Talk about a diamond in the rough. Eatalian is sort of in the industrial part of Gardena and if you blink twice you might just miss it. Located on the corner of Broadway and 155th St., pulling up, the bullet proof vest that you left at home might just cross your mind (ok, so maybe a bit of an exaggeration) – but once you can get over the fact that it’s not in the most primo of spots you will enjoy a little taste of Italy. Their minimal approach to decor (whether on purpose or not, I don’t really know) allows you to just focus on the food and amazing service. Almost everything here is made in house and the freshness of the pastas jump off the plate.
The kitchen is in the center of the restaurant so no matter where you are seated you can view the happenings of the kitchen. The owner being from Italy himself, wanted to bring a bit of home to the states. He hopes to have fresh mozzarella also made in house by the end of the year. He shared what he believes is the tell all sign of good business. He teaches his servers to never ask if something taste good- his philosophy? If its good the customers will tell the severs. HA!-That’s exactly what I did when I asked to speak to him directly.
OH and did I mention they have a gelato bar? (Gelato made in house of course) This is my new favorite spot if I’m in the mood for Italian. It’s also a great place to meet up with friends because the place its self is a great topic of conversation. I’m all about eating healthy so when I decide to eat out and splurge a bit I’m also conscious of the calorie dense foods I put in my body- with that said, the portions were perfect so I didn’t leave feelings like I just ate enough calories for the next 4 days!
Angelo made my cappuccino.. I’m not a coffee snob but I do know when I’ve had GOOD coffee.. this was nothing less.
This is where they make their cheese.. and soon where they will be making mozzarella.
The gelato bar.. too many flavors to try.. I went with the pistachio.
This pizza is super thin.. I’m talking paper thin. You don’t feel guilty at all and it”s a perfect appetizer. We got the Speciale: tomato sauce, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil – it was simply refreshing. you can watch the guys make the dough and they cook this on a heated rock. It’s made to order so its simply the best… unfortunately it doesn’t hold up if you take it to go- it gets soggy, but I think if you re-heat it in the oven it might keep its crispiness.
Tortelli Verdi: spinach and ricotta ravioli with butter and sage
Lasagna: baked lasagna with meat sauce
Tagliatelle al Ragù: tagliatelle with meat sauce- this was the same meat sauce they used for the baked lasagna.. so take your pick.. these 2 tasted the same.
Linguine con Pesto: linguine with pesto sauce (This was my personal favorite)
After eating here I was reminded of growing up at home and making our own pizza. We were very poor and eating out was something I experienced only as an adult. Pizza was strictly a school lunch item treat or a friends birthday party lunch. Eating this pizza here took me back to those days where I would experiment with the Mediterranean breads we had at home (lavash and pita), trying to make my own pizza. After leaving Eatalian, the taste of the pizza was still lingering in my mind (or my inner fat kids stomach). So I revisited a child hood favorite with a healthy twist. You can click here for the recipe!