Two-in-one gastronomic experience serving robust Italian fare
This space on Santa Monica Blvd. has seen frequent turnover through the years, but the neighborhood’s excitedly endorsed this project from co-owners Jeffrey Merrihue and Barbara Pollastrini (who’s also the executive chef). On the deli side, you’ll find sandwiches that -- dare we say it? -- rival nearby Bay Cities, including a talked-about OMG sandwich packed with high-quality prosciutto, salami, capocollo, mortadella, porchetta, artichokes, and the works inside a crispy, airy, homemade ciabatta. Over on the wine bar side, Rome-born Pollastrini’s skills shine through in a tomato bread soup served with fresh pesto, brown butter-drenched gnudi dumplings swelling with ricotta, and her signature pasta dish: a seafood trio of live uni, live crab, and caviar sourced from Santa Barbara. And since it’s a wine bar, there are tons of wine options from both California and Italy -- meant to be enjoyed at a cozy, communal table that seats up to 16 people.