Medallions of veal w/eggplant parmigiana and pasta marinara, Cioppino (seafood over linguini in a red seafood broth), Penne Diane (jumbo shrimp), Chicken Picatta, pizzas.
Service: Well-timed attentiveness
Ambience and decor: Nice usage of a corner lot to create intimate atmosphere, fireplace included.
Table Notes: The thing that sets this family-owned Italian eatery apart from so many others is the creative assemblage of their dishes. When you can have veal and eggplant parmigiana combined, or a broccoli lemon salad, or jumbo shrimp with artichoke hearts (Penne Diane), you have an opportunity to realize numerous "what-ifs". Being big on eggplant, I especially appreciate how many variations Fabrocini's menu provides. Others who share my taste for this particular veggie will love the menu.
Judging by the wine I had, their list is exemplary. Here's where I discovered the best Syrah I've ever had: Blackstone (of California). Full of raspberry flavor notes with hearty varietal fruitiness and a perfect balance to the tannic astringency, this wine is so fine (and reasonable), I expect there will be a run on it. It's the perfect accompaniment to Fabrocini's tomato-based sauce.
While it may not be haute cuisine (with haute prices), Fabrocini's is a comfortable family restaurant with enough atmosphere to interest the dating crowd. The quality of the food is indicated by the high level of the ingredients. My thing is judging the meat, in particular, not just the sauces. My veal was tender, tightly grained, excellently prepared, marking the restaurant's good sources and kitchen. The red sauce is quite good, not going overboard on the salt (though it was a twinge heavy in the escarole-bean soup).
Fabrocini's is a family enterprise across three generations, run by owner Diane Fabrocini Frickel who, besides enlisting many in her family to help run the place, has a fine eye for wait staff as well. Many of the dishes are named after family members, such as Steak Emil, Grilled Eggplant Leona and Vinnie's special salad. And, you'll be quite impressed by the generosity of the portions.
Total experience: My little band of diners is still talking about it.
Location: Near the top of Beverly Glen; it is an out-of-the-way location (what isn't in the 455 square miles of Los Angeles?) but a prize destination if you are willing to take a little drive. It's in a corner mini-mall with shops and at least one other restaurant, utterly convenient in terms of parking accommodations.
Other locations: 18608 Ventura Boulevard Tarzana, 91356; (818) 342-4490
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