Many people consider Italian food a favorite, but there’s more to it than its well-known dishes. Italian cooking varies by region, with distinct differences across the North, South, East, and West regions. Some areas rely on red tomato sauces, others on white cream sauces. Some parts focus on seafood, others on meats and vegetables. Pasta, rice, and polenta are also used, varying by region.
Familiar dishes are comforting and satisfying, but if you wish to experiment and sample new flavors, there are plenty of undiscovered territories to explore. Our Teak Master team invites you to sample a few of the best Italian restaurants in Glendale, California, to begin your culinary adventure.
La Bella Pinseria Romana
For a restaurant with a unique form of pizza and other dishes, visit La Bella Pinseria Romana, located at 309 N. Central Ave. in Glendale. The pinsa difference begins in the specialty pizza dough. Pinsa dough is an authentic recipe from Italy made differently from regular pizza dough. It incorporates four flours: wheat flour, dry sourdough, rice flour, and soy flour. It also has a longer fermentation process and contains up to 80% water, which results in it requiring less flour. This yields a light crust lower in calories, gluten, starch, carbs, sugar, and fats.
Some varieties to try include:
- Classic Margherita pizza with San Manzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil.
- Burrata, made with San Marzano tomato sauce, oregano, Grana Padano, Calabrian chiles, and arugula.
- Alla Salsiccia, made with pork sausage, San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, wild mushrooms, and caramelized onion.
- Funghi Misti, made with various mushrooms, including Maitake, Shitake, and Crimini, combined with microgreens, mozzarella, montina, Grana Padano, and truffle oil.
La Bella Pinseria Romana also serves an array of pasta and other classic Italian dishes.
Located at 1929 Verdugo Blvd. in La Canada Flintridge, Cafe Soleis a hot spot for lunch and dinner. For Pranza (lunch), choose one of their panini sandwiches, such as the Caprese, with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh greens, or the Prosciutto Cruda e mozzarella, made with prosciutto di parma, fresh mozzarella with arugula, and tomatoes.
For Cena (dinner), try the rigatoni alla Norma, a dish of eggplant, aged ricotta cheese, and tomato sauce, or the ravioli Zucca, butternut squash ravioli with a savory sage cream sauce. There are also traditional favorites, including pizza, lasagna, and spaghetti. It’s recommended that you make a reservation here.
Check out Bacari GDL at 757 Americana Way in Glendale for Italian fare beyond the ordinary. For starters, try an appetizer the whole table can share – the cheese & salumi board, which includes salame toscano, saint-andré, salame calabrese, gorgonzola dulce, and midnight moon.
Enjoy the flavorful Oaxacan pasta with romesco, handmade Oaxacan cream, toasted almond, and cilantro for your main course. Or check out one of Bacari GDL’s unique pizzas, such as the Asian pear & brie pizza, with guava fromage blanc, wild arugula, gray salt, and frantoia olive oil. Try “the best cake you’ve ever had” for dessert, made with Medjool dates, brown sugar caramel, and crispy bacon.
MA’S Italian Kitchen
For a cozy eatery that offers the simplicity of classic Italian food, eat at MA’S Italian Kitchen, located at 267 N. Pass Ave. in Burbank. MA’S bases its menu around homey, comforting cuisine and is reasonably priced. Choose from familiar dishes such as classic spaghetti and meatballs, made with spaghetti, MA’s meatballs, and marinara sauce, or the Penne Alla Vodka, made with penne and peas in vodka sauce.
Or dig into the savory mushroom ravioli, made with mushrooms, caramelized onions, basil, marsala, and cream. Nothing beats a classic lasagna made from pasta sheets with herbed ricotta, bolognese meat sauce, tomato marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
Fatto a Mano, The Pasta Shop
For fresh pasta made from scratch to dine in or enjoy at home, stop into Fatto a Mano, The Pasta Shop, 610 Torrance Blvd. in Redondo Beach, or order delivery. This specialty pasta is highly recommended. Each batch of pasta is made from scratch when you order it for exceptional freshness and a high-quality taste that you can’t beat.
Fatto a Mano offers a selection of freshly made pasta sauces made according to traditional recipes by Aunt Concettina. Their available sauces include:
- Tomato sauce, which is vegetarian and vegan.
- Vegetarian Cacio e Pepe cheese (dine-in only).
- Bolognese meat sauce.
- Carbonara cream sauce (dine-in only).
- Vegetarian pesto sauce.
- Spicy Amatriciana sauce.
- Spicy sea urchin sauce.
These sauces pair with fresh pasta, including spaghetti, fusilli, ricotta ravioli, pappardelle, tagliolini, or potato gnocchi. Or you may opt for a Roman-style pizza, such as the vegetarian Bergamasca, with Taleggio cheese, chive, and farmers market egg yolk (dine-in only), or the Toscana, made with pecorino romano cheese and artichoke spread, Finocchiona salame, and pea sprouts.
You can take home fully made dishes, but Fatto a Mano also offers uncooked freshly made plates of pasta to make at home and pizzas to bake at home. This is a great restaurant if you can enjoy it unhurriedly, as the fresh pasta takes a little longer to make from scratch. However, the taste is worth it.
Ameci Pizza Kitchen
Check out Ameci Pizza Kitchen at 728 S. Glendale Ave. in Glendale for piping hot pizza made with fresh ingredients. You can’t go wrong here for dine-in, take-out, or delivery. Enjoy a slice of classic cheese pizza or meat lover’s pizza with pepperoni, meatballs, Italian sausage, ham, and salami. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to try one of the specialty pizzas, including:
- Mexican pizza with sausage, chorizo, cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, and tomato.
- Hot Cheetos pizza featuring hot Cheetos on top of classic tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
If you’re looking for a restaurant with fish and seafood selections, the place to be is Marina, located at 841 Cordova St. in Pasadena. Try their seafood linguini, made with Mexican blue shrimp, little neck clams, calamari, and black sea bass, cooked in saffron seafood broth, or the cider glazed black cod, made with the highest quality Sashimi-grade black cod, roasted turnips, parsnip quinoa, fermented apples, and turnip greens.
As you can see, the Glendale area has a wide array of diverse Italian restaurants featuring cuisine from many regions of Italy. So, for your next Italian meal, you can find your familiar favorites or try something new. Either way, our Teak Master team wishes you happy dining.