Everyday Italian at Cafe Med

When it comes to Italian food, I'm not easily impressed.  In fact, I usually just cook for myself.  I'm picky.  And a snob (there, I said it).  But I trust my dear friend Joel, who swears by Cafe Med on Sunset Plaza.  Incredibly, after more than a decade in LA, I'd never been until last Sunday.  I'm officially stupid.

As with a really great burger or soul-warming comfort food, sometimes simple is enough.  And the simple, gorgeously fresh calamaretti fritti con zucchine in salsa piccante (calamari with zucchini) was some of the best I've had.  In an air-light, almost tempura-like batter, the squid and zucchini were delicate and perfect — zero grease, not too much coating (which I loathe).  A hit.

Next — and I confess we are going old-school here — I ordered veal parmigiana.  I had to.  Veal or chicken parm is my personal test of true American-Italian classic cooking.  Cafe Med serves their veal parm with potatoes and veggies (which is unthinkable to me), but when I swapped this out with linguine and marinara, I was pleased.

The pasta was al dente, the sauce fresh, the veal tender and cheesy, the view from the patio made full use of the gorgeous California weather, and the company was exceptional (sadly, he's not on the menu.  It's a BYO-Joel kinda place).  My own veal parm is better and I've had it better back east, but this was still undeniably yummy.

Last but not least, the extra dirty Ketel One martini was delicious.  Good food, good drinks, lovely space, reasonable prices?  SOLD!  To the voluptuous brunette on the patio.  I will be back.  :)


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