Il Covo is housed in the former Orso space, now redone as a glam Italian restaurant. It’s a beautiful room where the former Tuscan themed décor has been replaced with velvet booths and Rocco mirrors. If one wants to eat at an Italian restaurant in a tastefully done nightclub atmosphere this is your spot. A wonderful bar exudes a sense that one could while away a night with a classic cocktail in hand. But the real action takes place outside on the patio underneath the shade of the trees.
The first thing The Monster notices is it’s a large menu of absolutely nothing he wants to eat. He also realizes that a patio across the street from a hospital can tend to be a noisy place. Between the ambulance sirens wailing and the cop’s blaring, conversation can come in fits and starts.
There is on tap antipasti, salads, pasta, pizza and main courses. You may want to sample a grilled artichoke with grilled lemon or a salad of red butter lettuce, gorgonzola and toasted almonds. Main dishes include branzino, an organic Jidori chicken cooked under a brick or a braised veal shank Milanese style. The Monster decides on the zucchini flowers to start and the spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce, clams, mussels, sepia, scallops and shrimp.
As opposed to traditional bread a hot flatbread is offered that proves quite nice. The first batch is quickly polished off and the offer for more is declined to save some room for the food.
The zucchini flowers are absolutely stunning. A beautiful presentation and an absolutely perfect marriage of the delicate fried flowers with a burst of ricotta cheese. Each bite is a little slice of heaven and makes The Monster realize that perhaps his assessment of the menu is off-base.
When the pasta arrives The Monster is emboldened to think that Il Covo, heretofore little talked about in Los Angeles restaurant circles should become more well known. It’s a generous portion with plenty of delicious seafood. The sauce has a little kick and the pasta is cooked perfectly.
Service is efficient if not a bit distant but the water glass is constantly filled and the food comes out in a timely fashion.
All in it is a revelatory meal and makes The Monster wish there were more than a few tables occupied. In Los Angeles, where new restaurants often start packed to the rafters based on hype and pretense and then close quickly when the food disappoints, here sits a venue that it seems no one is talking about. And that, at least as of this visit, is a shame.
Why go? Being serenaded by sirens is a dream come true.
Monster rating: 4½/5 Monsters
8700 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048