Good Food is one of my favorite radio shows – even if you’re not in the LA area, you should definitely tune in for this weekly (free!) podcast. There’s wonderful cooking tips (guess where I got the idea for breadcrumbs in salads?), interesting food topics (discover the history of the toothpick!) but mostly my reason for tuning is the dynamic, knowledgable host, chef Evan Kleiman, whose landmark restaurant is closing after 27 years.
The lady herself was there to greet customers. I overheard her say, “It’s like being at your own funeral.”
Even with reservations, we had to wait about 15 minutes to be seated. But once we were, things moved rather quickly.
I admit, we’ve only been to Angeli Caffe once – and were actually a bit disappointed. However, I knew we had to give the place another shot (and a proper adieu). I consulted with some regulars for menu suggestions, including Evan Kleiman’s friend, Good Food correspondent (and Pulitzer Prize winning food writer) Jonathan Gold:
I listened and ordered the Polpette di Melanzane – croquettes made of roasted eggplant puree, herbs, garlic, breadcrumbs, and parmesan – plus an order of the roasted spicy marinated carrots (tons of garlic)
Every meal starts with their epic bread (video here!) which is, essentially, an ENTIRE round of pizza dough – dense, chewy, piping hot perfection. I remembered this from our last visit and couldn’t wait to tear in.
I ate my half with some olive oil…
…but also concocted a few yummy eggplant and carrot sandwiches!
EVERYONE told me to order the Gnochetti of the day – last night’s was a simple ricotta, swimming in herb butter sauce
Creamy, fluffy, and light pillows of perfection. I ate a little more than my fair share.
That would have been enough food, but I felt like since this was the last supper, we needed to try their Pizza Meradona:
A double pizza filled with tomato sauce and cheese – usually it comes with spinach, but they ran out, so we got it with caramelized onions instead.
Yes, you read right. DOUBLE PIZZA. Two layers. Two crusts…
…strictly a knife-and-fork operation:
As we were waiting for the waitress, the runner plopped down a whole other bread on the table! Usually they charge extra for this, so we weren’t going to say no – we brought a lot of dough home with us…
…speaking of which…
…I had to order their chocolate bread pudding (which I believe is ALSO made with that same pizza dough)
Abe was too full, so my intention was to just eat half of it, and save the rest for later…
…but once I started, I couldn’t stop (save a few bits of whipped cream)
Needless to say, I was (and still am) stuffed with pizza dough, and thus – very, very happy. But also extremely sad. I was beyond pleased with our second Angeli experience, but realized it was our final one. Sometimes you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.
For those of you in Los Angeles, a dinner reservation is going to be difficult, but they are still open for lunch and takeout/delivery through Friday the 13th.
I was glad we had the opportunity to talk to Evan in person, but I will say it again – thank you so much for all your years of service, your spirit, your delicious food, and your amazing radio show. I will continue to be a fan and supporter of everything you do.