La Scala Presto – The Good, the Bad, and the Ravioli

la scala presto, brentwood, ca - chopped salad

La Scala Presto
11740 San Vicente Blvd
Brentwood, CA 90049
310.826.6100


There’s this succession, but it’s not really a succession, because it can stop and go backwards. So it’s more like a process. Yes, it’s like a process that can be illustrated in a flow chart because there are “ifs” that shoot arrows off one side, and “thens” that are the little process boxes, and there may even be a couple of nested “ifs,” but I don’t know how to draw those in Visio.

How hot is that geekness?

I have to stop drinking coffee in the afternoon.

So I apply this little equation to restaurants and dining out. It’s a sequence. (Shift+F7, anyone?)

The first time, it is a taste test. If it’s bad, you can unabashedly bad mouth it into the ground. To keep it real though, you still have to go back to give it a second chance. If it’s bad again, you are confirmed, and you never have to go back. That is, of course, unless you have friends or family whose alien tastebuds 1) actually like the food at Chosun Galbee and will disown you if you don’t show up for dinner, and 2) confirm your suspicions that you must have been adopted. However, if it is good the second time, then they (the restaurant, not your family) have redeemed themselves and you must cringe. You have to shamefully retract every bad thing you ever said about them the first time. The third time should be validation that it’s good. It is proof positive, and after that, it becomes a stand-by.

Right? That’s The Sequence.

But, well, I just don’t know what happens after it’s bad the first time, but it’s good when you give them a second chance, but bad when you go back. Bad -> Good -> Bad. Was it just luck on the second time? Is it an “every-other” pattern? Will it actually be a gamble every time assuming you go again? Am I thinking too much?

Yes. I am thinking too much.

la scala, brentwood, los angeles, ca
WD40 and miter saws are not slimy tools

The first time I went to La Scala, it was horrible, with a capital F for fuckinorrible. Note that I said “it” was horrible and not specifically the “food” was horrible. Let’s just say that “it” had something to do with “slimy,” which may or may not be referring to the food, and may or may not be referring to my date. At this point, it doesn’t matter which is what, though you can guess which one it “may” be (it was the date, for the slow people on dial-up), because I only associated La Scala with sleazy slimy slippery Guido-rrific greasy tools, and I am not talking about WD-40 and miter saws.

Like I’ve said before though, I like to give everything a second chance. That’s every “thing,” not every “one.” The second time didn’t come right away because Guido really had a very bad aftertaste that lingered longer than raw red onion in bleu cheese dressing. But eventually, I relented, and La Scala redeemed itself that second time with its Chopped Salad, for which it is famous. I had never had chopped salad before and I thought it was utter brilliance-ness on a salad plate – lettuce, cheese, salami and everything else chopped into a million little pieces to make it ridiculously easy to shovel into your mouth while gossiping about guidos (general term) with your sister. For a long while, I gushed about La Scala’s Chopped Salad to every person with whom I came into contact. I never gushed about a single guido.

I just went back to La Scala, and it was bad. In fact, it was worse than the first time, and this time, there was no guido involved at all to act as a potential scapegoat. Do I disregard this last miserable visit, disqualify the first visit for Guido, and assume La Scala is good? Do I disregard that second good visit as an aberration and just assume that La Scala, true to the first and most recent times, is bad?

All I can say is that the ravioli was ugly.

Okay, that’s not “all I can say,” because when have I ever stopped at ugly?

That’s right. Never. I never stop at ugly! So, here are a few more things about La Scala that go beyond ugly.

I tried Birra Moretti, which is an Italian beer. Italian beer doesn’t taste Italian. How disappointing. In fact, Italian beer tastes like Miller Lite, which is not disappointing.

la scala, brentwood, los angeles, ca - birra moretti
italian for “miller lite”
la scala, brentwood, los angeles, ca - chopped salad
overdressed to kill

La Scala’s chopped salad is nowhere near as good as it used to be. Either that or my taste back when I first ate it every week for about six months was numb and naïve. There was too much dressing, and regardless of your affections or disdain for dressing, being overdressed to the point of sporting parkas on a nude beach in the Tropics is not good. The salad was soggy.

la scala, brentwood, los angeles, ca - ravioli
not photogenic on the outside
la scala, brentwood, los angeles, ca - ravioli
photoshop can’t help the inside

Pasta is not very photogenic. We all know that the camera adds 10 pounds and that lighting can make or break you, so even if you’re not photogenic, you can always pimp with Photoshop. However, Pho
toshop cannot change who you are on the inside, and if you’re actually thick, chewy, dough-y, and covered in a deceptive sauce that perpetrates high flavor with color, that will eventually make itself known. Like right now. La Scala’s ravioli was thick, chewy, dough-y, and covered in a deceptive sauce that perpetrates high flavor with color. It wasn’t inedible. But it wasn’t pretty.

Eh. I think I may throw out the equation and give La Scala another chance. Guido just doesn’t count.

** a year ago today, i could get a housekeeper to make tres leches cake, or just go to lula, sangria included **

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  • Kilroy_60

    It’s been a long time since I visited you Delicious One. I’m pleased to see you are still providing an ezquisitive menu.

  • Anonymous

    I love their chopped salad!!

  • Jumpcut

    Please remember this mantra to achieve perfect salad harmony: “Dressingontheside, dressingontheside, dressingontheside…”

  • sarah

    kilroy: long time no see! welcome back :)

    anonymous: i used to love it too, but this time, i really couldn’t take how sodden with dressing it was!

    jumpcut: always.

  • onetomato

    ewwww! that ravioli looks like someone already ate it and assembled it back after regurgitating it. and salami always grosses me out. eek!

  • sarah

    onetomato:

    “looks like someone already ate it and assembled it back after regurgitating it”

    that is the best description ever.

  • sarah

    onetomato:

    “looks like someone already ate it and assembled it back after regurgitating it”

    that is the best description ever.

  • John Trosko

    I am going next month for a business meeting. I am glad I found your review.

    - John

  • Anonymous

    Who the hell is this “reviewer”? Sounds like some flighty twit who has no one to talk to except her ‘puter! This review was about as helpful as, as, well, finding a parka on a nude beach in the tropics!

  • Anonymous

    Who the hell is this “reviewer”? Sounds like some flighty twit who has no one to talk to except her ‘puter! This review was about as helpful as, as, well, finding a parka on a nude beach in the tropics!

  • Blackberry Cinderella

    Hey Sarah, I just found your blog and I’m bookmarking it inmediately!! I agree in all your restaurant reviews, particularly this one of La Scala! They are overpriced and a long stretch from italian food, specially since this area of Brentwood is full of italian cooking.
    Have you tried Pomodoro in Westwood?
    My comment is probably old news now, but I wanted to leave it anyways..

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