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Dishes from Sunday Gravy in Inglewood, California, including spaghetti and meatballs
Dishes from Sunday Gravy
Wonho Frank Lee

18 Old-School Red Sauce Italian Restaurants in Los Angeles

Spaghetti, eggplant parm, and endless glasses of Chianti

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Dishes from Sunday Gravy
| Wonho Frank Lee

There’s something incredibly comforting and nostalgic (for many) about a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs or cheesy lasagna served atop a red checkered tablecloth. While there’s no shortage of contemporary California-Italian restaurants around town, red sauce Italian joints have a timelessness and charm that can’t easily be matched. Many have ample history throughout Southern California, with one that got its start almost 80 years ago. Here now are 18 old-school Italian restaurants in Los Angeles.

ADD: Barone’s, La Parolaccia, Maccheroni Republic, San Antonio Winery, Sunday Gravy, Vince’s Spaghetti

REMOVE: Alex Di Peppe’s, Ciao Cristina (temporarily closed), Colombo’s Italian Steakhouse & Jazz Club, Domenico’s, Matteo’s (temporarily closed), Scardino’s

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Little Dom's Seafood

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686 Linden Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(805) 749-7400
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Southern California can choose from two Little Dom’s: the original Los Feliz location or a day-trip drive up to Carpinteria where the menu leans more towards seafood. Both spaces ooze charm, with big leather booths while boasting a mean plate of pasta.

Little Dom’s Seafood in Carpinteria, California
Little Dom’s Seafood in Carpinteria, California
Courtesy of Little Dom’s Seafood

2. Grandi Italiani

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21730 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91303
(747) 230-8081
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The family behind Grandi Italiani may be better known for its old school spot Andre’s across from the Grove, but this Canoga Park option is no slouch, either. Expect the usual staples like spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, and chicken parmesan, of course.

Exterior shot of Canoga Park’s Grandi Italiani, wrapping one corner.
Grandi Italiani
Courtesy of Grandi Italiani

3. Barone's

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13726 Oxnard St
Valley Glen, CA 91401
(818) 782-6004
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Founded in 1945, Barone’s is stacked with recipes passed down from six different Italian families including lobster, shrimp, and crab meat stuffed mushrooms, gnocchi, or carbonara. Head out to the original location in Valley Glen to experience an actual old-school interior.

4. Pinocchio Restaurant

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3103 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 845-3516
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Pinocchio’s is a Valley staple, the kind of casual Italian-American destination that doesn’t try too hard, and that’s just perfect. While one half of the building is a dedicated market, the real focus is on the steam table restaurant portion of the place to the left, where diners snag trays to fill with whatever noodle-sauce-and-side combo they care to enjoy. It’s inexpensive, satisfying, and busy — a perfect Valley combo.

Pinocchio Restaurant in Burbank
Pinocchio Restaurant
Pinocchio Restaurant website

5. Jones Hollywood

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7205 California State Route 2
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 850-1726
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Now celebrating almost three decades in the business, Jones on Santa Monica Boulevard has cemented itself as a modern Italian red sauce joint. Sure, during normal times the bar gets more love (and rightfully so), but sitting up front with the checkered tablecloths and a big plate of chicken parm with spaghetti is, on the right night, where the party’s really at.

6. Rao's Hollywood

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1006 Seward St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 962-7267
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An offshoot of an impossible-to-eat-at New York City original, Rao’s in Hollywood is a little quieter, a little more subdued, but still a lot of fun. The kitchen pushes out big portions to everyone, where families, dates, and anyone looking to recreate a bit of magic can lean in for a taste of East Coast Italian.

Rao’s Italian restaurant in Hollywood
Rao’s Hollywood
Elizabeth Daniels

7. Marino Restaurant

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6001 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 466-8812
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63-year-old Marino restaurant is just as charming today as it has ever been. Expect a variety of Italian classics, from fresh pastas to caesar salads and calamari and fried mozzarella.

Marino Ristorante as shown from the inside, with dark booths and white tablecloths during the day.
Inside Marino
Matthew Kang

8. Osteria La Buca

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5210 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 462-1900
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Melrose’s mellow Osteria la Buca is the perfect kind of neighborhood Italian restaurant. Known for its great pastas, pizzas, and grilled meats, this staple 15-year-old restaurant has used the pandemic to transition to groceries, delivery, and lots of wine sales, too.

