Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Eataly

I love everything Italian, especially the food and wine. So, I eagerly awaited the opening of Eataly in Los Angeles, happy that it would be in Century City, not far from my home. When it opened last month, there were large crowds lined up each day so I waited a few weeks before going. It was worth the wait. Eataly is the Please The Palate pick of the week.

Anything and everything Italian that you might want is there. Do not go hungry or you will be in trouble!

Entering on Level 2, there is a Lavazza Caffe serving up coffee like you can only get in Italy. Forget triple, grande and tall, just order a proper Italian espresso, a macchiato, or any classic espresso drink. Or indulge in an Italian hot chocolate, thick dark chocolate that is rich but not overly sweet. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a gelato from Il Gelato or a bomboloni (similar to a stuffed doughnut) at Cannoli e Bomboloni. Of course, you may want to save these spots for after you eat.

Upstairs on Level 3, it is sensory overload of Italian products. Rows of pastas, olive oils, balsamic vinegar, sauces, chocolates, cookies and more. Hours can be spent wandering the rows of food products and trying to decide what you must have.

There is a pasta counter, bread-making counter and a mozzarella lab where all of the products are made fresh daily in front of your eyes.

There are cheeses and salumi and pastries that will make you lick your lips as your stomach grumbles.

The wine store offers over 1200 Italian and California wines. If you just want a glass of wine while you stroll around, there is a wine bar in “La Piazza”, the Eataly Italian Town Square.

There is even fresh produce sold and fresh fish and meats.

And, if you have the patience to stand in line to get a seat, stay and eat at La Pizza e La Pasta where you can get Neapolitan pizza by Rossopomodoro or fresh al dente pasta. A separate wait is for Il Pesce Cucina, a fish restaurant by Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto. There are daily crudos, a fresh seafood salad and more.

But one dish you definitely do not want to miss is the polpo – tasty chunks of fried octopus with arugula, tomatoes and sweet and sour peppers.

Eataly is an Italian-lover’s dream. Mangia bene!