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Perfect For: Big Groups Birthdays Corporate Cards Date Night Dinner with the Parents Fine Dining Sports on TV


How exciting is it when a friend tells you they’ve never really had Thai food before? Or Indian food? Or Mexican food super stoned? Immediately you begin planning where to take them, what their order will be, and how not to scare them off completely in the first attempt. You want a good version that’s accessible and one that’ll leave them wanting more.

If we lived in a world (and maybe we do?) where people have never had a steak before, we would probably take them to Pistola first.

This rather adult steakhouse on W. 3rd St. is not the best steak in Los Angeles, but it’s good and most identifiably – approachable. No need to fear any uni butters or foie-gras add-ons, it’s all about the steak and the knife at Pistola. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it certainly won’t excite the more well-seasoned steak eaters out there either.

Oddly enough, the one thing that is a bit more daring at Pistola? The pastas. The lobster, scallop, and shrimp-stuffed squid ink agnolotti is crazy good and that spaghetti carbonara will keep us up at night for a long time. The first thing out of the waiter’s mouth was “This is an Italian steakhouse,” but we really like Pistola much more as an Italian pasta house.

We get the sense Pistola is still a bit confused on what it’s trying to be. The space is stark and toned-down, telling your brain you’re at a fancy steakhouse! And yet, there sits a gigantic, unavoidable flat-screen TV hovering over the bar playing Duke basketball and Walk The Moon blasting uncontrollably over the sound system. If you’re wondering if that somehow all works together, it doesn’t. Choose one and go with it, Pistola.

The service is good though, and despite relatively high prices, you’ll still walk out of Pistola happy. The food is solid and despite a somewhat confused space it remains a great date spot and any parent on planet Earth will love it here. And that goes a long way.

It might not be the most adventurous of eating, but there’s always been something very comforting to training wheels.

Food Rundown

Spaghetti Carbonara

WHAT IN THE WHAT. Just placing this thing on the table stops all conversation, but then you eat it and all dreams come true. Forget “Making A Murderer,” we can’t stop talking about this dish.

Dry-Aged Delmonico

This was good. And also slightly unsurprising. For $64, you would probably expect something a bit more but we imagine there are plenty of people out there who would be happy with it.

Squid Ink Agnolotti

Easily the most daring thing on Pistola’s menu, this is a definite must-order. Despite all the seafood stuffed inside these little guys, the taste remains remarkably well-balanced. And that Uni sauce on the outside is all we ever need.

Meatballs With Sunday Gravy

We came on a Wednesday, so thankfully the Sunday gravy was still in season. The meatballs themselves are good for the table, but there are definitely better versions around town.

Pistola "Chopped"

It’s never a night at a steakhouse without a chopped salad and Pistola’s is excellent and a large enough serving to be passed around the table.

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