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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.
This story originally appeared in ATOD Magazine. My interest in food and wine began when I was living in Italy. Every town I traveled to, I would ask what was a local specialty. It was like an obsession. Italy is made up of twenty regions and each region, even each town, can have its particular cheese, pasta, wine, pastry and more. There is so much to explore so, when Savor Italy came to LA, I went to see what I could find. The Savor Italy Road Show, organized by the Italy America Chamber of Commerce West Los Angeles and the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Texas, brought a number of new products to the local market, many of which were looking for importation and distribution in the US. I found a few tasty Italian finds that are available to buy within in the US.
Driving down Sepulveda Blvd towards LAX, it is easy to not really pay attention to the area around Jefferson Blvd. We are accustomed to seeing large chain business after chain business: from El Pollo Loco, Fed Ex, Big Lots, Pacific Stereo and Just Tires to Buffalo Wings and Pizza, Fast Signs, AAA Pawn and Jewelry and H&R Block. But tucked among all of these rather uninteresting stores is a hidden gem! While other local family businesses have given way to these chain businesses, for 50 years Sorrento Italian Market has been serving the local community with specialty food products and wine from Italy. Sorrento Italian Market The store was opened in 1963 by Alberto Vera and his wife Ursula. Icons in the community, Alberto was the former mayor of Culver City and generations of families grew up going to the store. In 2010 and 2011 respectively, Alberto and Ursula passed away and son Albert Vera Jr. took over the family business.