Inside Osteria la Buca, a mellow Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, at night as customers sit at the bar.
Osteria la Buca
Osteria la Buca

9. Dan Tana's

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9071 California State Route 2
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 275-9444
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Is there any more iconic old school Italian retaurant than Dan Tana’s? From its historic location adjacent to the legendary Troubadour music venue, to its timeless clientele of celebs, tourists, and cranky old-timers, this is the place to see and be seen over a big plate of chicken parm and red sauce pasta.

10. Di Pilla's Italian Restaurant

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9013 Valley Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 286-0275
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Rosemead’s charming 53-year-old Di Pilla’s feels like the days of old. Inside, the restaurant is wrapped in faux brick and fake vines, while diners today can take out everything from pasta with vodka sauce to linguini to fettuccini alfredo — and lots of toasty bread on the side, of course.

A trio of pastas shown from above, including a bowtie with vodka sauce.
Di Pilla’s
Di Pilla’s

11. San Antonio Winery’s Maddalena Restaurant

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737 Lamar St
Los Angeles, CA 90031
(323) 223-1401
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In addition to producing its own wine, San Antonio Winery has one of the region’s best wine collections, complete with well-trained staff who can guide selections to take home. But there’s also a 40-year-old restaurant inside named after San Antonio’s matriarch. Maddalena’s dishes range from chicken alfredo to spaghetti with meatballs while eating amongst the massive wine barrels.

Outdoor dining area at San Antonio Winery in Downtown Los Angeles, California.
Outdoor dining area at San Antonio Winery
Courtesy of San Antonio Winery

12. Vince's Spaghetti

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1206 W Holt Blvd
Ontario, CA 91762
(909) 986-7074
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Two brothers opened Vince’s Spaghetti opened in 1945, with family members continually expanding the interior over the years. The owners allege they serve 21 tons of spaghetti each month, and prepare lasagna, mostaccioli, garlicky rolls, and even spumoni for dessert. You can’t miss it; that neon sign is a Southern California landmark.

13. Maccheroni Republic

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332 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 346-9725
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Jonathan Gold once described the Maccheroni Republic’s patio as “one of the most pleasant places downtown, a long, alley-narrow space, all greenery and soft air.” He was right about Maccheroni’s charm, and fare that includes meat lasagna or a spelt pasta filled with clams, bay scallops, shrimp, and a creamy tomato sauce.

Maccheroni Republic’s seafood pasta in Downtown Los Angeles
Maccheroni Republic’s seafood pasta
Mona Holmes

14. Vito Restaurant

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2807 Ocean Park Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 450-4999
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Vito in Santa Monica has been serving for over 40 years, and all from their charming digs along Ocean Park Boulevard. The place hasn’t changed much since opening all those years ago, as their pastas and traditional cocktail list — vesper, side car, or sazerac — can absolutely attest.

Pasta from Vito Restaurant
Vito Restaurant
Vito Restaurant website

15. Il Saggio Italian Restaurant

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5427 E Washington Blvd
Commerce, CA 90040
(323) 490-7130
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Solid options abound at Il Saggio, from pizzas and a bistecca panini to traditional salads, hamburgers, and steak. But there’s always time for the lasagna or spaghetti a la bolognese at this Commerce restaurant.

16. Sunday Gravy

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1122 Centinela Ave
Inglewood, CA 90302
(424) 227-6500
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Sunday Gravy owners Sol and Ghazi Bashirian have deep roots in Inglewood, as their father operated Jino’s Pizza from the same space for decades. The siblings put together a cozy restaurant that successfully serves Italian American classics, including a signature short rib ragu, plus a weekend-only lasagna that always sells out.

Lasagne from Sunday Gravy restaurant in Inglewood, California.
Sunday Gravy lasagna
Courtesy of Sunday Gravy

17. Cafe Corleone Italian Restaurant

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15337 Paramount Blvd
Paramount, CA 90723
(562) 408-6100
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Paramount’s Cafe Corleone offers a massive menu filled with pizzas, appetizers like fried calamari, and over a dozen types of pasta, including the restaurant’s famed baked lasagna.

