Jemma Di Mare

Another day, another Italian restaurant opens in Brentwood. This time, it’s Jemma Di Mare, an East Coast-ish Italian spot from the chef behind Jame Enoteca and Ospi. While those two spots are among our favorite Italian restaurants on the Westside, Jemma is still a work in progress. Residing on the second floor of a generic shopping mall, the massive dining room looks like a chain restaurant from the early 2000s, complete with decorative ropes, views of an escalator, and for some unknown reason, a champagne vending machine. Despite the oceanic theme, the menu skews red sauce Italian, and while there are some highlights—the spicy vodka rigatoni is a nostalgic wonder—there are currently more misses than hits. The caesar was wet and underdressed, the veal chop was a touch gamey, and the crab cakes fell apart the second we cut into them. Considering the pedigree of the place, we assume the ship will be righted, but until then, we recommend trying one of the countless Italian restaurants nearby.