Is It Any Good?

Basic Italian in North Hollywood/Studio City.

Vitello's Osteria on Urbanspoon
Vitello's Italian Restaurant on Foodio54

Whenever I leave, Ramen Jinya I always take the same way back to work, and every time I do, I pass by this restaurant with black awning and a mess of people eating at it.

Well, it’s got a mess of people eating at it. I’ve got to try it.

I suspected Italian for some reason. I don’t know, I just picked up the vibe from the street. It seemed the kind of thing that this neighborhood would attract. A bit of Beverly Hills wannabe mixed in for the Soccer Mom crowd who, while driving high-end SUVs, still shop at Target.

So, I go in to Vitello’s Osteria for the first time.

Of corse, I choose the one day of the week, where the place is a ghost town.

Me, Grandma and her Granddaughter. A business lunch by the window.

No one is crazy enough to eat outside. It’s the kind of weather where Pigeons fly out from their perch, only to magically fry mid-air. That kind of hot.

I saunter up to the bar. Okay, the TVs on. Not bad. I can relax here. I order my food, some Iced Tea and some food.

It’s a very elegant atmosphere, really tres chic, all that and a bag of chips. The atmosphere is ruined by daylight. It’s a restaurant designed to take advantage of the night. I understand they even have some Jazz here. Maybe that’s something I should take a look at one of these days.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: The food was…well, a mixed bag. Then again, it’s mostly my fault. This was one of those instances where I was more attracted to the appetizers that I was anything else.

I saw the Spicy Meatballs, and…well…like at Union, I had to get them. They were nice. Nowhere near as big as Union’s but not bad. Here they promised a spicy marinara sauce, where Union delivered an actual spicy Marinara sauce. Still, I’d have them again.

My Bartender talked me into getting some bread, which ended up being Bruschetta. Their version was a creamier variety, with lots of crumbly, soft goat cheese sprinkled on top. Unlike Claim Jumper’s version (which I still detested) I could actually taste the Tomatoes and other ingredients, so…thumbs up there.

So, liked the Meatballs. Liked the Bruschetta.

What on earth, possessed me to order the Fried Ravioli?

Yes, you read that right Fried Ravioli.

Someone’s idea for new Bar food, I would wager.

Somehow, I thought they were going to come out as…I don’t know…pan fried dumplings, lightly fried all around. No, sir. These suckers were coated with bread crumbs and deep fried.

They were the Chicken Fingers you get at any T.G.I McFunsters anywhere in America, and with the same Marinara sauce.

I blame myself for ordering, quite possibly, the least Italian thing on the menu, but…I gotta blame them for serving it as well.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just a reminder that you’re on Tujunga. All around there is cheap, low cost, eats. You will not find these eats on Tujunga. They’re not Beverly Hills, but deep down, I think they want to be.


PARKING: Vitellos has a lot hugged up right next to the Restaurant, but it’s Valet powered. As I recall, it was $4 bucks, and…well…I wound up parking for free a bit further up Tujunga.

Hey, I wasn’t sure I was going to like the place. Why risk an additional $4 on top of what was a decently expensive bill?


Vitello’s Osteria
4349 Tujunga Ave
Studio City, CA 91604

Tel: (818) 769-0905

Monday-Friday: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 11:30 am – 11:30 pm