Sunday, June 21, 2009
Il Capriccio on Vermont, Los Feliz
My friends and I met at Il Capriccio on Vermont last week for dinner and to catch up on life. The restaurant has a small outdoor patio which seats about 20 people and a long dinning area inside. Since it was a beautiful evening we decided to sit on the patio, just an "elbow" away from the diners at the next table. According to our waiter Joe, all the pastas on the menu are homemade with the exception of spaghetti, linguine and angel hair. A white board sat outside with a list of over seven specials for the evening. The restaurant was fairly busy for a Friday evening and we were eager to try this neighborhood Italian restaurant.
Bread & Dipping Sauce
The ciabatta bread is made fresh every day and served at room temperature. The crust was chewy and the center was "stringy." The bread by itself is disappointing. A dip in the sauce with basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and red pepper flakes did bring some life into the bread. For me, the quality of bread is normally a good indication of the quality of food served at the Italian restaurant and I did not have high expectations for Il Capriccio.
The large plate of pasta arrived first and sat on the table for at least two to three minutes before the other dishes arrived at which point the server offered Parmesan cheese to everyone at the table. The pasta was barely coated with sauce and a good minute away from al dente. The pastas that were coated with enough sauce was good with the homemade sausage, but nothing noteworthy. I did not get the hint of fresh tomato in the sauce as described on the menu. More sauce and a little while longer in the water, and this could have been a good pasta dish and less of a workout for my jaw.
The salmon was served with vegetables and angel hair pasta (from a selection of sides). The grated russet potato crust did not work well texturally with the overcooked salmon. The Kalamata olive sauce was "lackluster" as my friend described. Overcooked protein, especially fish is difficult to enjoy and the sauce along with the sides on the plate were unable to save the drowning salmon.
The two chicken breasts were served in a creamy mustard sauce with sliced bell peppers and portobello mushrooms. The chicken was over cooked and the sides were just as disappointing. The only thing enjoyable on the plate was the sauce which went well with the vegetables.
At this point, I am not even sure what possessed me to order dessert, I think I was hoping the dessert could end the evening on a positive note. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The lady fingers were dry and missed the dip in espresso. The ingredients did not meld together and it was the worst tiramisu I have ever tasted.
Overall, the service was about the only positive thing that came out of the dinning experience taking into consideration the dishes had arrived minutes apart. Between the overcooked proteins and well undercooked pastas topped with a dry tiramisu, I had one of the least enjoyable meals of 2009.
1 out of 5 Stars
Il Capriccio on Vermont
1757 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Valet is $2.50, some street parking.