A top down view of a messy plate of spaghetti and meatballs.
Spaghetti and meatballs
Cafe Corleone

18. La Parolaccia Osteria - Long Beach

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2945 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 438-1235
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Family-owned since 2006, La Parolaccia’s unfussy space focuses on the classics. Head to Long Beach and order the specialties from the house-made pastas that showcase spaghetti nonna Malvina aka spaghetti and meatballs, or the tortellini with ham and prosciutto in a sage butter cream sauce.

Pasta from La Parolaccia Osteria in Long Beach, California
La Parolaccia
La Parolaccia Osteria website

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1. Little Dom's Seafood

686 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013
Little Dom’s Seafood in Carpinteria, California
Little Dom’s Seafood in Carpinteria, California
Courtesy of Little Dom’s Seafood

Southern California can choose from two Little Dom’s: the original Los Feliz location or a day-trip drive up to Carpinteria where the menu leans more towards seafood. Both spaces ooze charm, with big leather booths while boasting a mean plate of pasta.

686 Linden Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013

2. Grandi Italiani

21730 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303
Exterior shot of Canoga Park’s Grandi Italiani, wrapping one corner.
Grandi Italiani
Courtesy of Grandi Italiani

The family behind Grandi Italiani may be better known for its old school spot Andre’s across from the Grove, but this Canoga Park option is no slouch, either. Expect the usual staples like spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, and chicken parmesan, of course.

21730 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91303

3. Barone's

13726 Oxnard St, Valley Glen, CA 91401

Founded in 1945, Barone’s is stacked with recipes passed down from six different Italian families including lobster, shrimp, and crab meat stuffed mushrooms, gnocchi, or carbonara. Head out to the original location in Valley Glen to experience an actual old-school interior.

13726 Oxnard St
Valley Glen, CA 91401

4. Pinocchio Restaurant

3103 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
Pinocchio Restaurant in Burbank
Pinocchio Restaurant
Pinocchio Restaurant website

Pinocchio’s is a Valley staple, the kind of casual Italian-American destination that doesn’t try too hard, and that’s just perfect. While one half of the building is a dedicated market, the real focus is on the steam table restaurant portion of the place to the left, where diners snag trays to fill with whatever noodle-sauce-and-side combo they care to enjoy. It’s inexpensive, satisfying, and busy — a perfect Valley combo.

3103 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

5. Jones Hollywood

7205 California State Route 2, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Now celebrating almost three decades in the business, Jones on Santa Monica Boulevard has cemented itself as a modern Italian red sauce joint. Sure, during normal times the bar gets more love (and rightfully so), but sitting up front with the checkered tablecloths and a big plate of chicken parm with spaghetti is, on the right night, where the party’s really at.

7205 California State Route 2
West Hollywood, CA 90046

6. Rao's Hollywood

1006 Seward St, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Rao’s Italian restaurant in Hollywood
Rao’s Hollywood
Elizabeth Daniels

An offshoot of an impossible-to-eat-at New York City original, Rao’s in Hollywood is a little quieter, a little more subdued, but still a lot of fun. The kitchen pushes out big portions to everyone, where families, dates, and anyone looking to recreate a bit of magic can lean in for a taste of East Coast Italian.

1006 Seward St
Los Angeles, CA 90038

7. Marino Restaurant

6001 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Marino Ristorante as shown from the inside, with dark booths and white tablecloths during the day.
Inside Marino
Matthew Kang

63-year-old Marino restaurant is just as charming today as it has ever been. Expect a variety of Italian classics, from fresh pastas to caesar salads and calamari and fried mozzarella.

6001 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

8. Osteria La Buca

5210 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Inside Osteria la Buca, a mellow Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, at night as customers sit at the bar.
Osteria la Buca
Osteria la Buca

Melrose’s mellow Osteria la Buca is the perfect kind of neighborhood Italian restaurant. Known for its great pastas, pizzas, and grilled meats, this staple 15-year-old restaurant has used the pandemic to transition to groceries, delivery, and lots of wine sales, too.

5210 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

9. Dan Tana's

9071 California State Route 2, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Is there any more iconic old school Italian retaurant than Dan Tana’s? From its historic location adjacent to the legendary Troubadour music venue, to its timeless clientele of celebs, tourists, and cranky old-timers, this is the place to see and be seen over a big plate of chicken parm and red sauce pasta.

