Restaurant: Luigi al Teatro
Location: 5406, 3116 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Date: September 14, 2018
Rating: Excellent neighborhood Italian
Luigi al Teatro is an upscale Italian seafood restaurant by Michelin Star Chef Luigi Fineo. Located in a 100-year-old historic Santa Monica building, the menu features contemporary seafood dishes reminiscent of southern Italy’s coastal cuisine.
It’s located in a Venice theater which is weird (no front door) but kinda cool. It’s located in a weird spot BEHIND Main street (in the Venice/Santa Monica border).
They have a lovely back patio.
The interior is very spacious and painted too.
From my cellar: NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé. VM 92. Pale orange. High-pitched red berry, orange zest and jasmine aromas, with suave mineral and smoky lees notes adding complexity. Spicy and precise on the palate, showing very good punch to its strawberry and bitter cherry flavors. Opens up smoothly with air and picks up a bitter rhubarb quality that lingers onto the long, tightly focused finish. This bottling showed more brawny character than many past renditions of this cuvée, but with no lack of vivacity.
Carpaccio di Orata. Sea Bream, orange, basil seeds, lemon, olive oil. These seafood carpaccios actually remind me more of North Eastern Coastal Italian along the Adriatic.
Ricciola Marinata. Amberjack, espelette pepper, smoked trout roe, egg yolk.
Foie Gras. Hudson Valley Foie Gras, figs, sea urchin, pickled mushrooms. Very nice juicy foie chunks.
From my cellar: 2006 il Cocco Brunello di Montalcino. 94 points. good, young and clean.
Simple pasta for the boy.
Pasta con le Sarde. Spaghetti, Sardines, pine nuts, fennel, raisins, bread crumbs. Pretty close to straight on medieval pasta con sarde (minus the saffron). This is a strong flavored dish and they did it well.
Lasagna di Mare. Handkerchief spinach pasta, seafood ragout, sage. The “lasagna” is very deconstructed, but it was overall delicious.
Salmone in Padella. Ora King Salmon, yellow beets tzatziki, black garlic, bloomsdale spinach.
Filleto di Ippoglosso. Olive oil poached halibut, radish, onions, broccoli.
The dessert menu, but we had gelato at home.
Overall, Luigi al Teatro was quite, I’m not sure people know about it yet, but the build out was lovely, service was good, and the food very tasty and interesting. Not your typical LA Italian, but very good chef.