Thursday, October 14, 2010

dineLA: Angeli Caffe

Back in February I posted about a few different restaurants I visited for dineLA. If you didn't catch those posts (shame on you, you haven't been visiting my blog everyday for the past three years?! JK!) here is a breakdown of how dineLA works:
  1. Pick a Los Angeles neighborhood.
  2. Pick the type of cuisine you'd like.
  3. Pick the $ level (lunches $16 -$28 and dinners $26-$44).
dineLA is a great opportunity to try new restaurants, getting three-course meals for a reduced price. Last dineLA I ate at three restaurants, one of which was Boxwood Cafe by Gordon Ramsay. I shelled out $44 for that meal and wasn't that impressed, unfortunately. And actually, as I type this I am watching Hell's Kitchen. With all of the risotto that Chef serves, I had expected his restaurant's to be superb. Not so much. It was just OK.

This time around I wanted to try a $ lunch option to save some dough so Angeli Caffe was today's location of choice. dineLA is designed in a way that you have three options to choose from for your three-course meal. Angeli Caffe's lunch menu sounded delish, plus I love dining on Melrose Ave!

Lunch $16*
*Price excludes alcohol, tax and gratuity.

Choice of Appetizers
-Calamari Croquettes served with Sweet-Sour Eggplant Caponata
-Insalata Forte
Salad of still great tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted peppers on thin slices of Angeli bread

Choice of Entrees
-Mixed Antipasti Plate
Bean of the Day
Roasted Pepper Salad w Goat Cheese, Olives and Croutons
Sweet and Sour Eggplant Caponata
Ricotta tart with Roasted Heirloom Sauce
-Grilled Pizza
Topped with Heirloom Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, Parmesan, Pesto
-Ricotta Gnocchi served with Melted Butter and Parmesan or Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Choice of Desserts
-Tirami Su
-Peanut Butter-Bacon Cookie

My meal consisted of the calamari croquettes, ricotta gnocchi served with melted butter and parmesan, and the brownie. I had the pleasure of meeting another blogger, Social B, and she ordered the insalata forte, ricotta gnocchi served with melted butter and parmesan, and the tirami su (which she shared with me :). All in all the food was pretty good. I'd give it six forks out of 10! My biggest complaint, it took forever to get out of there. I was on my lunch break and ended up being there for nearly two hours. They weren't very busy so I am not sure what the hold up was.

All of the items were tasty enough, but none of the courses blew me away. With the hundreds of restaurants in Los Angeles, I am not sure I'd pick Angeli Caffe again.

This season may be my last dineLA, though. While prices are reduced and it is a great way to try new foods, it's still a bit expensive. When I really think about it, I'm spending more money in the end. I normally wouldn't order an app and dessert. So in actuality, I'm probably spending anywhere from $10 to $20 on the extra courses. And, out of the five restaurants I've tried my experience has been 1 good, 3 OK, 1 bad.

I am, however, looking at the dinner menu for POP Champagne & Dessert Bar in Pasadena. I love me some truffle mac n' cheese and it's on the menu. If I go to one last dineLA meal, I'll be sure to recap!


Melanie's Randomness said...

Truffle Mac & Cheese!! Sold! I like this idea of dineLa. If I went to LA it would be as a tourist so I wouldn't know anything but wouldn't want to go to a resturant not knowing its prices. Aww sorry to hear it wasn't superb but that calamri dish sounds delicious!!! =)

SassyScorp said...

I would love to try that place in Pasadena. Let me know if you do decide to go, would love to hang out. :)

Jessica said...

That Peanut Butter Bacon cookie sounds interesting! I love the concept of dineLa, I really wish my area had something similar.

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Ahhhhhh, I'm trying to diet this week since I'm going to a wedding next weekend and I don't wanna be puffy...but OMG, that food has me drooling!

Claire Kiefer said...

OMG you had me at:
Ricotta tart with Roasted Heirloom Sauce

SERIOUSLY that sounds like my own personal heaven. I'm mourning the end of tomato season . . . :(

Anonymous said...

Extremely hungry after reading about all the great food in this post :)

this free bird said...

Truffle Mac & Chzzzzzzzz? YUM_MEE!! Truffle anything and I'm in :) I've heard that Angeli is a nice little place and it's consistently busy, but I always wonder during restaurant week if the quality is compromised no matter where you eat b/c it's busier and things are produced in larger quantities? Just a thought.

hey, it did LOOK good though! :)


Sweet Southern Prep said...

I'd love to eat at those places in LA, too bad I'm a little far away! dineLA sounds like so much fun. They should definitely have a dineCharlotte here!

PS - I tagged you in my post tomorrow. :)

Jessica said...

Yummy food! I should try this out, it looks like a fun way to try all the great restaurants here. Thanks for the rec!

Kate said...

Do they have non truffle mac and cheese? ;)

The gnocchi looks so good!

Gracie said...

Ahh this place looks pretty amazing. The photos of the food make my mouth water.

bananas. said...

mmm truffle mac & cheese sounds so freaking good!!!

and your meal looks tasty! i think they do a dine SF thingy up here. i'm hoping to do it next year or whenever it comes around.

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

I'm a sucker for any good serving of Tiramisu ~ so delicious!

Meg said...

Peanutbutter and bacon cookie? Hmm... I'm sorry most of your experiences were a little disappointing!

Rachel @ The Haute Notes said...

The food looks delicious, but that's a bummer it wasn't anything too spectacular. Plus, it's kind of ridiculous how much some restaurants charge.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Jules said...

We have something like that, but it’s only twice a year and it’s referred to as Restaurant Week (clever, huh?). They do a price fixe menu for $30. It is a nice way to try different places.

The menu at Angeli CafĂ© looks good and the ricotta gnocchi looks delicious. Sorry the place didn’t blow you away.

POP Champagne & Dessert sounds good based on the name. You had me at truffle mac ‘n cheese. You will have to let us know if you try it!

heather said...

Yum! Everything does look and sound good. But so does that spruced up classic, mac + cheese with truffles!

Valerie said...

Good to know! The food looks amazing in your pictures. I wanted to go somewhere this year for dine LA but I didn't get on it fast enough and all the places I wanted to try booked up. Oh well, maybe next year. Hope you have a great weekend!


Sarah said...

Yum this looks so good and Tiramisu happens to be my favorite dessert...

Wearing It On My Sleeves

Stephanie said...

I'm always eagerly awaiting Restaurant week in nyc. That dinner looked delicious! especially the desert part :)

Eternally yours,

Val said...

That food looks beyond fabulous!

Cindy said...

Looks delish!!

Punctuation Mark said...

i miss eating out in LA... hope you had a great weekend!!!