9071 California State Route 2
West Hollywood, CA 90069

10. Di Pilla's Italian Restaurant

9013 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770
A trio of pastas shown from above, including a bowtie with vodka sauce.
Di Pilla’s
Di Pilla’s

Rosemead’s charming 53-year-old Di Pilla’s feels like the days of old. Inside, the restaurant is wrapped in faux brick and fake vines, while diners today can take out everything from pasta with vodka sauce to linguini to fettuccini alfredo — and lots of toasty bread on the side, of course.

9013 Valley Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770

11. San Antonio Winery’s Maddalena Restaurant

737 Lamar St, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Outdoor dining area at San Antonio Winery in Downtown Los Angeles, California.
Outdoor dining area at San Antonio Winery
Courtesy of San Antonio Winery

In addition to producing its own wine, San Antonio Winery has one of the region’s best wine collections, complete with well-trained staff who can guide selections to take home. But there’s also a 40-year-old restaurant inside named after San Antonio’s matriarch. Maddalena’s dishes range from chicken alfredo to spaghetti with meatballs while eating amongst the massive wine barrels.

737 Lamar St
Los Angeles, CA 90031

12. Vince's Spaghetti

1206 W Holt Blvd, Ontario, CA 91762

Two brothers opened Vince’s Spaghetti opened in 1945, with family members continually expanding the interior over the years. The owners allege they serve 21 tons of spaghetti each month, and prepare lasagna, mostaccioli, garlicky rolls, and even spumoni for dessert. You can’t miss it; that neon sign is a Southern California landmark.

1206 W Holt Blvd
Ontario, CA 91762

13. Maccheroni Republic

332 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Maccheroni Republic’s seafood pasta in Downtown Los Angeles
Maccheroni Republic’s seafood pasta
Mona Holmes

Jonathan Gold once described the Maccheroni Republic’s patio as “one of the most pleasant places downtown, a long, alley-narrow space, all greenery and soft air.” He was right about Maccheroni’s charm, and fare that includes meat lasagna or a spelt pasta filled with clams, bay scallops, shrimp, and a creamy tomato sauce.

332 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

14. Vito Restaurant

2807 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Pasta from Vito Restaurant
Vito Restaurant
Vito Restaurant website

Vito in Santa Monica has been serving for over 40 years, and all from their charming digs along Ocean Park Boulevard. The place hasn’t changed much since opening all those years ago, as their pastas and traditional cocktail list — vesper, side car, or sazerac — can absolutely attest.

2807 Ocean Park Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405

15. Il Saggio Italian Restaurant

5427 E Washington Blvd, Commerce, CA 90040

Solid options abound at Il Saggio, from pizzas and a bistecca panini to traditional salads, hamburgers, and steak. But there’s always time for the lasagna or spaghetti a la bolognese at this Commerce restaurant.

5427 E Washington Blvd
Commerce, CA 90040

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16. Sunday Gravy

1122 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302
Lasagne from Sunday Gravy restaurant in Inglewood, California.
Sunday Gravy lasagna
Courtesy of Sunday Gravy

Sunday Gravy owners Sol and Ghazi Bashirian have deep roots in Inglewood, as their father operated Jino’s Pizza from the same space for decades. The siblings put together a cozy restaurant that successfully serves Italian American classics, including a signature short rib ragu, plus a weekend-only lasagna that always sells out.

1122 Centinela Ave
Inglewood, CA 90302

17. Cafe Corleone Italian Restaurant

15337 Paramount Blvd, Paramount, CA 90723
A top down view of a messy plate of spaghetti and meatballs.
Spaghetti and meatballs
Cafe Corleone

Paramount’s Cafe Corleone offers a massive menu filled with pizzas, appetizers like fried calamari, and over a dozen types of pasta, including the restaurant’s famed baked lasagna.

15337 Paramount Blvd
Paramount, CA 90723

18. La Parolaccia Osteria - Long Beach

2945 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803
Pasta from La Parolaccia Osteria in Long Beach, California
La Parolaccia
La Parolaccia Osteria website

Family-owned since 2006, La Parolaccia’s unfussy space focuses on the classics. Head to Long Beach and order the specialties from the house-made pastas that showcase spaghetti nonna Malvina aka spaghetti and meatballs, or the tortellini with ham and prosciutto in a sage butter cream sauce.

2945 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90803

Related Maps