Deep in the heart of Brentwood, neighborhood Italian.
I am very proud of Los Angeles, as a food city. I am proud to be called one of it’s citizens.
You travel around and you can get…well, pretty much anything here, and if you go to the right place, it will be on of the best places in the world. The food will be world class.
That being said…
Look, there are some things that we do here that we do better that anyone else in America, sometimes on earth. We have World Class Mexican, Persian, Korean, Persian/Mediterranean (lots of Armenians and Iranians in town), Chinese (all nine regions), Japanese, Thai.
I probably could go on, but there are a number of regions in this city alone that count as “The Largest Concentration of [FILL IN NATIONALITY HERE] outside of [FILL IN NATION HERE]”.
Wherever that happens, the food is gonna be good.
But, it does mean that there are some places I don’t take guests.
What do I mean? My Father hails from the great Seafood State of Maryland. There are some really good Seafood places here, but for the most part I know my Father can get better back in Baltimore, so no Seafood (usually) during his visit.
I have a friend who’s Italian by birth, and we’ve got some really incredible Italian Places, but usually I don’t take her there, because…c’mon.
But we both wound up at Pecorino anyway, and I got to say, it wasn’t bad.
Yes. Totally caught by surprise. Pleasantly, happily, caught by surprise.
Pecorino is tucked away in Brentwood, just a little off the main, congested drag of Wilshire Blvd. For a minute there as you’re driving away, you’ll feel like you’re trapped and can never escape the L.A. Traffic, then you make your turn for the restaurant, and a block later, it all quiets down.
The first thing that impressed me was that Pecorino isn’t as flashy as I thought it was going to be. Every time I hit the West side, I’m just braced for a good dose of West Side attitude, and B.S.
Gratefully, none of that here.
No, Pecorino handles itself more like a small neighborhood joint. Which is totally in my zone. No attitude, no pomp and circumstance, more of “Hey, are you hungry? Come on in and sit down. Relax. Who you like a glass of Wine…or a Negroni?”
Oh that is so what I needed that night I was there.
Suddenly, it’s pretty clear why the folks who invited me and my friend over place. It’s comfortable. It’s can be romantic if you’re on a date, or friendly if you’re with a group…
…and somehow, SOMEHOW we all can do our thing without stepping on each other’s toes.
And yes, my friend from Italy really liked it.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Okay, I came to Pecorino with a mission, and that was to get me some Cacio E Pepe, and in this case, I got the House Special Cacio E Pepe.
Now, Cacio E Pepe is a Roman dish. It literally is Cheese and Pepper tossed with good pasta. That’s about it. There are about a million ways to make it. Everyone’s Mama makes it best.
At Pecorino, they do things a little differently.
Their Special Cacio E Pepe is made inside a wheel of Parmesan Cheese.
You read that right.
They take one of those mammoth barrel sized wheels of Parmesan, cut a bowl shaped…well, bowl in it, and mix up the Cheese and Peppers with the pasta, table-side.
Following through on something Chef Andy Ricker said in the Thailand episode of Parts Unknown (and something the said to me on Twitter), I’m not going say this preparation is authentic or right, but it was fun…and that’s kind of the point, was it? It was fun to watch, it was fun to eat. It was delicious. Is it traditional? Is it authentic? Who cares?
I’m not sure Pecorino’s method is going to be copied or duplicated the world over, but you will like it.
And of course, desert was amazing. I got the Sorbetto Plate. Three amazing nubbins of fresh, delicious Sorbetto. Perfect end for an great evening.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The Restaurant is so low key that it’s a bit hard to see from the street as you’re speeding by. You’ll probably see the Valet Stand before you see the sign for the restaurant.
Also, you’ll probably have to drive past the Restaurant and do a U-turn around to get to the Valet Stand. Good news is there’s not a lot of traffic in this part of Brentwood, so it shouldn’t be turn much of a trouble.
PARKING: Yeah, just do their Valet stand. There is nothing as far as easy or obvious parking. Street Parking will probably be filled when you get there, so…yeah, just go with the Valet.
11604 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Tel: (310) 571-3800
Monday-Thursday: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:30 – 10:30 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:30 – 11:00 pm
Sunday: 5:30 – 10:00 pm