With a wide assortment of stores and restaurants, Ventura Boulevard is one of San Fernando Valley’s primary thoroughfares.
While driving down this busy boulevard, you might miss the opportunity to enjoy hearty, homemade Italian food, if you don’t know where to look. Concealed among storefronts and neon signs on Ventura Boulevard, Adagio Ristorante, with its unassuming entrance, is a real hidden treasure of the Valley.
Stepping into this small, single-room restaurant you instantly feel welcome, as if you just walked into your favorite aunt’s home. The décor is a little dated, but the food is the real star at this restaurant.
The air permeates with the smell of Italian herbs and homemade traditional dishes. Your mouth begins to water as you see delicious-looking dishes carried out to hungry patrons.
Moments later you are greeted by none other than the owner himself. The service is impeccable. Everyone, from the wait staff to the owner, is polite, helpful and welcoming. You will feel as if you are at a high-end restaurant with the type of service provided. Your water glass will never be empty.
Once seated, a plate of complimentary appetizers is brought out to your table. The appetizers were fried risotto balls and slices of French bread with creamy cheese and tender mushrooms, which are delicious down to the last bite.
For my first visit to Adagio Ristorante, my guest and I were so impressed by the complimentary appetizer that we decided to forget about our waistlines for the night and dig in. We ordered another appetizer, two entrees and topped off our night of delectable food with dessert.
Our appetizer, Involtini Di Caprino ($8.00) was perfectly portioned and the combination of ingredients was an explosion of flavor. The appetizer consisted of thinly sliced grilled eggplant rolled over a mild goat cheese and lightly fried. It was served on a sauce of fresh tomato and basil. The richness of the cheese was complemented nicely by the light and tangy sauce.
Next came the entrees, and they did not disappoint. The menu at Adagio offers patrons a variety of Italian entrees from pasta, chicken, steak and seafood dishes, but does not overwhelm you with too many options.
I ordered the Pollastrello Alla Griglia ($17.50), a grilled Cornish hen beautifully seasoned with fresh rosemary and herbs, served with a side of roasted potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli. My guest enjoyed the Bistecca Al Pepe ($20.00), a tender, juicy grilled rib eye steak with a brandy and mixed pepper sauce. These dishes had an appealing simplicity, with a powerful punch of flavor.
Homemade tiramisu ($7.00), a classic Italian dessert was our last course of the night. The consistency and flavor were well balanced. The tiramisu was rich and creamy, but at the same time light and fluffy. It was nicely portioned, and perfect for sharing. It is hard to go wrong with anything this local favorite serves up.
Although Adagio Ristorante is a little pricey for the average college student’s budget, the quality of food and service is well worth the splurge. So grab a date and indulge your inner-foodie by experiencing a piece of Italy in the San Fernando Valley.
4.5 Stars out of 5
22841 Ventura Blvd.,
Woodland Hills, CA, 91364
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Sunday: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Reservation highly recommended