Restaurant aficionados wouldn’t normally venture into the industrial sector that Eatalian Cafe, Gardena, calls home. It’s full of factory floors and mechanic shops and warehouses. There’s no traffic, foot or otherwise, except around Eatalian Cafe. In the last few years it has established itself as Gardena’s rising star and one of the South Bay’s premiere sources of high quality Italian food. It’s easily worth the trip out.
A Unique Place To Enjoy Pizza
Ironically, it’s this industrial location that gives Eatalian its personality. The building where it set up shop was once a textile factory, and you can tell once you step inside. The floor is wide open and flat — even the kitchen is barely walled off, allowing you to see chefs baking their famous, flavorful thin-crust pizzas in a brick oven. It might pass for factory themed, but the owners have cleaned it up to higher standards so vents aren’t hanging out of the ceiling and concrete walls aren’t left unpainted. What’s left is a peculiar open arrangement that lets you see the dining room from end to end.
The eastern wall is lined with a gelato counter full of creamy, smooth sweetness that will make you forget about typical soft serve desserts forever. Just outside the holding chamber for the many parties awaiting tables (make no mistake, this is a popular destination) is an island that acts as a full service wine bar. It all coexists seamlessly, maximizing the gift of space they have with this former factory floor.
World Class Italian Food
For Eatalian’s owners, the long road to Gardena began in a small Italian village called Ventoso, where owner Antonio Pellini became adept at working with fresh ingredients to make Italian cuisine. It’s evident in the dozens of pizzas available, each a fair portion but intriguingly thin. Those of us who have grown up on thick delivery pies will find it to be a completely different food. The possible ingredients are enticing: Parmigiano-Reggiano, arugula, spicy salami, bacon, porcini mushrooms, prosciutto crudo, cherry tomatoes — they don’t cook with just anything.
If pizza isn’t your thing, there’s plenty more to order made with the same kind of care and expertise, like fresh pasta, home made sandwiches and secondi dishes of grilled Italian sausage or chicken cutlets. Until 10:30 AM, they even serve breakfast, with fresh baked bread, fresh squeezed juices and variations on the frittata. It’s a considerable menu, but it’s also alluring. It’s enough to ensure that one trip isn’t enough to get the full experience.
Do you like Italian food? What’s your favorite dish?
Eatalian Cafe – (310) 532 – 8880
15500 Artesia Blvd., Gardena, CA 90248