9.0
LA

Alimento

Perfect For: Date Night Dinner with the Parents Fine Dining
PHOTOS: Jakob Layman

Prior to around when Alimento opened, in 2014, Silver Lake was a different place. Sure, the coffee shops and unicycle stores and casting directors looking for Montessori preschools were already there, but when it came to high-profile restaurants like Alimento, the neighborhood was a desert. That’s no longer the case. Drive-worthy restaurants open in Silver Lake every week, and a place like Alimento - a seemingly nondescript Italian restaurant - could easily get lost in the shuffle. But it hasn’t. Instead, Silver Lake’s original destination restaurant has become one of the best restaurants in all of Los Angeles.

Somewhat hidden on that part of Silver Lake Blvd south of the reservoir, Alimento is by no means going to grab your attention from the street. If it wasn’t for the large “A” above the door, you might not even know it was there. And that’s part of its charm. Alimento is one of the higher-end restaurants on the Eastside, but it’s also not full of itself. The space is tiny and modern, with big windows looking out onto its sidewalk patio and no real other design theme to speak of. It basically just feels like a low-key neighborhood spot, but with a slightly higher price point, great wine, and some of the best Italian food you’ll eat in LA.

Jakob Layman

You could come to Alimento with a blindfold, be spun around five times, point at the menu, and still have one of the better meals of your year. You already know you’re here for pasta, but one other thing needs to be in your order: the chicken milanese. It might feel out of place amongst the more vegetable-heavy appetizers, but ignore your instincts. It’s big, messy, and the kind of sandwich you eat sitting on a curb after a long night out. And that’s a compliment. Then there’s the spicy fusili, the pork radiatori, and the tortellini in brodo. LA is full of excellent pasta these days, but Alimento’s is truly some of the best. Save room and get multiple plates of it on your table.

Alimento has figured out how to become a best-in-city restaurant: serve consistently fantastic food in a laid-back space every destination eater and neighborhood local wants to spend an evening in. After they tuck their Montessori preschoolers into bed, of course.

Food Rundown

Chicken Milanese Sandwich

Maybe you don’t always go to an upscale Italian restaurant with the expectation of eating a chicken sandwich, but you should at Alimento. Topped with prosciutto and peperoncini slaw, this thing is spicy, messy, and a gift to your soul.

Jakob Layman
Escolar Crudo

This is a good break between the chicken sandwich and the mounds of pastas you are about to shovel into your body. White fish topped with eggplant, fennel pollen, and almonds.

Chicken Liver Crostone

You can find this dish a lot around town, but you won’t find one much better than this.

Jakob Layman
Chopped Salad

At some point, you’re going to need vegetables. So order this, it’s very good.

Jakob Layman
Fusilli

If we had to pick a favorite pasta here, it would be the fusilli. The clams and smoked butter make it rich and hearty, and the serranos give it a needed kick. This is one of the best bowls of pasta in the city and we say that after serious scientific research (eating a lot of pasta).

Radiatori

This is definitely the heaviest of the pastas, and that is not a bad thing. Pork, kale, and fennel all mixed in with a rich red sauce that make this a must-order. Just eat it towards the end of your meal or risk asphyxiation.

Tortellini In Brodo

This is simple pasta at its absolute finest. Perfectly cooked, cheese-filled tortellini all sitting in broth bath. We only wish there was more of it.

Whole Grilled Orata

Admittedly not the easiest thing to eat on a date, but it’s fun, delicious, and you get to pick apart a fish in public.

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