Now you can have Sardinian gnocchi even in Eagle Rock, thanks to Posto Giusto

When’s the last time you said, “Let’s go try this new Italian restaurant in Eagle Rock?” Probably never. Well, Posto Giusto may change all of that.

Plenty of good Italian spots have opened recently in Los Angeles (these are our favorite openings of 2016). However, most of them are concentrated in (West) Hollywood, Santa Monica/Venice, Beverly Hills, or, more recently, Downtown LA. Outside of those areas, there’s not much activity.

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That’s why it’s great to welcome Posto Giusto to the LA Italian food scene. The restaurant opened last week on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock—a couple of blocks away from Eagle Rock Italian Bakery and Deli, if you’re familiar with the area.

Food at Posto Giusto in Eagle Rock

Fried Calamari at Posto Giusto, Eagle Rock

If you’ve never been to this area, this is an interesting time to take a tour. The neighborhood is developing, with pretty obvious signs of gentrification ranging from the pilates club, to the vintage stores, to the ukulele lessons offered by the children music school next door.

At night, things slow down. On a warm summer evening, sitting by the large window at Posto Giusto, you will still feel like you’ve discovered a new part of town before everybody else.

Grazie #eaglerockla for the great feedback 🙏 #italianrestaurant#italianfood##chefwashburn# @chefwashburn

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How’s the vibe at Posto Giusto?

Posto Giusto is the new creature of the owner and the (Italian) chef of Blair’s in Silverlake. In taking over Blair’s, the two had opted for a mostly Italian, formal dining kind of restaurant, with full wine list and all the trimmings. At Posto Giusto, they are going for a more casual dining experience—which is appropriate for the neighborhood after all.

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The name itself seems to hint at that. In Italian, posto giusto means “the right place”, and Eagle Rock is the right location for a restaurant like this.

The wood scaffolding gives the space an even more industrial, rough-around-the-edges look than you would expect. The lights are dim. The two large windows are completely open, so you can even jump out of the restaurant when you are done (just make sure to pay the bill first).

Posto Giusto tonnarelli alla puttanesca

Tonnarelli pasta with puttanesca sauce

You walk to the host to get seated, and she hands you a short menu. You think, “No mention of wine, they must be waiting for their alcohol license”. But no, they do have wine (three, to be precise) and a couple of beers, including one of the best imported Italian brands, Menabrea.

You order and pay at the cashier, go to your table, and start pouring from your wine carafe as you wait for the food (no wine by the glass, by they way). That’s it. No bearded, tattooed waiter will come to your table and ask, “Have you ever dined here before?”, or explain that the plates are meant to be shared, as it happens way too often. Is it just because Posto Giusto has been open only for a few days? Will they adopt a more formal, traditional approach later on? Apparently not, and that’s a good thing.

Fun fact: the pretty ceramic bowls and plates used in the restaurant come from the owner’s pottery studio.


Alright, how’s the food at Posto Giusto?

At the time of my visit, the menu included about ten appetizers (some of which could also work as sides), four pasta dishes, and one meat dish (braised beef with polenta). Soon, they are going to add one fish main course, but the menu will stay small. Among the bruschetta options, a chicken liver pate bruschetta stands out—something that you don’t find very often in LA.

I’d recommend the fried calamari appetizer ($10), which includes not just the standard rings but tentacles as well. Crunchy, perfect to share, with an added touch of chili flakes. Except for that, it will remind you of the “fritto misto” that you would find at any seaside trattoria in Italy. Ask them to go easy on the salt, and you will have a perfect starter.

pasta dish at Posto Giusto

Sardinian “gnocchetti” tossed with sausage and Swiss chard sauce

The charred rapini ($9) are enjoyable, but the flavors are rather overwhelming. As a fan of this vegetable, I understand garlic has a place here, however you could be more subtle about it. And personally, drowning the rapini in oil makes them unnecessarily heavy.

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Now, let’s talk about the pasta dishes at Posto Giusto. Right now, you can pick between fresh, homemade tonnarelli (kind of thick spaghetti with a square section, instead of round), and “Sardinian gnocchetti” or malloreddus, also made in-house.

Eating at Posto Giusto in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles

Performing the “scarpetta” ritual, aka polishing off the pasta sauce with a piece of bread

The tonnarelli alla puttanesca ($13) are tossed with a pungent tomato, olive, anchovy, and caper sauce. As you may expect from the list of ingredients, the dish is bursting with flavor. Also, the sauce-to-pasta ratio is pretty high, meaning that you will be left with a good amount of sauce in your bowl. The solution is, of course, the “scarpetta” ritual. Ask for bread and use it to wipe up any remaining sauce, just like any self-respecting Italian would do (pictured above).

The Sardinian gnocchetti, aka malloreddus, with pork sausage ($13) are another good option. Malloreddus are not very common outside the region of Sardinia, from which they originated. They are basically little gnocchi made with semolina instead of flour, so they end up being sturdy rather than soft and pillowy (if you want to try your hand at making them, read here). At Posto Giusto, they toss malloreddus with a tasty sauce made of sausage, Swiss chard, truffle oil, and breadcrumbs.


Overall, Posto Giusto does a good job at offering regional, lesser-known pasta shapes at very reasonable prices. They seem to privilege strong, “in-your-face” kind of flavors. If you are looking for something delicate, balanced, and lighter, this may not be the right place for you.

One negative aspect related to service, rather than food, is that the appetizers and pastas came out at the same time. This is probably due to the fact that they just opened, however you may want to double-check with them and request otherwise when you place your order.

It’s hard not to like a good neighborhood restaurant. Posto Giusto may not put Eagle Rock on the map, but it does represent an interesting, casual alternative to the more upscale, hard-to-get-into restaurants that receive a lot of press these days.
 

This feature is unsponsored and unsolicited. We came unannounced and paid for the food. Photos by Raffaele Asquer for Foodiamo. All rights reserved. 

 
Posto Giusto
1948 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

 

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