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Burger Burnout? Beat A Path To Ca' Del Sole

A Touch of Tuscany in Studio City

I love burgers. From in Toluca Lake to “Nancy Burgers” from my own grill to the trendy newand that are now playing with the big boys and changing the food landscape in our ‘hood.

But sometimes a person has to get off the umami-track and counter that diner ambience with a quieter mood in a more subtle atmosphere and sip a cocktail or a glass of wine without a bun. And, when that mood fills me with visions of mezzelune pumpkin ravioli or mouth-watering chicken scallopini, I jump into my hybrid and tool over to where rubbed elbows with just last week… well, this is “Studio” City, after all, where movie stars mingle with the rest of us.

This comfortable neighborhood gem is in a little Mediterranean-style building with washed ‘mustard’-colored stucco walls adorned with pots of geraniums. It’s not Tuscany, but it’s not hard to suspend your disbelief as the changes the restaurant has implemented in its patio dining area over the past couple of years have turned it into Tuscany “adjacent.” I can almost see a vineyard in the distance. Well, after a couple of glasses of wine, I can almost see anything.

After entering the restaurant through the courtyard, we walked past the inviting main dining rooms staged with Italian pottery and lovely framed landscapes looking over tables covered in crisp linen (I love crisp linen). There’s also a separate indoor and outdoor bar/cocktail lounge where you and friends can spend the night sipping a perfect martini or share a bottle of wine from an extensive wine list that definitely “speaks” Italian.

But, it was a beautiful night and I wanted to be almost sitting at a restaurant table in Siena’s famous palazzo so we headed outside. The lovely walled-in-garden patio is filled with pretty potted plants, large umbrellas and shade trees brimming with clusters of little white lights bunched together to look like twinkling grapes dripping from the branches.

Along the garden wall each table is surrounded on three sides with hanging fabric, giving them a romantic-cabana vibe. We grabbed a cabana and decided we’d both go for that night’s special “price-fixe” dinner… $26 for three courses (you can also get four courses for $33)! Very reasonable, especially when you consider what we saved on airfare to Italy.

My first course was slices of smoked salmon with wafer thin toast… a kind of gourmet Italian version of lox and bagel. My husband savored (he really did) the white bean and seafood salad. My entrée was a medium-rare flat iron steak with arugula and shaved parmesan which was tender and cooked to perfection. Husband? He had a succulent pan roasted branzino with zucchini that was amazing (yeh, I had a taste). There were two choices for dessert that night: a warm strudel and a cheese plate. He had the strudel, I had the cheese.  Delizioso. 

Though the price-fixe menu changes weekly, the delizioso-ness doesn’t. So, if you’re in that “sometimes you just really don’t want a burger” mood and you crave some good Italian food AND charming Tuscan ambience, don’t call your travel agent, just head over to Ca del Sole on Cahuenga. They’ll treat you like a movie star.

And you know what? A salad, French fries, burger and a dessert in one of those trendy burger joints is just about the same price per person, give or take a dollar… and you can’t almost see a vineyard… just saying.

 Ca’ Del Sole

4100 Cahuenga Blvd.

Toluca Lake CA  91602

818-985-4669

www.cadelsole.com

Chim August 28, 2011 at 08:46 PM
WAIT! Oh Nooooooo! I'm not burned out on Burgers yet! I was at Burger King on Monday and I swear, I think ... as Foghorn Leghorn would say, "I almost ... Ah say, ALMOST saw a vineyard." Okay, so maybe it was a bush or some shrubbery. Anyway, if one can't have Burgers, Italian food is certainly an acceptable substitute. Flat Iron Steak? Exqueeze me? I sure hope that is way softer and melt in your mouth-like in contrast to how it sounds with "Iron" in it. I'd have mine well done though. If you ever see Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston or Heather Graham at Ca' Del Sole, tell them Chim say Hey, Okay? Sooo, what about Chili Dogs? Is an Ilona Out & About Chili Dog masterpiece review somewhere on the horizon?
Ilona Saari August 28, 2011 at 11:48 PM
LOL - Chim - how are you? Missed your missives on my columns and blogs. Did an Ode to Hot Dogs on my Studio City Patch Blog - I think if you clink on my name or go to my profile you'll find all my opinion and blog articles. My first blog was the hot dog one. I think it'll make you smile - ;o)
Ilona Saari August 28, 2011 at 11:49 PM
And, yes, Maria - Angelina was spotted there by Mr. Studio City - his column is included on the right hand side of my opinion piece.
Chim August 29, 2011 at 01:09 AM
Heyyy, Illona! Oh, I'm doing OK. Oh, you know how it is. A world class Blogger / world-renowned Blog Designer's work is never done. LOL Busy Busy Busy Anyway, oh my goodness! So you already HAVE a taste bud-tantalizing, Drool Bait Hot Dog review, Eh? Doh! I'm gonna need some Bounty towels to wipe this egg off my face. Well, since I'm new on the StudioCity Patch site, I guess I must have missed the left toin at Albuquoiquee. I saw somewhere where it looked like you only had 3 Blog Posts. But, I did click on your name now and did find your other Blog Posts. Yes, I do see your Hot Dog Blog Post is your 1st one here at the Patch. I bookmarked it for reading either later tonight or tomorrow. Okay, FINE! I dare you to have a Blog on Tacos and / or Enchiladas.
Ilona Saari August 29, 2011 at 01:16 AM
LOL - sorry Chim no blogs on taco - but I do love cheesy cheese Enchiladas <g>

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