Lomita, CA 90717
iL Chianti in Lomita, is actually the American leg of a small chain of Italian restaurants in the Tokyo area. It’s ambiance and style is a reason to go there alone, and the food rocks too. Walking in, you’ll see a big wine aquarium. It’s a glass box room filled with bottles. There’s a front room, a large classy counter, and separate rooms including an outdoor area with more seating. If you don’t have to wait, then you’re in luck. It fills up quickly for the non-reservation lunch hours, and I’d suggest making a reservation for dinner.
On my trip there for lunch, there’s a selection on the menu that’s basically a taste of everything, a “bento box,” that’s 10.50. In it was the pasta of the day, which was spicy tomato in what seemed like angel hair. The spice factor was mild, just to taste, and it’s a simple pleasure to eat. It’s not flashy, saucy, or overpowering – it’s just right. The salad dressing was too salty for my taste, but everything else was spot on. Also like Japanese bento boxes, there are small sides, this one had a pasta salad, a seafood and edamame salad, pickled daikon, and a piece of fried fish. But there’s more, you also get a soup and small dessert.
Also on the lunch menu is the pasta of the day and the sandwich of the day. Today’s sandwich was actually a taco-like baby squid sandwich. The menu isn’t too huge, and ordering is easy. In a nearly must do fashion, one of my posse ordered the classic, mentaiko pasta bringing another meaning to “when in Rome”.
Check out iL Chianti when you’re in Lomita. Remember to park across the street and to make reservations at night.