Louise’s Trattoria – West L.A./Rancho Park

We recently moved. It was quite an ordeal, even though we only moved less than a mile. This small distance makes a lot of difference as it took us out of an easy walking distance to the restaurants on Pico Boulevard. This is the first of our farewell tour of those restaurants.

Louise’s Trattoria was a biweekly (as in every two weeks as opposed to twice a week) stop for us. For the same price, I’d much rather eat at Da Pasquale over in Beverly Hills, but Louise’s was walking distance, so convenience won every time. We went there so often that when the host spotted us through the window while we were taking a walk in the neighborhood, he would open the door for us, even though we were just passing by.

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The famous focaccia

Louise’s is famous for their focaccia bread. Focaccia is to Louise’s what breadsticks are to the Olive Garden. It’s in their rules that the server must bring a basket of focaccia and a plate of balsamic vinegar and olive oil to your table within minutes of being seated (I only know this because I saw it on the host stand).

If you have a kid, they’ll give you a kid’s menu and crayons, which come in handy for coloring page in the middle:

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There’s also a word search on the back and identify the pasta shape. The tables are covered with white butcher paper too so you can always play tic tac toe or let them doodle if they need additional activities.

Kids have their choice of pasta, pizza or chicken:

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It amuses me to no end that they have a kid’s garden salad. Obviously some kids must not have the same aversion to salad that my daughter has. My daughter usually orders penne with tomato sauce, but most recently she got spaghetti. You may notice that the menu says corkscrew pasta, but she’s rather particular and prefers the penne shape – don’t ask me why.

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Kid’s Spaghetti and Meatball

We come here so frequently that I try to change it up every time. Sometimes I get pizza, and sometimes I get pasta.

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Italian Sausage and Roasted Peppers Pizza
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Linguine and Clams

My husband likes to mix it up too with either pasta or fish…

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Penne Asparagus
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Tilapia Pomodoro

If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, avoid the ravioli and the eggplant parmigiana. I ordered the eggplant parmigiana once, and it was the size of a deck of cards. That was it. No vegetable, no pasta. I almost cried. It’s a good thing there was focaccia to fill the void. If you’re a light eater or just not very hungry, the ravioli or eggplant parmigiana may be up your alley.

Louise’s has Wine Down Weekend, Fridays through Sundays, where select bottles of wine are half price. There’s also a Prix Fixe Menu Mondays through Wednesdays where $16 gets you soup or salad, a choice of selected entrees and a tiramisu for dessert. Of course, there’s the focaccia too. Somehow we never took advantage of the Prix Fixe Menu, most likely because we were just there on the weekend.

Now that we moved, we probably won’t come here as frequently as we did when it was right around the corner. It’s not worth going out of your way to visit, but if you’re in the neighborhood, Louise’s is a good reliable option.

Location – 10645 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90064. Additional locations in Santa Monica and Larchmont.
Website – http://louises.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – Yes
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes. They offer gluten-free pizza, in addition to salads and meats and fish.

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