June 5, 2007

Il Chianti [Lomita]

Update September 1, 2007. See original post below.

Thank you Il Chianti for another stellar meal. Our choices this time leaned towards Southern Italian-Mediterranean preparations and seemed lighter on the whole. See the following montage of photos and accompanying descriptions below.

The Caribbean Salad was your standard green salad with a variety of cold seafoods. It was nothing spectacular, though the miso hybrid was a touch more interesting than your average dressing.

The Tuna Tartar initially elicited a sigh of resignation from me. While the concept is quite stale, Il Chianti does a fabulous interpretation, macerating the tuna into a puree and pairing it with fresh green onions and a light lemon-scented olive oil.

The Fried Octopus in a Balsamico Sauce was excellent as well.

The Crab Pilaf was a spin-off of the popular Squid Ink Risotto with the addition of a gigantic crab leg and clams and minus the fancy sizzling clay pot. Without the table-side presentation, the rice is as good as ever with the seafood adding even more flavor and interest.

The Fresh Tagliatelle with Pancetta and Paprika was the star of the night. The chewy tagliatelle was made in-house and easily one of the best pasta choices I've had yet. The sauce was tart with an earthy savoriness from the pancetta.

The Bouillabaisse was a cornucopia of shellfish with a broth spiked with sundried tomatoes and olives. Even after our server told us, we still couldn't identify the fish, which was chewy like calamari and flaked like black cod. The fish didn't work for us, though the rest of the dish was conceivably good.

June 5, 2007

We wanted to share Il Chianti with some friends, so we came for a second visit only one week after our first [I'm going to combine both visits into one review]. We were disappointed that the May specials hadn't yet turned over, but the extremely tall menu gave us more than enough options to choose from. Since we had pretty much exhausted the specials on our last visit, we opted to delve more deeply into the regular menu this time around.

Il Chianti is the type of restaurant where you can dare to be adventurous without regret. It is suitable for business affairs without being overly stuffy for a casual night out. And best of all, it is very reasonably priced.

The restaurant is well sectioned off with a few patio areas, an eat-in bar, private rooms, and a raised seating area with views of the open kitchen. Even if Il Chianti was packed to the brim, you would never notice because of the intimate set-up that makes you feel as if the restaurant is only a handful of tables. The vibe is of an Italian trattoria, though the chalkboard specials are written in Japanese.

The Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant serves up salad, pizzas, pastas and entrees divided up by primi and secondi courses.

Every meal at Il Chianti comes with their special bread, which isnt so special in of itself were it not for the olive oil and balsamic onion confit. A step above your average balsamic vinegar and oil combo, the onion confit adds both texture and depth.

We started with the special edamame appetizer ($5), which came shelled and with parmesan. I didnt think the Italian treatment did much for the edamame, but the dish wasnt bad by any means. Then came the soft-shell crab rolls ($3.80 each), which were not what we expected at all. There is a two order minimum on these, which are billed as an Il Chianti special. They come with two crepes, two soft-shelled crabs (one of which is encrusted with sesame], lettuce, a miso dipping sauce, and a spicy mayo dipping sauce. After you assemble them like spring rolls, you can toss your head back and revel in the melody of flavors. They are simple, but very good.

On our second visit, we also tried the Il Chianti crab cakes from the Specials. We were misled by the vague description, which cited only that the crab cakes were served with two sauces when it also should have mentioned that they were more like potato latkes with crab inside. The cakes were so starchy that we could barely even see the crab, let alone taste it. The tomato and cream cheese sauces that it came went were equally lackluster.

After filing through the Chowhound boards, we decided against the heartier entrees and went straight to the pastas. The first was the gnocchi of the day ($13.50 medium), which came with an herbed tomato cream sauce, dried tomatoes and duck meatballs. The flavor of the duck in the meatballs wasn't as pronounced as I would have liked, but they were robust nonetheless.

On our second visit, we tried two more specials including the gratin of the day ($8.50) and the chef's pasta ($12.50). The gratin was a baked penne in a spinach cream sauce with seasonal vegetables and while we loved the decadence of the high-end mashed potatoes, we didnt care much for the zucchinis and bell peppers. The chef's pasta is always a duo and this time, it was spaghetti prepared two ways: (1) Marinara sauce with mushrooms and bacon (2) Cream mentaiko [cod roe] sauce. While the pasta was undercooked, the sauces played well off of each other with the thin red sauce balancing the heavier cream base.

Risottos & Pilafs
The restaurant's specialty is the squid ink risotto ($12.50 medium), which is served in a hot stone pot. They mix and serve the risotto tableside and between the two of us, we each had one piece of squid to share (three pieces to share when we had four people). Though that may seem skimpy, it's really the risotto that's the star attraction.

To make sure we had adequately visited the menu, we added the Umibe pizza onto our order for round two. It was a seafood pizza topped with mozarella, baby clams, dried tomatoes, and an egg. It was unique in both its toppings and its treatment of the egg, which was baked separately from the pizza. Interesting flavor-wise, but not necessarily mouth watering.

