New Opening: Prova Pizzeria + DineLA Week

Lorenzo shows us the top pies created at the newly opened Prova Pizzeria.

VIDEO: Lorenzo shows us some of his favorite pies at the newly opened Prova Pizzeria.

During dineL.A. Restaurant Week, we were invited to go behind the counter at Prova Pizzeria and taste West Hollywood’s newest authentic Italian pizzeria.

Upon walking in, there was already a sense of warmth and welcoming. Once I learned the story behind the passionate owners, it made even more sense. Chef Vito and his brother Lorenzo are from Italy, and their passion shows in their warm and welcoming attitude, as well as in their third-generation, 100-year-old family dough recipe.

The dough is a fusion creation, with influences from Sicily, Bari and Naples. As a result, the dough is thin, yet has a nice rise and chew around the edges of the crust:

20150122_145040Lorenzo was on hand to personally show us the ropes behind their mouthwatering pizzas with unique toppings, such as the “La Vito” (pictured) which consists of savory mortadella ham, creamy stracciatella cheese and crunchy pistachios. It was definitely my favorite pie, although the “Margherita D.O.P.” that we also tried — which is on the DineLA menu — was also outstanding.

We also had appetizers such as the Assorted Olives & Taralli (an imported Italian pretzel) and the Speck (smoked prosciutto) & Mozzarella, as well as the Carciofi salad, which had artichokes, arugula and pine nuts. All had a great acidity and tartness to them to balance out the delectable pizzas.

As you can see in the video above, I even got to fire my own pizza in their wood burning oven! Prova is a fast-casual concept, so it’s perfect for lunch, dinner or even a post-night out quality bite.

20150122_145053DineL.A. runs through this weekend (Feb 1, to be exact), so I highly recommend getting yourself over to your favorite restaurant on the list for a special three-course menu at a special price.

However, even if you miss dineL.A., just know that it will be back… and that there is no wrong time to get a taste of Prova Pizzeria. Service, efficiency, authenticity and quality… this place really does have it all, and it made me miss my days in Italy! Lorenzo’s hospitality and jovial spirit really made me feel part of the Prova family, and I can’t wait to get back for another slice — or two — of that “La Vito” pizza!

20150122_145043You can check out Prova Pizzeria’s website for the menu, as well as for more information on visiting the new West Hollywood eatery. Ciao!

 

Weekend Fun: Taste of Italy Coming to L.A.

Taste of Italy Los Angeles

Looking for something fun to do with family or friends this Saturday? The 6th annual Taste of Italy is coming to downtown L.A. and it looks like it’s going to be another fantastic night.

I covered the event back in 2012 for Neon Tommy, and it was a wonderful time! It almost felt like I was back in the streets of Florence at night, under the lights.

This year, participating restaurants will include Valentino, Drago Centro, Locanda Del Lago, Il Fornaio, GROM and Celestino. I’ve tried a few of these restaurants, such as Celestino, located in Pasadena. It had the most authentic Italian food I’ve had outside of Italy, and the service made me feel like I was dining at a warm and inviting Italian home.

In fact, I tried Chef Calogero Drago’s food at the L.A. Zoo’s Beastly Ball media preview first, then again at a special dinner with my good friend and fellow blogger Rachael. They had the most sumptuous, delicate pappardelle pasta (with pheasant and morels) I’ve ever had! I’ve also been to the other talented Drago brother’s restaurant, Drago Centro, for DineLA Week and even did a Tastemade video there:

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

Here’s a video throwback to Drago Centro’s DineLA week menu!

Bottom line: these are some quality Italian places serving up some of their best bites. Wineries that will be pouring include Casa Torelli, Le Vigne, Mazzocco, Ventura Limoncello and more. Proceeds from the event will support the Italian American Museum’s exhibitions and the preservation of the Italian Hall (the building in which the Museum is located).

The event, filled with authentic Italian food, drink and entertainment will be held at the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (424 N Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90012) this Saturday, October 11 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Tickets start at $55 and include tastings from more than 50 of L.A.’s top Italian restaurants, over 100 wines, plus live entertainment and cooking demos in the heart of downtown L.A. If I can’t make it back to Italy anytime soon, I can at least get my Italian staycation fix at this great event right here in the City of Angels! (More on my trip to Italy and other travel adventures to come soon, by the way…)

For event information and tickets, check out the Taste of Italy website. See you there… because after all, as the Italian saying goes, ‘Chi mangia bene, vive bene‘ (one who eats well, lives well)!