If you’re walking around the intersection of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, chances are you’re there for a reason. Maybe you finally bit the bullet and got an Equinox membership, or always wanted to see a Walgreens with an in-house sushi chef. Or maybe you’re just killing time before a show. With some of LA’s biggest venues all within a few blocks, this area is full of people trying to find a pre-show meal. Unfortunately, it’s also empty of good middle-of-the-road dining options. That’s why Vino Bistro is a saving grace.
This family-run Italian restaurant has a menu full of decent food (concentrate on the charcuterie and pastas), but it’s the accessible space and atmosphere that make it stand out. There are certainly other places to eat in the area, but most are either wildly expensive steakhouses that require long-standing reservations, or soul-crushing tourist bars with 2-for-1 shame shots. Vino Bistro is the middle ground that previously didn’t exist here.
Come before a second date at ArcLight for a few glasses of cabernet and a cheese plate. Stop in for gnocchi and cured beef carpaccio before seeing Hamilton with your parents at Pantages. You don’t need to make a reservation or wear a suit jacket, but if you do, that’s fine, too. The waitstaff are friendly and will make sure your wine glass is never empty. And given the efficiency of every meal we’ve had here, they’re also acutely aware you have a show to catch, which is helpful - because unlike most spots in the neighborhood, you won’t want to leave.
No matter what kind of meal you’re trying to have at Vino Bistro, this is a dish you need to order. It’s a delicious plate of cured beef carpaccio topped with burrata cheese and a side of fried bread so you can make tiny little sandwiches.
If you came to Vino Bistro hungry, concentrate on the pasta section of the menu. If you want to know which pasta is our favorite, it’s the gnocchi. Rich, melt-in-your-mouth potato dumplings mixed in with a slightly spicy sausage ragu. You’ll split this with your date, but secretly wish you had just ordered it for yourself.
Turning down a cheese plate at an Italian restaurant is like turning down “Perfect Illusion” right before the key change - do it and you’re dead to us. The selection of cheese changes daily, but know it’s a healthy mix of sharp, soft, and funky.