Anna's: Food Like Your Italian-American Mamma Makes
Sometimes, when the world seems harsh and cold, I long for the comfort foods that my Italian mamma used to make me. I crave a hot bowl of her minestrone soup, and a plate rigatoni Bolognese smothered in Parmigiano-Reggiano and made with so much love you can taste it. Ah, yes the comfort foods of my childhood. Only one thing—I didn’t have an Italian mamma. I had a Jewish American Princess mamma, and literally the only thing she made for dinner was reservations. That’s right I was raised on restaurant food, and for that reason you can kinda argue that Anna’s Restaurant was my mamma’s kitchen. To me some of the ultimate comfort food in LA comes from Anna’s. Even if you have an Italian mamma, you’ll be able to appreciate the soul soothing cuisine of Anna’s Restaurant.
The food at Anna’s is Italian-American, and while its definitely not the kind of stuff you’ll find in Roma or Firenze, their menu is filled with all the Italian classics we Americans know and love: Minestrone soup (the best!), meatballs, fettucini Alfredo, pasta with pesto, marinara, or meat-sauce, pizza, etc. Their minestrone soup is pretty unique because it is not tomato-based, like most of the minestrones out there. This one has no tomatoes in it whatsoever, and instead is thick and chock full of garbanzo beans, potatoes, celery, and carrots. The pastas are also pretty tasty but it is their sauces that make them special; the Bolognese is chock full of meat, the pesto is verdant and aromatic, and the Alfredo sauce is made tableside! They also have a pretty killer mushroom sauce, which tastes similar to the Bolognese except the mushroom sauce has no meat in it.
Read about Anna's awesome pizza after the jump!
The pizza at Anna’s is also delish. You can get a regular crust or ask for a super thin crispy crust if so desired—I personally prefer the regular crust. Their pizza is never greasy, which I think is due to the fact that their pizzas are topped with premium imported Italian cheeses. You’re getting a quality mix of mozzarella, asiago and Parmigiano on your pie, which makes for a thick, rich layer of cheese. You can get a wide array of toppings on your pizza too like artichokes, prosciutto, salami, meatball, hot peppers and eggplant to name a few. Their pizza definitely has a distinct quality to it—say if Roman style pizza tangoed a bit with New York style—and that’s what makes it so special. The other thing I love about their pizza is that it tastes even better the next day—cold, fresh from the fridge. Mmms I love me some cold leftover pizza, and Anna’s definitely gets better with age!
If all this pizza and pasta sounds heavy to you, seeing how summer is just around the corner and all, don’t worry! Anna’s has some great salads. Their Marinara salad is packed with fresh seafood like plump shrimps, firm scallops and lumps of crabmeat—this salad is easily a meal in itself. As is the antipasto platter, which features premium Italian cold cuts and cheeses, a fresh and tasty tuna salad, eggplant caponata, marinated mushrooms and artichokes, and roasted peppers! The antipasto platter is a true summertime favorite of mine, and it should become yours too!
Besides all the great food Anna’s has to offer, I think the best thing about this restaurant is the warm and friendly service. The owners Andy and Tony are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and instantly make anyone who walks in the door feel at home. Same goes for the host, Setto, who always greets customers with a smile. The wait-staff have worked there for at least five years—actually a great deal of them have worked there over twenty years. This shows that the employees must get treated well and that they in turn provide Anna’s with great and loyal service. This is truly a family run operation, and everything here is done with love.
The ambience of Anna’s is very mom and pop classic Italian-American restaurant. Posters of Italy hang on the walls, the red-vinyl booths are big and comfy, the tablecloth is red and white checkered, the lighting has a dim-reddish tinge. It’s not exactly romantic, but it’s definitely charming. Anna’s is a good place to bring a date, but it’s an even better place to bring your family. In fact many Westside families, besides my own, have made Anna’s their home away from home. So, if your ever in the mood for some classic Italian comfort food, head on over to Anna’s. Your stomach will say “grazie.”
Anna's Italian Restaurant
10929 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90064