The Eats...

That's Italian!

Le Vecchia Cucina

I really cannot say enough good things about Le Vecchia. We love this place despite the lack of parking. Park in a public lot and walk, that's my solution. Le Vecchia has been open for more than 20 years and remains a true neighborhood gem. Owners Mark and Anthony Mollica have run the restaurant since 2006. Chef Mark's Sicilian cooking is outstanding.  It should be; he uses his mother and grandmother's recipies! As soon as you open the door your senses will be on Italian overload with the smell of garlic and pizza, and the sight of tons of hip people. This place is crowded, and rightfully so. Make a reservation because they do honor them. Ask for a window table as those are the best in the house. Tables are very close together so you will get to know your neighbors. Our server, Matt made excellent recommendations and every dish was exciting and tasty. Le Vecchia offers about 15 wines by the glass ($8-$17). There are some really good Italian wines so be sure to ask your server to recommend one. Dive into the garlic olive oil dip sitting on your table but be forewarned; it's addicting. Garlic lovers will go ape for this stuff!  Fresh bread is served warm and perfect for dipping. We started with the Chicken and Vegetable soup ($7). Fresh veggies and chicken served in a flavorful broth made this dish delicious.  We also tried the Insalata de Cueno ($14), a wedge of iceberg, applewood smoked bacon, pear tomatoes, hard boiled egg, and Maytag blue cheese all tossed in in a blue cheese dressing. Salads are big enough to split. Pasta dishes range from Spaghetti Aglio E Olio ($12) with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, and crushed red pepper chili flakes to Linguine Pescatore ($22) which is Linguine tossed with manila clams, black Mediterranean mussels, squid, diced fresh fish, and a jumbo prawn in marinara sauce. Pizzas are crisp and light and range from $13-$15. Try the Tevere with mozzarella cheese, spicy chicken breast, baked onions, roasted peppers, and fresh tomatoes. Flavors will explode in your mouth! The Salmon al Forno ($23), broiled sustainable salmon topped with baby mixed greenss and black olives tossed in olive oil and basalmic vinegar is perfectly cooked and moist. Entrees range from $19-$29. For dessert Molten Chocolate Cake ($8) is the winner. A perfect portion of chocolate cake encases a molten chocolate filling that oozes out at the first bite. Fresh whipped cream is served on the side. This is Italian at it's best! Le Vecchia Cucina 2654 Main Street Santa Monica (310) 399-7979.

 

Recommended Dishes: Pizzas, Linguine Pescatore, Filet, Salmon al Forno, Insalata de Cueno, Molten Chocolate Cake. 

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