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Franco On Melrose

Where the hell is John Lithgow? We all know who that is, right? We're not the only ones? So we can safely assume TV and movie execs know that he’s really, really talented? Seriously, his last big role was on Dexter and he played the best serial killer we’ve ever seen. And then just nothing? Is this a restaurant review? Oh yeah, sorry.

Why is Franco on Melrose completely abandoned? I mean, people used to show up here. The food is really good and the place is a little garden oasis in middle of the sh*thole that is South Hollywood. The kitchen is awkwardly in the front of the space but once you get past all that you've landed in a covered back patio suited for anything from dinner with the parents to a casual bite with the roommate. Hell, it’s not even that expensive for what you’re getting! So how has everyone just forgotten about this place?

We’re willing to listen to the idea that we may have inadvertently picked weird times to eat here, leading to the place being completely empty every single time we're there. But you know… probably not. Hell, maybe John Lithgow is an A-lister and we just missed his other awesome movies or that episode of Extra that talked about him or that year the Emmy’s just gave him all of the awards. But again… probably not. But on the bright side, while we can’t enjoy Lithgow if people keep ignoring him, we can enjoy Franco when no one else seems to remember to. We’ll enjoy the service, the wine, the atmosphere, and all 7 lbs of ravioli we managed to stuff ourselves with. And all without having to listen to you talk about that pilot pitch you think is going to kill at Real Screen. Until you read this review and get on board. You’ll thank us, Los Angeles.

Food Rundown


There are none. Not to start this on a bad note (this place is great!), but any places without a full bar is going to lose some points if it wants to be a true dinner destination in Los Angeles. The wine menu will do the trick though.

Prosciutto & Burrata

This dish always comes down to the quality of the prosciutto and this stuff is damn good. Not as thinly cut as some, so it retains that pork flavor and brings a great salty punch with it. The burrata brings the moisture that the dry, salty meat needs. Start with this, every time.

Zucchine Blossom

Ricotta and goat cheese deep fried because that’s how god wants it. This is a perfect appetizer to share with yourself.

Zuppa al Pomodoro

A.k.a tomato soup. And a really great version at that. It has a bit more of a rustic, veggie flavor to it that’s pretty appealing. Watch out for the cheese crostini that comes with it though. That sh*t is sharp and not for the faint of heart.

Ravioli di Maiale

Nothing is worse in this world than ordering ravioli and getting, like, two of them. This is not that place. A huge portion with a smooth mix of pork cheek, prosciutto, ricotta, and mascarpone, topped with a mound of porcini and chanterelle mushrooms and some more cheese. Delicious and so, so filling.


Your seafood feast begins and ends with this gigantic helping of linguine and every sea creature they could get their hands on. They were perhaps a little too heavy-handed with the calamari, but otherwise, the light spicy tomato sauce does its part by cutting through could’ve been an overbearing taste.

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