We got a tip about a restaurant sale, a former Indian spot (once Mumtaz or Indira, take your pick) "situated in the heart of the Angeli-Mozza corridor." After a little investigating, we learned that it will be an Italian restaurant, All' Angelo, owned and managed by Stefano Ongaro. Ongaro was recently the general manager at Il Grano (left about a month ago), and before that he spent 14 years with Piero Selvaggio at Valentino, "from busboy to maitre d'." The chef is Mirko Paderno, whose last night at Bridge was just, um, tonight. Paderno also worked at Valentino, the now-defunct Trio in South Pasadena, Dolce, and he even had a cameo on MTV's "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica." Expect upscale Italian fare for dinner at first; lunch will be offered sometime in February.
Ongaro told us that he and his business partner (a hotelier friend from Cortina, Italy) have been looking for a space to do their own LA-Italian concept for the last five years, but wanted something intimate. He says the Melrose location is perfect because it only holds about 80 people; the fact that it's close to Pizzeria Mozza, even better. There's a small bar with a wine cuvenet system, lots of wood, earthy hues, Italian marble, Brazilian granite, and a 1921 fully restored Italian meat slicer that Ongaro's simply giddy about. Opening date slated for early January if all goes according to planned. 7166 Melrose Ave., 323.933.9540.