Los Angeles, CAMaria's Italian Kitchen Downtown in the heart of Los Angeles less than a block from the Metro Rail station has quickly become a popular bistro since it opened in 2008. The luncheon crowd waits in line to dine at the elegantly-casual bistro that contains a dining room, bar, and casual cafe where you can order at the counter and have it made in front of you.
Maria's Italian Kitchen offers an affordable menu with enough variety to fit the bill for customers seeking quality & value. Having dined at nearby Cafe Pinot (which was very good), I personally enjoyed Maria's lower prices and larger portions, and plan to return.
From a delicious, crisp Bruschetta starter, to Minestrone soup, Chopped Italian salad, Maria's Lasagna (for me), and the Chicken Piccata for my friend Mary, everything was expertly prepared. Tables are set with wine glasses, cloth napkins filled with silverware, salt, pepper and a cheese shaker.
"Everything is absolutely the best you can get," said Maria Alfano, who the restaurant was named after. A true Italian with a (Hoboken) New Jersey accent, the mother of owner Madelyn Alfano isn't just proud about the lasagna, panini or cannelloni. She raves about the recipes, quality of ingredients, and her daughter, of course. Not one to mince words, this lively and entertaining chef in her own right started teaching cooking to her youngsters over 20 years ago in Brentwood where the business first began. "People loved our food so much, the word just spread," she said.
With nine locations, the newest addition in Los Angeles offers an added dimension to the city. Hearty lasagna, pasta, chicken, fish, salads, soups, cocktails and desserts all bring Italian flavors to a region surrounded by Chinatown and Olvera Street with its Hispanic influences & culture. Downtown L.A.'s revitalization and the addition of Maria's Italian Kitchen moves the city one step closer to the return of its glory days as a fun place to spend relaxing evenings and weekends.
On a cool L.A. night, Maria's Italian Kitchen Downtown is ideal for a salad and pasta before an L.A. Philharmonic concert. With choices such as the Barbeque Chicken Chopped Salad that includes roasted corn, smoked mozzarella cheese and homemade Barbeque Ranch dressing; Asian Chopped Chicken Salad; or a house favorite, Chopped Antipasto with the finest Italian cold cuts and cheeses, the salad menu is comprehensive. There are approx. nine salad entrees with options such as grilled fish, chicken or Albacore tuna, and also smaller portions as stand-alones, or you can add a salad to a meal entree or sandwich. All Maria's dressings are homemade and are served fresh.
Be sure to try the Chopped Italian Salad with house-cured garbanzo beans. Accented with the finest imported Italian cheese, zucchini, carrots, Pepperocini and cured olives, the ingredients are lively and freshand so is the vinaigrette. It is ideal with an order of Brushcetta.
Salads are just a warm-up for the extensive menu of delicious, hot entrees served at this delightful addition to downtown Los Angeles.