You may have ideas about gnocchi - preconceived ideas of what it is and how you feel about it. You have to forget about these preconceived notions when you eat gnocchi at Angeli. Evan Kleiman is famous for her gnocchi and part of the reason is because her gnocchi is perhaps not what you were expecting. For starters, Angeli gnocchi is not the potato gnocchi of Northern Italy that most people envision when they think of gnocchi.
Kleiman's gnocchi is the Florentine version made with ricotta (also known as gnudi). Compared to the other type of gnocchi you might as well be eating clouds of delicious. It is lighter and more delicate. They are perfectly round balls of light and fluffy goodness. The gnocchi is a special and as such, it doesn't have a uniform configuration. You have to wait for the server to tell you what type of gnocchi you can order that night. It very often has a sage and brown butter sauce with or without other accompaniments. It has been known to be made with beets, spinach, lemon, peas, or other things that happen to be good at the moment.
Mine was plain and simple with the gnocchi and the sage-brown butter sauce and that's it. Even in such a simple arrangement it was one of the better pasta experiences I have ever had. Perhaps its biggest triumph was that people at the table who originally poo-pooed the idea of gnocchi based on past experiences had to admit that it was some pretty amazing gnocchi once they tasted it.
It is also a light dish for an Italian restaurant, where most plates are piled with mountains of pasta or pizzas. You can easily put this away after an appetizer or salad and not feel like you are going to burst. I make no claims as to their actual level of healthiness, only that you won't feel like a complete glutton after eating it.
So that was the dish, but even if gnocchi doesn't float your boat, I still recommend a visit to Angeli. I can't believe anyone in L.A. hasn't eaten there, but there's a lot of people here and a lot of restaurants. Angeli has been around since the '80s and it has been the same ever since I first set foot it in it almost a decade ago. I still have many of the same servers and even the same busboy since that first visit and that says something about what type of place this is. My feelings never change about this restaurant and as proof of this, you can go and read my love letter to Angeli from Valentine's Day three years ago.
7274 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
|Tuesday, June 15, 2010|