Today is: Monday, July 15, 2024

Tanino Ristorante Bar Review

Executive Chef Tanino Drago brought with him the traditions and techniques of authentic Southern Italian cuisine. Using quality fresh ingredients, Tanino has crafted
an extensive menu of traditional and modern Italian fare, offering everything from
fresh made lobster risotto to steak served intagliata style. Tanini’s dining room
offers a casually sophisticated atmosphere, allowing diners a relaxing escape to
this wonderful Westwood area. The extensive wine list of course features a wide
array of Tanino’s wines, as well as an excellent Italian and American selection.
With its varied menu, generous portions, and inviting atmosphere, Tanino
Restauant is ideally suited for large groups and small parties alike.

Tanino Drago                                    Front Entrance

You will feel as if you've traveled back in time to Old Italy. Tanino Drago grew up in a small town in Sicily. His father made the family's wine, cheese and olive oil. His mother made the fresh pasta and bread. Tanino it seems was destined to master the art of fine Italian cuisine. He worked at his uncle's trattoria and studied at the Giarre Culinary School. It all comes together beautifully at Tanino's in Westwood. The Renaissance-style building was designed by Paul Williams and built in 1929.


Thousands of miles away from his native Sicily, the chef and owner of his namesake Tanino Ristorante and Bar has created a true gem of a place to celebrate Italian cooking, eating and passion for life. Reminiscent of his childhood days in the small town of Galati, located in the Messina region of Sicily, Tanino Ristorante and Bar
is flavored with the sights, tastes and smells that allow each guest to enjoy a
little of Tanino's rich background.

Tanino Drago blends the delicious flavors of his home country with warm familial hospitality and exceptional service. His seasonal menus feature regional Italian
cooking and are prepared with both traditional and modern ingredients.
Specialties include an outstanding variety of homemade pasta, authentic
seafood and meat dishes as well as delectable desserts.

In October 1998, Tanino Ristorante and Bar opened its doors in one of Westwood’s original, historic Mediterranean buildings. Designed in 1929 by premiere architect
Paul Revere Williams, the building resembles the elegant Pitti Palace in Florence.
This charming and surprising building seems to have finally found its perfect tenant.
For the first time in the well-preserved architectural gem's 75-year history, the
building now offers the best of Bella Italia inside and out, as if it was always
meant to be home to the equally remarkable Tanino.

Grappa / Roger Moore                                    Matt Fontana          

Tanino Ristorante and Bar's authentic cuisine is remarkably well matched to its setting. Tanino stands alone as Los Angeles' only Italian restaurant to be housed in a place so perfectly matched to its cuisine, as the building was originally designed based on the mythical architecture of Florence, Italy's, famous Pitti Palace. And as far as the cuisine, few can compete with the authentic taste of Chef Tanino Drago’s culinary creations. Greatly influenced by homemade family recipes that he enjoyed during his Sicilian childhood, later accentuated by a culinary education in the eastern Sicilian village of Taoromina, Tanino's restaurant reflects his philosophy that food is the spice of life.

At the bar we had a delicious Roger Moore martini made from our gracious
bartender Matt Fontana, the drink was made with gin, citrus vodka and lime
juice and I sampled a delicious grappa, which is my favorite!

Brunello di Montacino / Long Island

Comfortably seated, we were greeted by our nice Italian server Dario, who seemed genuinely delighted to wait on us. Over the course of the evening he would prove to
be both knowledgeable and entertaining, ensuring we had an enjoyable experience.
He presented us with Tanino’s wine list, an extensive selection of great wines,
from which we selected a Brunello di Montacino from Tuscany, a great wine
to follow us through our meal.

   Mushroom Soup                                     Mushroom Souffle

We began with a sampling of some delightful appetizers. We opted to start with a delicious Zuppa di Funghi, a delicious mushroom soup with fontina cheese, I
loved the flavor and the combination of this soup.

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

Next we had the Tortino di funghi di bosco e salsa di gruviera, a mushroom souffle with gruviera cheese sauce, very soft to the bite, and absolutely sensational to eat with some bread. The delicate souffle was rich with flavor, which, if you paused a moment before swallowing, swept across the mouth and blanketed the tongue with the aromas of the truffles, this dish was quite possible one of the best souflle I had tasted.

Artichoke Salad with aged Pecorino Cheese

We next sampled the special Smoked Salmon Carpaccio and were delighted by the rich and aromatic combination of flavors and textures. Moving on to the Insalata
salad selection, we were presented with a combo of their most wanted ones. The Insalata di carcioffi e pecorino stagionato, artichoke salad with aged pecorino
cheese, it was tempting, as was the Burrata caprese, a buttery mozzrella cheese
with organic heirloom tomatoes, I was excited to have the opportunity to try
this one, which was again, marvelous! The simplicity of the dish allowed
the quality of the ingredients to shine.

            Pumpkin Tortelloni                     Risotto Crab Meat and Artichokes

Tanino offers a generous selection of pasta dishes, with the menu divided into Seafood, Meat, and Vegetarian sections. Perhaps sensing our difficulty in selecting
just one dish, Dario offered to bring a sampling of 2 different pastas to our table, demonstrating a range of cooking techniques and flavors. The Torteloni di zuca
e salvia, a pumpkin tortelloni in a cream and sage sauce was terrific, it was
excellently integrated, with thick white sauce generously clinging to creamy
pumpkin tortelloni. The next one was the Risotto al grancio e carciofi, a arborio
rice with crab meat and artichokes was a delightfully rich vegetarian dish,
featuring spinach and cheese ravioli tossed in a rich porcini mushroom cream
sauce. The mushrooms were the highlight of the dish, imparting a rich,
savory flavor that lingered with each bite.

Branzino a whole grilled imported Mediterranean Stripped Bass


Branzino a whole grilled imported Mediterranean Stripped Bass

The Secondi Piatti section of Tanino’s menu is almost as extensive as the pasta section, with a variety of seafood, chicken, steak and veal entrees. We selected the popular Branzino a whole grilled imported Mediterranean stripped bass drizzled with fresh rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. The aroma of the rosemary greeted our noses before the dish was set down, further awaking our already excited taste buds.
Roasted rosemary, as well as garlic provided just a hint of flavor, and the crisp
garlic slivers provided an excellent contrast to the tender fish. The final dish was
the Costoletta alla Milanese; a breaded rack of veal topped with fresh tomato
and arrugula, another great dish with an incredible blend of aromas and taste.

Costoletta alla Milanese,   A Breaded Rack of Veal

Simplicity again allowed the quality of the ingredients to shine, and we enjoyed not only the meat but the sauce that it was surrounded it. After allowing ourselves a
pause to digest and contemplate the many dishes we had sampled, our server
came out with two delicious desserts the apple tart and the lemon mousse,
should I say that we also loved them?

   Apple Tart                                             Lemon Mousse

Sitting back as we took in the still-lively atmosphere that evening, we
found ourselves quite satisfied.

Our Tanino dining experience had provided us with a wonderfully
sensual tour of Sicily’s Italian cuisine.

Special thanks to Tanino for this wonderful and indimenticabile dinner!

For map and location click Here!

For more information please visit their website at

Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx

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