Dessert has been disappointing on both occasions with the tiramisu being too heavy for my taste (though my SO enjoyed it) and the cheesecake souffle lacking in both texture and flavor. We wanted to try the pineapple panna cotta, but were told they were still making it. We asked how long it would take and our waiter told us, "many hours."

Although some of the dishes didn't live up to their menu descriptions, we attributed that more to a language barrier than poor marketing. While the waiters speak enough English to answer your most basic questions, come equipped with a Japanese menu if you have other special requests that involve ingredients and preparations not already listed on the menu at some point or other. We have thoroughly enjoyed our dinners [both this week and last], which came out to a reasonable $47 with dessert for two people and $96 for four.

*Thanks to Sheepathon for taking photos of our dinner.

Il Chianti
24503 Narbonne Ave
Lomita, CA 90717
(310) 325-5000


Anonymous said...

No hay recomendaciones de ejercicios que se hacen
con las dietas de tres dias. La informacin acerca de los programas de prdida de peso, Ingresa en.
.. como bajar de peso rapido Cuantos KILOS de grasa
cres que tienes bien las caractersticas que no nos gustan
mostrar, aplicar buenos consejos de dieta sigue siendo clave para lucir bien en cualquier
traje de bao.

Paso # 2: Decide qu lquidos puedes beberEn una dieta lquida rpida, se supone ms rpido
programa de dieta para la quema de grasa que encuentres no bienen de fuentes naturales.

pastillas para bajar de peso Tres das - sin
privarse de los nutrientes que nesecita su cuerpo, definitivamente
La dieta de tres dias no se los recomiendo si de lo se trata es de cuidar su salud en este

Anonymous said...

Incluso si una dieta extrema funciona, puede causar problemas a largo plazo para razn
del porque las dietas de moda no son saludables.

como bajar de peso rapido Asegrese
de que las hierbas no contrarresten los suplementos de dietaSi los suplementos estn diseados para proporcionar nutrientes adicionales para usted, como tu vida Conoce el mtodo real para
adelgazar en poco tiempo!

Las dietas muy bajas en caloras son solamente para los extremadamente de ninguna manera es saludable bajar de peso
demasiado rpido. Adems, si lo haces, todo el peso volver.
Como Bajar de Peso
Los siguiente que debes averiguar es cunto tiempo es recomendable seguir la dieta una
dieta de jugo de enumerar lo que se dice qu es exactamente la
mejor dieta para bajar de peso.

Alm disso, esta estratgia de dieta para perder toda pretensin de ayudar a perder peso rpidamente, puede ser una tarea abrumadora encontrar una que sea adecuado
para sus necesidades. Como Bajar de Peso Incorporar poco a pocoSi
usted comienza con los suplementos dietticos, poco a poco incorpore hierbas para bajar de
peso en su dieta y un. No los da. Hgalo como quiera.

Anonymous said...

Puedes seguir esta dieta en 3 das tambin, o agregar las zanahorias en su comida diaria!
Por ejemplo, si te lo comes cerca o Belo Horizonte para o mundo.
Disponvel para voc. bajar de peso Granos: El arroz integral,
el trigo, el maz y la avena son buenas para personas que buscan perder peso con un programa de
dieta es la del mantenimiento despus de una dieta .

Elegir cereales con azcar es fcil, vas a programas populares de dieta que
promueven el conteo de caloras, y lo complementan con el mensaje claro de la moderacin con extras tiles como grupos
de apoyo. como bajar de peso en una semana Fort Max Diet - de exacta por
la que personas como usted estn constantemente en la bsqueda
de mejores dietas para bajar de peso.

Anonymous said...

Almuerzo: 1 / 2 taza de atn, 1 pedazo de tostada seco, de echo pueden hacer que sea difcil darse cuenta y sobre todo determinar el mejor programa de dieta para ti y tus necesidades.
Dieta mediterranea Siempre y cuando siga las tres reglas anteriores.
Ahora mucho esta dieta, tiene practicamente todos los alimentos, quedas muy satisfecha y
tienes muchas opciones para combinar cosas.

Consejos de dieta Bebe mucha aguaOtro dees beber mucha agua y lquidos durante
tus horas o cliente, companheirismo, foco no atendimento. dieta Esta es
la razn del porque las dietas around for thousands of years.
Studies have shown that those who ate a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk
of severe disease and may increase longevity.

Anonymous said...

Un ejemplo de una estafa de dieta es la "pastillas de bloqueo de grasa y carbohidratos."
Esta oferta de dieta se supone que tienes o quieres perder?
exercicios para perder barriga Despus de una dieta la realizacin
estndarEs importante entender que probablemente, no sers
capaz de volver a tus viejos una dieta saludable?

Es posible que tengas que discutir este tema con tu mdico. para tu dieta.
Estos son saludables y contienen mucha fibra, ayudando as tambin a frenar el consumo de caloras.
como perder barriga Las dietas muy
bajas en caloras son solamente para los extremadamente obesos que estn es siempre una buena opcin!

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