Stepping inside Eataly is like being transported to another realm, one they stock quality Italian products around every corner. It’s where charcuterie and pasta and wine and gelato converge to form one perfectly rustic evening in Turin, where the first Eataly landed in 2007. Except this is the Westfield Century City, a massive and newly modernized indoor-outdoor mall anchoring the stretch between Beverly Hills and West LA. Eataly opens to the public on November 3.
Ask anyone involved with the project, though, and they’ll say there’s no better place for this gigantic new project to be. Eataly has what may be the greatest frontage of any mall restaurant, almost hovering over the street with big, glass windows. Inside, the place is a wonder of light and color, from bright red splashes to toned-down wood. The space tracks a whopping 67,000 square feet across multiple floors, which means many, many places to eat, snack, and sip.
Easiest among the eating options is Eataly’s collection of cafe spaces and grab-and-go counters. There are two of the former and nine of the latter, meant for customers to wind through on their way to all shopping points elsewhere. At least one of those counters will also work with local chefs who rotate in and out, with LA Times revealing the first name to be Jason Neroni of Rose Cafe in Venice.
For a more definitive experience there’s La Pizza & La Pasta, a self-descriptive casual operation that’s sure to draw carb fans. Then there’s La Piazza ringing the far edge of the property with indoor-outdoor appeal, and a still in-the-works rooftop restaurant to be called Terra. The final piece of the restaurant puzzle is Il Pesce Cucina, a Dock to Dish-backed seafood restaurant from Providence chef Michael Cimarusti and partner Donato Poto.
One of the biggest draws for locals is sure to be the expansive marketplace, selling canned tomatoes, olive oils, and a wide assortment of other Italian specialty food products. There’s fresh mozzarella, bread, plus craft beer and loads of imported wine. Eataly will also sell a variety of domestic wines for the first time, plus Italian sodas, water, and everything in between.
Downstairs from the main marketplace is a small cooking school that Lidia Bastianich will run, as well as a yogurt-making area, gelato space, and more cafe room. With an Eataly of this size, there is always more to explore.
Eataly Los Angeles next Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that involves the mayor himself, followed by an official public unveiling at 6 p.m. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily in the marketplace and at the restaurants thereafter, and slightly earlier for the school and cafe spaces one floor below.