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Fritto Misto: A Taste of East Coast Italian on the West Coast

Gabrielle Olya |
September 9, 2010 | 1:11 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gabrielle Olya)
Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gabrielle Olya)
Growing up with an Italian family in New York City and then moving to Philadelphia with its plethora of Italian restaurants for college, I’ve developed pretty lofty expectations when it comes to pasta. Throughout my past year of living in Los Angeles, I have been searching for an Italian restaurant that reminds me of the places I loved so much back east, and am happy to report that I finally found one that did: Fritto Misto in Santa Monica.

Walking in, I felt like I was back in Philly despite the fact that I was minutes away from the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant manages to have a casual feel and comfortable vibe with its wooden tables and chairs, while still mainting a definite charm. Although ambiance is an important part of a restaurant-going experience, it’s the food that really matters –and the food did not disappoint!

The menu offers a number of delicious-sounding pasta specialties, but I went for the “create your own pasta” option, which allows you to choose your base pasta ($6.25-$8), sauce ($1.25-$4), protein ($1.50-$5), vegetables ($2.25) and other add-ons.  With the freedom to create the exact pasta dish that you want (I opted for the ricotta and basil stuffed "pillows" with pink sauce, shrimp and mixed vegetables), everyone is sure to leave satisfied. The portions are huge, but try to leave room for dessert, as their flourless chocolate cake (served with homemade whipped cream) is a satisfyingly sweet note to end the meal on.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, you should also note that the restaurant offers the option to BYOB for $2/person and there is free parking in the back (though the lot is kind of small so be warned). So whether you’re from the East Coast and have been fruitlessly searching for good Italian, or you’re just a big fan of tasty pasta dishes, Fritto Misto is not to be missed!

601 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2507, 
(310) 458-2829

Reach reporter Gabrielle Olya here

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