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dineLA October 2009: Zucca

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Sometimes it's really nice to take a vacation all by yourself and treat yourself to a nice meal. Dining downtown at Zucca, with its high ceilings, Venetian paintings and chandeliers gives you that feeling of pampering yourself, if only for an hour. The dineLA menu at Zucca is nothing if not hearty. LAist was invited to try out their lunch menu yesterday and the blustery weathery made the soup and pasta options especially appealing.

For starters, the dineLA menu included Bruschetta con pomodoro e basilica - Tomato, basil bruschetta, Ribollita - Tuscan beans, black kale soup or Insalatina di campo - Baby organic lettuce, cherry tomato, carrots, tangerine, poppy seed vinaigrette. There was no question it was going to be the soup, thick and hearty with the surprising bite of kale.

Main dishes included Penne al la Bolognese - Homemade penne, beef, veal, tomato, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Petto di pollo con misticanza di verdure - Grilled chicken breast, lemon, sautéed mixed vegetables, and a vegetarian option, Risotto al la parmigiana - Carnaroli rice, vegetable stock, Parmigiano-Reggiano

For dessert there was Crostata di mele - Warm Gala apple tart, mixed berries, whipped cream, Gelato al la vaniglia - Tahitian vanilla ice cream or Torta al cioccolato - Chocolate cake, strawberry, whipped cream. For me there was no question. It was all about the chocolate cake, although most other diners appeared to choose the apple tart. Maybe it was for comfort on the cold day. Comfort food in a glamorous room - like a vacation from the city. A 16-dollar vacation. Not including tax and tip.