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DineLA: Allegria - Malibu

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Sitting besides Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Allegria is a cozy and warm fine Italian restaurant. As part of DineLA Week, we visited to try the prix-fixe menu. LAist has been offering you some great coverage of Restaurant Week: to join in the party, you can find a listing of participating restaurants at DineLA.com. Participating restaurants typically offer a three-course lunch for $22 and dinner for $34.

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To start us off, Allegria had excellent bread and a tomato tapenade. Of the two types of bread, one is crunchier and had dried tomatoes. The other was softer. Both went very well with the tomato tapenade. The ingredients of the tapenade were top secret, but I am guessing the ingredients were tomato, garlic, olives and olive oil. We were then presented with a set menu and picked the Insalata Allegria below.

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The Insalata Allegria has watercress, baby arugula, Belgian endive, hearts of palm, roasted pinenuts, and avocados with ceasar salad dressing. This was very natural and didn't have too much dressing.

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Up next was the Antipasto Misto, which included three types of italian salami, fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato (incredibly fresh and tasty) and marinated peperocinis, olives, and my favorite, baby artichokes.

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We then had the Spaghetti Amatriciana in Bianco, which has thin spaghetti pasta with crispy pancetta, and onions in a light spicy, white wine sauce with pecorino cheese. This was my favorite dish of the night. And I must admit, it was helped greatly by the amount of finely chopped fatty meats. The flavor was rich, buttery, smooth, and a bit on the heavier side.

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The second entree was the Maltagliati Alla Bolognese. This consisted of fresh homemade egg and spinach pasta with beef ragout sauce and light parmesan cheese. The ground meat had great flavor and melted in my mouth. It paired so well with the wide spinach pasta. Great texture.

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For dessert, the Tortino Alle Nocciole was an almond flavored tart with hazelnut mousse served with zabaglione sauce. This was a great collection of flavors and layers of textures. The mousse had great hazelnut flavor and was wonderfully complimented by the zabaglione sauce, which tasted slightly alcoholic, and also by the hard, crunchy tart it was sitting on.

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Now, the Tiramisu. Instead of a soft and crunchy layered tiramisu, this tasted more like a cheesecake with its richly creamy texture and reminded me of a creme brulee, as it was served in a round dish.

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The atmosphere was warm, cozy, and romantic. There was a small and beautifully lit garden in the back, which you could see through the windows. The service was impeccable, both by our waitress Quinn and by the rest of the staff. The restaurant is about 15 miles out from West LA and takes a wonderfully relaxing and picturesque drive to get to. Definitely a nice date place. DineLA week lasts from January 27 to February 1 and from February 3 to February 8, 2008. More info at DineLA.com.

Allegria
22821 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA, 90265
(310) 456-3132

Photos by Kevin Cheng for LAist.