Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Mike Eats Greenpoint, Volume 8: L.A. Ristorante & Pizza

L.A. Ristorante & Pizza
887 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 383-7183

AFTER LATE BRUNCH and an afternoon spent watching Batman the Animated Series on DVD, Mint's hangover from Tuesday "2-for-1" night at Soft Spot was finally wearing off. That meant a hungry Mint with a grumpy stomach, which meant plain noodles were in order. At her suggestion, we ducked outside to see if L.A.'s was open and serving up its Italian menu on Independence Day.

L.A.'s is your standard Italian pizzeria joint--the pies are good (and on Mondays and Tuesday a large one will cost you only $10, if you pick it up), and the rest of the food is alright; most all of the pasta costs between $6-8. Normally, I would say the restaurant
is wholly unremarkable in its decor. But tonight, for the first time, the waitress offered us a table in the back room. I thought to myself, L.A.'s has a back room?

What a remarkable back room it is--rich, dark wood paneling running up the walls and in the recessed panels of the ceiling, a large brick fireplace with stone mantle, and an original stained glass window perched high up in the wall. While the front of the restaurant might not suggest such a well-kept room at its rear, the weathered wooden facade out front started to make more sense. I had clearly overlooked some of L.A.'s authenticity. Had I overlooked its food too?

Nah, not really. Mint was content with her bowl of $6.50 ziti with marinara (sauce on the side), but I took the opposite course in ordering the $17 seafood fra diavolo (what can I say, I was curious). While Mint's marinara was exceedingly fresh, the seafood piled high atop my pasta was hardly. I'll admit the clams, mussels, and a duo of enormous prawns were tasty, but the overabundance of (my guess: formerly frozen) squid was overwhelming. Worth the $17.25 price tag? Not so much. Sitting in that beautiful space? Almost.

MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: Sure, probably pizza, possibly some pasta.

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