The show Homeland has a habit of being slow and boring for the first six episodes of every season, only to suddenly and (now) expectedly become the best show on television for the last six. Those first six episodes are necessary, of course, laying the groundwork for the magic to come. And to that end, they’re impressive as well, albeit a less exciting kind. Enter All’acqua, a spot for some fine Italian dining in middle of Atwater. The solid, if slightly underwhelming cocktail and salad menus set the course for some absolutely magical entrees, which when taken as a whole, makes for a more than solid meal.
All’acqua offers a variety of pastas, pizzas, and a few traditional Italian fish and meat entrees in a scene-y, yet comfortable atmosphere. The mix of the comfortable (cottage-like exposed beams, comfortable booths) with the modern (dramatically-lit walls, lots of concrete, and massive windows) fits the cuisine perfectly, which takes familiar foods and elevates them to a level befitting of the buzz (and the price).
From the moment you walk in the door, you can't miss the heart of the place: the massive woodfire oven stationed nearly in the middle of the space. And emerging every few minutes are some of the most delicious pizzas in Los Angeles. Were we in love with our salads? Not really. Did we like any episode where Sergeant Brody was in that slum high rise? Of course not. But each gets you ready to dig in deep into the real treasures. And if it’s coming out of that oven, you can’t miss.
Insalata Di Campo
This tastes fresh. Not like how a perfect piece of sushi is fresh. Like how Freshmint gum is fresh. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you’re about to shove a personal pizza down your gullet, it's just not the best dish by itself.
A solid salad, though if they went a little lighter on the gorgonzola and a little heavier on the apple it would fit our palate a little better.
Brasato Di Manzo
A braised beef short rib in a smoky sauce, cut absolutely perfectly by the tartness of the bed of parsnip purée. I be like damn.
That woodfire oven is doing magic, making a perfectly fluffy crust with a great, flavorful char on the bottom. Fresh ingredients (the good kind of fresh) top this to make a perfect pizza.