Since 2014, when it opened and was promptly declared as one of the city's best Italian restaurants, Alimento has relaxed a little. They chopped half the menu and stepped back from their official duties as The Darling Of Silver Lake, paving the way for new Eastside spots like Bar Restaurant, Kenbey, and Ceviche Project. And it really works for them. Nothing about current-day Alimento is flashy, like a single peal earring or slice-of-life film, which is kind of the point. In fact, if it weren’t for the glowing “A” above the door, you might miss it completely.
Photos by Jakob Layman
Corkscrew-shaped fusilli are tossed in smoked butter, coated in fennel pollen, and served with clams, a whole-heartedly Silver Lake-ian dish that could warrant an eye roll, if not for its deliciousness. The radiatori has, and always will be, a classic—a thick, weighty pasta topped with braised pork and a mildly spicy red sauce that's heavy enough to use as a blanket. Its chunky noodles resemble old-fashioned radiators, scientifically designed to trap as much sweet and salty sugo between their edges as possible. We love to eat it on rainy days, or whenever we look at our apartment’s 1940s style heater and yearn to understand it, even a little.
Chicken liver mousse arrives artfully plated in a pastel pink smear, served with grilled bread and jam in a way that looks like a renaissance painting. The radicchio caesar salad is crunchy and bitter, and comes with a thin white dressing that’s rich with parmesan. Also, please get the chicken Milanese. People at your table might need some convincing, but trust us, this fried chicken sandwich is one of the best things on the menu. It’s sloppy and messy like a high-profile celebrity divorce, and topped in a refreshing pepperoncini slaw.
At its core, Alimento is a neighborhood pasta spot—a place to meet up with friends and commiserate over tortellini, infused with just the right amount of romance for date night. Although, be warned: despite the cozy atmosphere, you will spend cash. Even if you just drop in for a few glasses of wine and a snack, be prepared to drop over $50 a person. It's secretly formal dining, dressed up as something casual (in a way that really works), but just make sure you know the price tag.
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Chicken Liver Crostone
If you find the right light, this dish will look like a Pink Floyd album? The sleek presentation, the wall of creamy mousse. You'll find chicken liver all around town, but few are better than Alimento's.
Chicken Milanese Sandwich
You may not expect to fall in love with a fried chicken sandwich at an upscale Italian restaurant, but don't fight this attraction. This glorious, golden behemoth is topped with prosciutto (swoon), pepperoncini slaw, and a bed of thinly sliced pickles. It's spicy, messy, and a gift to your soul.
A welcomed break between all the chicken and pasta you're about to eat by the poundful. It's a simple dish, nothing but white fish covered in pine nuts, tomato conserva, and basil.
We've never spelled "radicchio" correctly on the first try, and we've never come here and not ordered this salad. That's just the natural order of things. The deep red, wine-colored leaves are bitter and spicy, tossed with a thin white dressing that goes hard on the parmesan. Order this.
Probably our favorite pasta here, mostly because of how unique it is. The clams and smoked butter give it a distinct, rich and hearty flavor, paired with serrano peppers for a nice little kick.
This is definitely the heaviest of the pastas, and that's not a bad thing. It's covered in a rich blanket of red sauce made with pork sugo, kale, and fennel pollen. A must-order, but make sure to eat it towards the end of your meal.
Tortellini In Brodo
Ah, simple pasta at its finest. There are no bells or whistles here, just perfectly cooked, al dente tortellini filled with cheese, floating in a wonderful broth. We just wish there was more of it.
Whole Grilled Orata
Admittedly not the easiest thing to eat on a date, but it’s fun, delicious, and you get to pick apart a fish in public.