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Week in Reviews: All' Angelo, Bin 8945, DIY Wine at Vinum Populi, and MORE!

This week S. Irene Virbila discovers that Mirko Paderno can actually cook, that Stefano Ongaro is more charming than she thought, and that their new place, All' Angelo, stands out among the sea of Italian restaurants in this town. But still, she finds reason for giving just two-and-a-half stars instead of three, which is where this review was headed:

But on some evenings, only a handful of guests have sought out the restaurant on this down-market stretch of Melrose Avenue just west of La Brea. The crowd that dines at Valentino or Bridge could be shy about going east of La Cienega Boulevard, I don't know. I'd hate to think the address is working against All' Angelo.

Occasionally, in the early days on a busy night, the kitchen lost its focus and main courses came out looking like something dished up in a cafeteria, messy and unappealing. That was then.

But now it's fabulous, so... We ran into Stefano and Mirko at the Malibu Wine Festival this weekend, and both were excited knowing the review was coming out today and not too nervous. After all, Miss Irene was gushing to them when she left the restaurant on her last visit. Today the "S." stands for "spotted." [LAT]

ELSEWHERE: rechecks in with Bin 8945; Caroline on Crack does DIY wine tasting at Vinum Populi, and has more wine at Bodega de Cordova; Triplecreme finally gets to Hungry Cat; a visit to Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park; finding out if the new Vito's Pizza holds up to the old; Deep End Dining can keep the triad of guts at Empress Pavilion.