Casa Modena - Playa Vista

Anyone been?

It’s going on my list for my next trip.

What stands out to you? Was it all of the Squarespace placeholder articles in the Press section??

Had no idea that this restaurant was in that little awkward corner, sleeping in the shadow of Don Chuey’s.

That the chef is apparently from Modena and runs the place with his wife. Sounds like it might be LA’s answer to La Ciccia. Also, the few reviews I found on Yelp from Italian-Italians were very enthusiastic.


Screwy website. Map is someplace downtown, and the listed mains are mostly salads with “always something roasted” as well. Of course if the food is good who cares about the website?

Looks like they built the website from a template and have been too busy running a restaurant to finish the job.

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Well, this is interesting! I ate at the Italian restaurant at this location once about five years ago and never went back, it was pretty awful.

This is in my neighborhood (my Whole Foods is up the street, and Jefferson is my short cut to the beach). I’m a bit excited about this new ownership. Thanks, FTC. :slight_smile:

have not been, but interesting menu, especially this portion:


Rocket and Cherry Tomato Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Mixed Leaves Salad with House Vinaigrette

always something roasted

Mixed Leaves Salad with House Vinaigrette

Vino — Served all day

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To be fair, I think that might be a template/language issue? The remainder of the menu seemed to have totally legit entrees.

Very good point. My dear friend and his family live in the neighborhood. I will suggest we check it out next time we get together.

It would be great to hear a report from someone on FTC who goes.

The part I like the most is Vino - served all day! My kind of place!


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I was a charity event at the Biltmore last year where Umberto Ferri (the owner/chef of Casa Modena) participated, among many other chefs, and hosted a truffle tasting and course.

His cooking is very good, even if it’s not as “fashion forward” as some of the other Italian places popping up in the city these days.


Sounds good. Very fond of “classic” myself.

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Umberto makes his own digestif. It tastes like prune juice and chocolate, with a touch of salty licorice. An amazing, elusive flavor.


(Rest of report tomorrow, I’m sleepy from pasta and wine.)


Ha! What time were you there Bookwich? I did a quick dine and dash around 7pm before a concert.

No pics. Only two servers including Umberto, with only four tables full upon arrival and service is very slow. By the time we left the restaurant was much busier. If you get the waitress, be very specific on the wine as she gets confused.

Had only three dishes: Spinaci salad (good), tortellini al tartufo (didn’t love the texture, filling a little dry, but lots of of black truffle from Le Marche which for not being the season were very pleasant and affordable), lasagna (wow, perfect portion, would be too small for some, but nice pasta multi-coursing, would come back for just this dish). Two 6+ tops in motion and wonder if this impacted the kitchen a little. A terrific neighborhood gem. Definitely look forward to trying more when I’m in the area.


Oh yeah? Well, well… I saw Harrison Ford at the Apple Store yesterday. So there.


It is the season for summer truffles (Tuber aestivum), which are not as expensive as winter black (Tuber melanosporum Vitt.) or white (Tuber magnatum Pico).

Melon and prosciutto.


I love the cocktail toothpicks. I had brought a melon of my own, so Umberto cut it up and we compared his and mine and we decided neither was very good. :slight_smile: He plans to bring some melons back from his visit to Italy in a week or so.

The prosciutto was chewy and I really liked it, different from the usual unctuous, thinly sliced prosciutto one usually gets (which is great), but this was a fun change, like a tender ham jerky.

These happened to be on the counter right where I was sitting, so I cracked a few while waiting for my food. Proustian moment. They were cured beautifully, soft and sweet, and slightly tannic from the skin.

Tagliolini con Tartufo (Butter Noodles with Truffles)
As @chewchow mentioned, the truffles were fragrant, considering the season, and generous. I very much enjoyed this dish, especially considering the price point.

Olive oil used to finish the pasta.

The bill. :heart:

As @ipsedixit said, this is not the “fashion-forward” refined Italian food available all over our fair city, nor is it the casual California-Italian we eat all the time, this is different. It’s a small neighborhood restaurant owned by a cool Italian couple that enjoy food and wine. It’s like a trattoria you may stop at during your summer of motorcycling through Emilia-Romagna.