The Monster is faced with a quandary. He’s at Café Bella Roma and can’t decide between chicken parmigiana and Cioppino. He really wants both but he’s with a large group of people and doesn’t think they’d understand.
And then a stroke of luck as he peruses the appetizers. If he gets eggplant parmigiana as a starter and Cioppino as a main course The Monster will split the difference and get the best of both worlds. And so he does.
Café Bella Roma is a tiny restaurant on South Robertson with a huge menu of Italian specialties. It’s as if there is a direct inverse relationship between the size of the place and the offerings on its menu. With a few tables inside and outside and a BYOB policy and low corkage ($4) it’s a nice neighborhood restaurant when going to the fancier and more expensive Italian places feels like a chore. That is to say, show up in sweats and you’ll still be treated well.
When the eggplant parmigiana arrives everyone is jealous. It’s gorgeous, swimming in delicious sauce. Half the table reaches a fork in and takes a bite. And then another. Because it’s quite large, The Monster decides not to punch all these people in the gullet for taking his food.
And then the Cioppino is brought to the table. And again, forks are clamoring to try it. Because it’s a wonderful medley of seafood in a slightly spicy broth. The Monster wishes the bread at Bella Roma is a bit better because this is the type of dish made for sopping up the sauce.
With the cheap wine bought at a nearby 7-Eleven flowing and a festive group of friends wiling away the night, Café Bella Roma proves a nice neighborhood Italian. The Monster has been a few times and has yet to be let down.
Why go? You live in sweats.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
1513 South Robertson Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035