If you ever want to "mmm, mmm... mmmmmm" between bites I suggest trying Larchmont's La Bottega Marino. La Bottega Marino stocks San Marzano canned tomatos and this was the only reason I stepped into this small, quaint restaurant. It's lack of customers, was the sole reason I never dined here. Then one cold chilly night hungry for a new place to try and for some Italian cuisine Mr. Borscht and I opened the doors, stepped inside and took a seat.
For $5 we ordered Crostinos with mixed mushrooms to top, the choices for toppings varied: English Peas & Parmigiano, Chicken Liver Pate, Oxtail Vaccinara and Mixed Mushroom- Mr. Borscht and I are crazy for mushrooms. The Crostino came in four regular sizes, a great starter to be shared by two. The bread was grilled, just thick enough, chewy yet with a slight crunch on the outside, perfect for Crostinos, perfect to hold in the juices without being torn apart by the wetness of the toppings. The Mixed Mushrooms were sauteed, piles of mixed mushrooms on the crostini, this starter was absolutely a delight, it was simple yet delicious. And as it so happens was the highlight of the entire dinner, for me.
A small side of marinated diced tomatos, we weren't all too sure how to eat these fresh beauties, but we did eat them none-the-less.
The starter had just wet my appetite and now I was truly excited about what was to come next, Fettuccini Bolegnese.
Though my Fettuccini Bolegnese was perfect in every way, tomatoey, ragu-ooey with thick fettuccini pasta that was cooked to perfection I took one bite of Mr. Borscht's Fusilli Salsieccia E Panna and knew which was the better dish, his. The Fusilli Salsieccia E Panna was what we lame-mens call cork-screw pasta with chunks of home-made chicken sausage all tossed together in a cream sauce - the chicken sausage was so full of flavor and it could be tasted with every bite, slightly peppery but creamy, slightly salty but not. But I'm sure the Fettuccini Bolegnese is probably better for you.
This small, quaint restaurant that resides in Larchmont with friendly staff is a definite try if you haven't already. I'm no pro when it comes to Italian but I think it can be said that one can judge the quality of an Italian restaurant by it's bread and pasta, at La Bottega Marino the bread and pasta is so good it's almost painful to eat. The pasta is cooked through soft with the perfect texture, the fettuccini was the perfect width as was the fusilli. The bread? Damn good, Chewy, soft, doughy, moist... yumm.
The Damage: 36.00 +/-
1 Crostino w/Mixed Mushrooms
1 Fettuccine Bolognese
1 Fusilli Salsieccia E Panna
La Bottega Marino
203 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90004