We picked the best DineLA deals at Italian restaurants. Whether you’re in for a quick lunch or a fancy dinner, you know where to go!

Updated: July 13, 2018


You ask, we answer: To satisfy your hunger for the best Italian food in town, here’s Foodiamo’s guide to our favorite not-to-be-missed deals for DineLA Summer Edition 2018 (July 13-27, 2018).

Lunch menu prices range from $15 to $25, while dinner menu prices start at $29, going up to $49. The good thing about DineLA is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a meal to remember. And, at the same time, if you want to go fancy for once, this is the ideal occasion to try the restaurant you’ve been dreaming about (or to impress your date or parents).

Our guide takes into consideration the completeness of the menu, price-quality ratio, and general appeal, either for an outstanding approach to tradition, or for a fresh new spin on Italian classics. The guide reflects the opinions of Foodiamo staff and is not sponsored or solicited by the restaurants. We are Italians: We just want to eat well and have a good time!

Find all the restaurants and menus on the official DineLA website!

Maccheroni Republic

Maccheroni Republic

Best DineLA Restaurant Deals: $15 Italian Lunch

Luigi al Teatro (Santa Monica): Straightforward and simple Italian goodness with genuine ingredients: Soup or heirloom tomato starter, then choice of pesto pasta, or salmon. The seafood dishes are super suggested. Do yourself a favor and add a slice of pastiera napoletana for $4: It’s a classic Easter time Neapolitan pie, a must-try if you never had it.

RELATED: What’s Good at Luigi al Teatro, Santa Monica

Maccheroni Republic (Downtown): Panzanella (Tuscan bread and tomato salad), pasta, and a traditional dessert. It’s as simple as that. Maccheroni Republic refreshes its solid usual selection with a gluten-free pasta dish: Corn pasta with lentils and spinach. You’ve got our attention.

Pirolo’s Panino (Fairfax): With a name like that, Italian-American joint Pirolo’s Panino could not avoid having panini on their menu: Pick among the Godfather, the Parm, or the Crispy Eggplant. But first have a starter. And save room for cannoli, too. Pirolo, you are spoiling us.

Risotto by Mirko Paderno

Risotto is Chef Paderno’s specialty at Estrella

Best DineLA Restaurant Deals: $20 Italian Lunch

Cosa Buona (Echo Park): Cosa Buona’s lunch offer with marinated olives, starter, and pizza sounds good enough for a casual and fun midweek break. Try the broccolini with colatura, which is anchovy drippings: Italian umami at its finest.

Estrella (West Hollywood): Although not strictly Italian, Estrella’s menu caught our attention for its Californian-Italian soul. Featuring Parmigiano Reggiano quiche, fried egg with Calabrian chile, and Nutella French toasts, we’d gladly visit them for a fusion cuisine brunch, especially if sitting on their patio!

RELATED: Northern Italian Specialties at Estrella Sunset

2nd Floor Restaurant Bar and Grill (Koreatown): A complete offer, with starter, pasta dish, choice of meat or fish, and even dessert. Nothing innovative, but traditionally Italian and solid. The polenta dessert sounds yummy! They’re also supposed to have a nice wine selection, so treat yourself to a glass.

linguine with purple clams, garlic, chile flake, parsley, bread crumb.

A post shared by Local Kitchen & Wine Bar (@localkitchenwinebar) on

Best DineLA Restaurant Deals: $25 Italian Lunch

Local Kitchen & Wine Bar (Santa Monica): Start with a Californian-Italian starter like grilled stonefruit with goat cheese and hazelnuts, then pick a main dish (the roasted fig pizza sounds particularly appealing), and finish your meal with a scoop of gelato or sorbetto. Guaranteed to cheer you up before going back to work!

Best DineLA Restaurant Deals: $29 Italian Dinner

AR Cucina (Culver City): AR Cucina’s dinner deal combines classic Italian elements like pesto and ragù with appealing local vegetables dishes that represent California’s agricultural variety. Pick among pasta, salad, or pizza, then among meat, veggies, or pasta again. The desserts are pretty interesting, too!

Best DineLA Restaurant Deals: $39 Italian Dinner

Gusto (Fairfax): There’s nothing missing in Gusto’s dinner menu: Regional-inspired starters, fresh pasta, fish, or meat. Top it off with a traditional dessert like budino or affogato and you’ve got your perfect yummy Italian meal.

Italian dessert at taste of italy 2017

A cannolo by Valentino at Taste of Italy 2017

Best DineLA Restaurant Deals: $49 Italian Dinner

Alimento (Silver Lake): Italian like you’ve never seen it before. It may seem pricey, but it looks like it’s worth every penny. Alimento offers brave twists on Italian staples, to satisfy your taste buds, and your curiosity alike. The menu includes starter, main dish, and dessert, which is served with a complimentary glass of Italian straw wine.

Cal Mare (Beverly): Treat yourself to some fish and have dinner at classy Cal Mare, starting with a spuntino (snack), then choosing a first and second course, and finally dessert. Give a try to the Amatriciana di mare, a dish of rigatoni pasta with a seafood-based interpretation of the classic Amatriciana sauce.

RELATED: Da Pasquale Beverly Hills: Two All-time Favorites

Valentino Restaurant (Santa Monica): Prepare yourself for a nice night out, and make sure to bring someone special with you! Valentino’s dinner menu starts with arancine, which are always a good appetizer, a choice of antipasto (try the artichoke flan with Raschera, a cheese from Piedmont region, also a Slow Food Presidium), a choice of entrée, and a cannoli and sorbetto dessert.

Vespaio Restaurant (Downtown): Vespaio’s offer is bold and brave, featuring an umami appetizer with burrata, eggplant, and bottarga (cured fish roe), a main dish of pappardelle pasta with Chianti-style wild boar ragù, and Sachertorte (not Italian, but whatever), to name a few. Complimentary glass of prosecco included!


These recommendations are unsponsored and unsolicited. The selection was made on the menus available online as of July 12, 2018. Choices reflect the personal preferences and dining experiences of Foodiamo staff. Photos by Foodiamo. All rights reserved.