This week Besha Rodell heads to Atwater Village to check out the neighborhood newcomer All'Acqua. The LA Weekly critic notes that the restaurant follows the mold of nearly every contemporary Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, with the obligatory components of a wood-burning pizza oven, craft cocktails, salumi, and a dimly lit, cacophonous space:
Cue the charcuterie! Make way for antipasti! All'Acqua's menu is as large as it is predictable, but these dishes are classic and necessary for this type of restaurant. The question is, how well are they done?
Just well enough. There's none of the inventiveness of Bestia, certainly none of the pasta wizardry of Bucato (which manages to distinguish itself from the Loud Italian pack, being much quieter and without cocktails and generally more original in every way). Dickman here serves pastas that are good but not great: the gnocchi pillowy but a little blunt; the ragus tangy but sparse in portion size, enough so you never quite get enough meat in any bite to revel in its, well, meatiness. The chicken liver luna - small pasta purses bathed in brown butter and balsamic - are slightly tense at the edges, not quite as pliant as you might hope. [LAW]
This isn't to say the restaurant is bad, with B. Rod noting that some dishes "[arrive] at that exact confluence of comfort and modernity that all of these restaurants are trying to achieve." Overall, All'Acqua seems to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and receives two stars.
The Elsewhere: Eating L.A. thinks Dune is a solid, modern Middle Eastern option in Atwater, Food GPS is down with Plan Check's Beast Loaf Sandwich, and Midtown Lunch digs into New York-style slices at Delicious Pizza.