The Monster ate at Evan Funke’s new Bucato but you won’t see any pictures of the meal because of an inane policy that both cell phones and cameras are verboten.  So instead you will see random photos with no connection to the restaurant throughout this review.  Whoa, look at that unicorn!  This policy would be fine if this were Per Se or Daniel but given it is a casual Italian in Culver City at the Helms Building it all seems a little…full of itself.

It would even be tolerated if the food was so transcendent and the experience so amazing that pictures could never do it justice.  It’s not.

Since there are seven of us we order all of the bread courses, all of the pastas, all of the spuntini and all of the seafood courses.  Two servings of each in fact.  There are also orders off the campo portion as well.

Since there are no pictures there will be no descriptions of each course save the general.  The bread courses are fine.  The pasta dishes are mostly great though the portions are miniscule.  The spuntini ranges from good to downright boring.  Likewise the seafood dishes.

Both the front and back patios are splendid places to wile away an evening (look at that waterfall!) but the interior feels cramped and claustrophobic even with the good design work at hand.  Bathrooms however are not attached to the restaurant which makes one feel a little odd traipsing about to get to them.


While service is friendly, water refills on the thimble sized glasses occurs sporadically and this is much to The Monster’s chagrin since he is a waterholic.

Worse though, our server keeps pushing more and more on us.  Another bottle of wine?  No dessert?  How can you skip dessert?  After dinner drink?  Enough with the hard sell.  It is not appreciated.

All in all Bucato is a new addition from a serious chef that some of you may love.  The Monster will not however (puppies!) be back.


Why go?  Cameras, phones and camera phones are the devil’s work.

Monster rating: 2½/5 Monsters

3280 Helms Avenue
Culver City, CA 90034

(310) 876-0286

Bucato on Urbanspoon



Filed under Bucato, Reviews

7 responses to “REVIEW: BUCATO

  1. Kirsten

    I find it really annoying when people have their cell phones out at restaurants, so I think the policy is fine.

    • Do you mean when they are using the phone in a restaurant (agreed) or merely looking at it? Trois Mec has a policy that works. You can take pictures sans flash. That seems a compromise for everyone.

  2. Fiorella Meneghini

    You are so silly. Now my kid wants to go here. 🙂

  3. Ha! How did I miss this post? I did something similar with Petty Cash (though I liked my meal).

  4. And I thought it was just me. The rules seemed tight-assed and communicated that way. I get how obnoxious it is for cell phones and flashes to be intrusive but I was discreet and not talking or texting and certainly not flashing, and I was admonished like a child. They also have a no changes to item rule (ok – respect that- but I only asked if raw onions could be eliminated from a salad – NO). And we know that they’re playing the same day only reservation game. In my opinion, the food was excellent but I wondered how soon I’d be willing to trade my peace of mind for good eats. Phenomenal food is happening all around town.

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