Peppone: Still The One…

Ristorante Peppone
Ristorante Peppone

Memories light the corners of my mind…

I almost broke into song the other night.

After almost two decades of living without Peppone, the legendary Italian restaurant that has been serving incredible food since 1974, I revisited my absolute favorite restaurant in Los Angeles.

Peppone Entrance
Peppone Entrance

In the 80’s and 90’s, I walked through the doorway and dined there almost every Friday night with the other regulars including, Tom Selleck, Mo Ostin, who was then President of Warner Brothers Records, OJ Simpson, Marcus Allen, to name a few.

It was a very popular place to eat great food and not be bothered or gawked at…not that anyone was stalking my hungry posse.

I sat with Angel who knew my order by heart, the charming Kris at the hostess stand, Rudy who mixed a mean martini, Sal whipping up greatness in the kitchen with the godfather of the joint, chef and owner, Gianni Paoletti.

We moved to San Francisco in the 90’s and always dined at Peppone when we visited LA.

The other night we entered Peppone and literally nothing had changed.

Peppone Interior
Peppone Interior

The red leather banquettes were still standing. Tiffany lamps illuminated the small, cozy room. Bottles of wine surrounded the banquettes.

I remember on a dare, someone challenged me to take a bottle of expensive wine. I foolishly rose to the occasion and thought I had escaped unnoticed.

A decade later I was informed that I was the only person to have committed that particular crime and had not been banned forever from Peppone.

The restaurant was also the site of a memorable meal after the Huey Lewis and the News day long Rolling Stone interview.

We wrapped up the long day. Last minute, I called Peppone on a Friday night to see if they could squeeze us in.

They pulled together a small table just inside the front door entrance.

It was Huey, Chris Connelly and me.

The threesome was having a fabulous time and Chris asked Huey who he would liked to be if could trade identities for an evening.

Huey rose up and sang his response, belting out,  “My Way.”

A moment later, a man approached Huey from behind, tapping him on the shoulder saying, “Kid, that was pretty good, but I still sing it better.”

Yep, it was Frank Sinatra.

Peppone catered our daughter’s first birthday party because the first is always about the adults.

The large gathering left entertained and replete. No PB&J, baby carrots and carrot cake for Courtny’s first.

Peppone was the one place my parents always wanted to go to when they visited. Dad ordered the thick cut veal chop and Queen E. dined on chicken cacciatore and Caesar salad.

During our recent visit, one of the old guard waiters remembered me and we caught up on everyone.

The martinis are still huge, ice cold and delicious ($18). The wine list is extensive.

Dishes are always plated table side.

Caesar Prepared Tableside
Caesar Prepared Tableside

We commenced our walk down culinary memory lane with Peppone’s classic Caesar Salad. Always ice cold, crisp and just the perfect amount of dressing ($15).

Escargot
Escargot

We deviated and had the Escargot in the most divine seafood sauce ($21).

Veal Piccata
Veal Piccata

Courtny ordered the Veal Piccata with thin slices of succulent veal and a medley of al dente steamed vegetables ($38.50).

4 Mushroom Pasta
4 Mushroom Pasta

David had his usual, Four Mushroom Fettuccine. Each variety of mushroom had a unique flavor. The pasta was perfection ($25).

Pan Saute Lobster
Pan Sauteed Lobster

I was always addicted to an off the menu item, the Pan Sauteed Lobster with the most amazing sauce on the side served with linguine. The lobster was flavorful, cooked to perfection and the sauce is one you dream about. The price is steep, but, seriously, worth every penny ($69.50).

Satiated, we passed on dessert.

The flavors lingered all evening.

The party was over. It was time to depart.

I love the fact that the checks are still hand written in pencil.

Cutting edge, sleek interiors do not always guarantee a great tasting meal or fabulous service in a warm, inviting environment.

Peppone is authentic, old-school Italian cuisine.

Peppone is the real thing…no facelift needed.

Peppone
Peppone

Ristorante Peppone 11628 Barrington Court, Brentwood Village, California. Open Monday-Thursday 5:50-11pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30-11:30pm, Sunday 4:30-11pm. Street and valet parking. Reservations by phone only 213.476.7379.

2 Comments

  1. I LOVE PEPPONE !!! !!!

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