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Pecorino Restaurant

L.A.’s Best Italian on the Westside

PecorinoEveryone wants a slice of Italian home cooking without having to fly to Sicily or Rome. Fortunately, for those in the know, Pecorino in Brentwood offers traditional rustic Italian fare along with special Mediterranean creations from Chef Raffaele Sabatini, a native of Abruzzo. He and his twin-brother, Mario, run this charming restaurant along San Vincente, and know their nightly clientele like family. This small but cozy trattoria is always bustling with locals and celebrities who love Sabatini's warmth and extraordinary dishes.

PecorinoInside, red brick walls with dark wooden beams and cast iron chandeliers overhead brushes the restaurant with a warm, homey feel. A large mirror and colorful modern art pieces against one side of the large brick wall faces a large counter where the kitchen and Chef Sabatini directly overlook the dining area. Mario is always hands on around the restaurant as he helps clear tables while greeting diners amidst the fast paced atmosphere. Even still, he will always make time to say hello or recommend some entrees and wines. If you get the chance, be sure to ask for some wine from their hometown, Abruzzo, because it is superb.

The antipasti and zuppe selections are all traditional or variations thereof. The Mixed Salad with greenbeans, potatoes and avocado in a lemon and shallot dressing is an excellent warm salad for a summer day. Chef Sabatini features weekly specials that are hard to pass up. The Fried Zucchini Flowers stuffed with Ricotta, PecorinoPecorino cheese and Basil are lightly battered on the outside and stuffed with ricotta and basil. The creamy ricotta exudes such subtle flavors that are complemented with the crispy fried exterior. The rustic Baked Onion filled with Eggplant and Raisins with Balsamic Vinegar is a specialty of Sicily. The large browned onion is piping hot with slices of soft fragrant onion, eggplant, and crunchy pine nuts, while tasting tart and sweet at the same time from the balsamic.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is one of my all time favorite dishes from Rome. Variations of this classic from other restaurants throughout Los Angeles cannot compare to the perfect and sublime version at Pecorino. Here, Chef Sabatini veers away from using conventional domestic pancetta, and stays true to his roots by using the very best home made Italian "guanciale" to toss with eggs, parmigiano, and pecorino cheese to create a tasty, creamy carbonara sauce. The diced guanciale bits have an essential amount of fat which balances the texture while holding its saltiness with a rainbow of immense flavors. This delicious guanciale is also used in Bucatini all'Amatriciana, along with long hollow bucatini macaroni noodles, tomato sauce, onions, and pecorino cheese.

A popular classic from the region of Puglia is Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, spaghetti with sharp pecorino, parmigiano cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. The Spaghetti all' Astice is very satisfying as it is simply thin spaghetti with generous chunks of fresh lobster in extra virgin olive oil with herbs and a light garlic sauce. The unique, but fabulous Ravioli di Baccala is made with ravioli layers as tender and soft as dumpling skins, folded over codfish, with broccoli and tangy sundried tomatoes.

PecorinoPecorino offers an astounding selection of fish and meats. You won't go wrong with any of the meat dishes, like the Filetto di Manzo alla griglia, grilled filet mignon or the Petto di pollo arrostito, roasted chicken breast in a balsamic vinegar sauce. Fresh seafood at Pecorino is a guaranteed hit, such as the ever popular Branzino al forno. This specialty dish consists of baking a whole seabass, filled with porcini mushrooms, wrapped in parchment paper. The flesh is tender and sweet all on its own, the way fish should be, without oil or a fancy sauce, and flakes apart without being dry. The light, fluffy fish is nutty in taste and compliments well with the grilled juicy artichoke hearts on the side.

For Dolci, apart from the usual crème brulee, gelato, and sorbets, the "Millefoglie" with Almond Tiles with Strawberry Mousse, light and a tad sweet with crunchy almond tiles, and the Pear Au Gratin with Almond Cream, are unique to Pecorino. If you want a savory ending, try their Italian cheese plate featuring select "Pecorino" cheeses.

When you come to Pecorino, you are treated like family. The Sabatini brothers welcome you into their home and will treat you to a feast like no other. For more information and to make reservations, please call 310.571.3800 or visit them at www.pecorinorestaurant.com.

Pecorino Restaurant
11604 San Vicente Blvd.
Brentwood, CA
310-571-3800

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