Da Carla Caffe, or “The Carla”, so named after the chef Carla Baldieri, is a charming cafe that offers simply delicious food precisely prepared for your pleasure and served on sidewalk tables in a perfectly peaceful atmosphere in Beverly Hills.
Da Carla is a joint enterprise of Chef Baldieri and Tony Cacciotti, and the restaurant is a loving creation which inculcates their years of experience in the business into a delightful dining experience for their patrons. Carla has had several restaurants, while this is the second for Tony.
The bright yellow paint of the cafe portends a propitious milieu for a satisfying repast and this is further reinforced by your buoyant hosts Carla and Tony, who personally greet and accommodate all of their guests. The setting is very reminiscent of the Van Gogh painting “Cafe Terrace at Night” which features a yellow cafe in Arles, France where the artist stayed.
The size of the cafe belies the immense taste to be found in every Italian dish on the menu, for indeed this is a true Italian cafe in substance and style.
We began our meal with a very tasty appetizer of bruschetta, and this inspired us to explore a multitude of dishes on the menu in pursuit of gustatory ecstasy, a state we most certainly reached by the end of the evening. With Tony and Carla ministering to our every dietary lust, Murray, our resident Vegetarian-at-Large reviewer, opted for a specially constructed frittata much favored by Tony with potatoes, onions, and mushrooms, and he promptly declared it to be the best he had ever eaten and, believe me, the man has eaten many. We were keeping Carla on her toes as I, Faith, ordered a spaghetti with bolognase sauce for myself and a spaghetti with marinara sauce for Murray. This was so delightful that, in hopes of keeping the thrill alive, I ordered a panini with prosciutto, mozzarella, and pesto sauce for myself and a panini with mozzarella and pesto sauce for Murray, who just kept eating and smiling. Wow!
Dessert was a delicious tiramisu and an equally delectable tart with summer fruits, for which we fortuitously found room despite dietary delirium, but of the most pleasant sort.
Da Carla is a joyous place to eat and we have returned many times! Every item on the menu is prepared with passion and professionalism, so one cannot go wrong here. Carla loves to cook and will cater to your every wont, so what more does one want? Tony is a born raconteur and will tell you stories of Hollywood and Broadway and life based on his many successful careers as a producer, restauranteur, and celebrity trainer. Incidentally, Tony had another successful Italian restaurant, Regina Ciela, on La Cienega’s legendary “Restaurant Row” in Los Angeles.
If you don’t have time for dinner, but are seeking calm amidst the chaos, come in for a cappuccino and a conversation or take out a pasta and some extraordinary focaccia or ciabatta bread or pastries so enticing you do not dare disclose them to your dietary advisers. And, Murray says, you must try that frittata!