Feb 2014

Eatalian Cafe – Gardena

Eatalian Cafe - Gardena

With my girlfriend Kellie coming from Santa Ana and me in Pasadena, a lunch date in Gardena was logistically sound since it was approximately halfway* between our respective starting points. After debating a few Hawaiian and Japanese restaurant options in the area, I selected Eatalian Cafe for our meetup. Pasta. Forever.

Eatalian Cafe - Gardena - Los Angeles

Eatalian Cafe brings a slice of Italy to an industrial stretch of Gardena lined with manufacturers and repairmen. Owner Antonio Pellini initially planned to transform this former textile factory into a production facility for fresh cheeses, gelati, and baked goods; however, the sheer size of the space was so grand that a dining room was built into the plans.

Here at this cavernous temple of Italian cuisine, pastas, sauces, gelati, breads, and pastries are made fresh every morning.

Eatalian Cafe - Gardena

Joining our party were The Astronomer and Kellie’s sis—the more the merrier.

To start, we shared the Emilia, grilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, onion, yellow and red bell pepper) topped with Parmigiano Reggiano and aged balsamic vinegar ($8.50). I loved the cheese’s salty granules, but the vegetables could’ve been smokier. 

Eatalian Cafe - Gardena - Los Angeles

A duo of pastas arrived following the appetizer. The house-made gnocchi ($12.75) with pesto was irresistibly pillowy—a must-order.

Eatalian Cafe - Gardena - Los Angeles

The Spaghetti Carbonara ($9.75) was very flavorful, punctuated by plenty of bacon, but could’ve been saucier. I like my lips to glisten after eating carbonara.

Eatalian Cafe - Gardena - Los Angeles

The heart of the menu is the thin-crust, brick oven-fired pizzas, with over 30 varieties of “Eatalian” and “Traditional” creations available.

Kellie’s sis selected the Margherita ($7.50), which was topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella but was curiously missing fresh basil. It was tasty enough, but I’m not sure what to make of basil-less Margherita. The menu should’ve just called it what it was: Cheese Pizza.

Eatalian Cafe - Gardena

The Rock ($10.75), on the other hand, delivered on all fronts. Topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy salami, gorgonzola cheese, spinach, and bacon, the pie was a savory powerhouse and justifiably a crowd favorite.

Eatalian Cafe - Gardena - Los Angeles

For dessert, we walked over to the gelati counter and sampled up a storm before selecting a full order of our favorites. I settled happily on the biscotti and baci. 

While I wouldn’t divert from my usual downtown pasta agglomeration economy to dine at Eatalian, it is a great spot for occasions when convenience takes precedence over foodie pursuits. It’s been known to happen.

* Based on time and traffic conditions.

Eatalian Cafe
15500 Broadway
Gardena, CA 90248
Phone: 310-532-8880

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2 thoughts on “Eatalian Cafe – Gardena

  1. “With my girlfriend Kellie coming from Santa Ana and me in Pasadena, a lunch date in Gardena was logistically sound since it was approximately halfway between our respective starting points.” — Eh? Pretty sure halfway between Santa Ana and Pasadena would be somewhere in the Downey area. That being said, I’ve been here before, and it’s pretty decent.

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