We took a walk out to the Palisades to smell the salt air. Then hunger kicked in. We stopped at the Kings Head, but the place was too crowded. When the bartendress at the rear bar ignored us and then served others first who came after us, we decided to leave. It was too loud in there anyway, so she gave us the motivation to go someplace else.
It turned out we were better off. We walked down second street and decided Italian food, red wine, and Sinatra was a superior choice than the cold, bitter hospitality of the local Brits. So we went to Buca di Beppo.
Our timing was off and the Saturday night crowd had started to fill up the tables. We were offered a small two top in the middle of a huge room overcrowded with tables occupied by families and their screaming children. One look at that table and I turned around and headed for the bar. Once again, we were better off.
The bar was still empty and we easily found two seats near the television silently showing the news. We could still listen to Dean Martin and watch the current footage of our local disasters. The attentive bartender quickly put up two settings while we perused the wine list. We ordered the wine and an antipasto salad to start.
Buca di Beppo has changed their menu from the original version. Tell me if I'm wrong, but they used to market their food as "family style," which in San Francisco means bowls and platters, but in L.A. it means big portions. Nowadays, Buca has a more traditional menu, giving the individual more choice and their own dinner plate.
Unfortunately, their recent menu has lost some of its individuality. Their food originally had proprietary titles. Now the menu is streamlined for efficiency. But the quality of the food hasn't changed and the service has always been excellent.
My wife decided on a sausage and mushroom pizza and that was okay with me. The entire meal proved consistent with what I expect from Buca. In the past, I'd only had Buca's pepperoni pizza and on this occasion I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the sausage on the pizza. Unlike other local pizzas, this sausage tasted almost homemade, certainly not like the mass market choices made by the home delivery joints. I was impressed.