Tuesday, June 10, 2014

LA Eats: Maggiano's Little Italy

During our trip to LA, we met up with Hubby's Aunt and Cousin who were based there.  The Grove is one of the places which is on my must-visit list, and I was only too happy when they told us that they're taking us there.  Yay!  For those who are not familiar, The Grove is an outdoor shopping/leisure place, with a select mix of restaurants and shops.  Good thing we went, the place is absolutely beautiful!  We went around and took about a million photos!  And after all the photos and going around for a bit, it's time for dinner.  Hubby's Aunt made all the dinner arrangements, and told us that we're going to an old favorite - Maggiano's Little Italy.  Italian?  I'm so there.

Caesar Salad
A traditional Caesar salad of romaine lettuce, croutons and shaved parmesan. Served with Caesar dressing.

To start off, we had the Caesar salad.  The vegetables were fresh and crisp, and the Caesar dressing was perfect.  It's not too overpowering, yet you taste a bit of it in every bite.

Calamari Fritte
Crispy calamari, served with marinara sauce

The calamari was tender to the bite.  I've always loved this appetizer so this was a sure win for me.

Stuffed Mushrooms 
Jumbo mushroom caps stuffed with spinach and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs, served in a garlic white wine sauce

Now this, was a pleasant surprise.  The button mushrooms were oh so earthy and juicy, and the spinach-breadcrumbs mix stuffed inside it provided the perfect balance.  We had second servings of these.  Would have had a third if only there weren't more dishes coming!

Chicken Parmesan
Breaded chicken breasts baked with Provolone cheese and marinara sauce, served with spaghetti marinara.

Er... this was fine.  Never liked chicken breasts, because I always find them a bit dry and tough, but plus points for Maggiano's since they made it a bit more tender than the usual.

Mushroom Ravioli Al Forno
Ravioli stuffed with mushrooms served with alfredo sauce

White sauce + ravioli stuffed with mushrooms?  You cannot simply go wrong with this one.  It's THE perfect combination.  Absolutely yummy!

Our Famous Rigatoni 'D'
Rigatoni pasta, herb-roasted chicken, mushrooms and caramelized onions, tossed in a Marsala cream sauce.

While ordering, I initially thought that this was a tomato-based pasta.  Surprise, surprise!  Another cream-based pasta!  But who am I to complain?  White sauce + me = LOVE.  The cream was very light, and the mix of all the other ingredients just works.  Maybe that's why they called it Our Famous Rigatoni 'D'!

Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Herb
Fillet of salmon topped with a lemon cream sauce. Served on a bed of orzo with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.

The dishes of the night would have been perfect... except that they came up with this.  The salmon was overcooked and dry.  Oh well.  At least the other dishes were exceptional.

Creme Brulee
Rich and creamy vanilla custard with a hint of citrus, caramelized sugar crust, topped with fresh strawberries.

The creme brulee was ok, have tried better ones.  I think they put too much sugar, which made the crust a bit thick.


Ladyfinger cookies soaked in espresso and coffee liqueur layered with Mascarpone, dusted with cocoa powder and served with chocolate shavings

Maggiano's tiramisu was pretty good.  Soft and moist.  I liked this better than the creme brulee.

Overall, we liked Maggiano's Little Italy.  Their appetizers and pastas are the bomb!  Wouldn't mind going back for more.  Thanks to Hubby's Aunt for the wonderful recommendation!  Oh, how I wish I was back in LA!  4 out of 5 stars!

Maggiano's Little Italy is at 189 The Grove Dr. Suite Z80, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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