DineLA 2009: Campanile
Compared to the crowd at Simon LA the night before, Campanile was packed. After a short wait in the bar we were seated in an overflow room upstairs. Compared to the high ceilings and open space of the main dining hall, the room was cozy and uncluttered. In spite of the age of the historic building, there is a pristine cleanliness about everything. Even the butter that arrives with the famous La Brea Bakery bread is clean and fresh, sprinkled with a delicate touch of salt.
The DineLA menu is immediately offered and explained, as it was at Simon. The server also explained the Monday night family dinners. Last Monday was charcuterie, which sounded so appealing we will definitely return on a Monday night. The DineLA menu offered a choice between two appetizers, three mains and one dessert. There were options for vegetarians included on the menu, which has not been true of all of the participating restaurants.
Every single thing we ate was divine, made with quality ingredients and perfectly executed. If there is anything at all to complain about, it is that when seated in an overflow room the servers don't pass by as often so my sparkling water did not arrive for about 15 or 20 minutes. However, they made up for the oversight by comping the bottle of water. We also left a little hungry. The lamb dish was a big, hearty serving, but the ravioli seemed like more like a starter. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the best meals we have eaten this week. Campanile is not resting on its laurels, but is still working like hell to remain one of Los Angeles' best restaurants.