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Word on the Street... EATALY IS COMING TO LA!

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[Photo: Inside Eataly, NYC]

This. Is. Huge. Sit down. Let's cut right to the chase. From two separate sources comes word that EATALY IS COMING TO LA!!!!! Partner Joe Bastianich (restaurateur, vineyard owner, partner to Mario Batali) has been in town lately (substantiated by his Twitter feed), and in fact, he recently sat down to dinner with an Eater operative. To this individual he revealed plans to open Eataly in Los Angeles, saying he had a space already picked out around the West Hollywood area. No details on the timeline/opening or anything like that. From a second source comes a similar such story. Joe told another Eater operative of plans to bring Eataly to LA, but this time he said that he was in LA scouting locations. Ah! Meanwhile, Bastianich's PR firm has yet to return our email query on the matter.

For those unfamiliar with Eataly, imagine Bay Cities on crack. Zilllions of dollars worth of crack. Joe plus Mario Batali and a group of investors opened the massive, 50,000 square foot Italian gourmet market in New York City last August, since then it has attracted locals and tourists, drawing lines out the door on weekends. The market is basically divided into sections like any other grocery, but here salumi has its home, fresh pasta has its home, dried pasta has its home, even mozzarella has its own separate area devoted to fresh mozz. And while fresh mozz will be sold over here, hit up the cheese department for mozzarella di bufala, burrata, stracciatella di bufala over there. Plus, Eataly sells Italian products that no other markets have access to, it's really like shopping in Italy. But that's not all. Amid all this delicious chaos there are restaurants! There's a restaurant devoted to pasta and pizza, one that serves only fish, another that serves veggies. There's a wine and charcuterie restaurant, an espresso bar, a dessert bar... it's epic. Now, mind you, Eataly has received some flack for its considerably high prices, but hey, it's wayyy cheaper than flying to Italy. Developing... [EaterWire]

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