WeHo Italian standard moves down the street

The old saying is that you can't improve on perfection -- but if that's true, then how the hell do you explain double cheeseburgers? For a restaurant also proving it can be done, check out Marco's

A 15yr neighborhood institution providing WeHo with the kinds of traditional Italian dishes that work so well, they've been essentially unchanged for decades, Marco's is moving up the street and turning things to 11 by morphing into a breakfast/lunch/dinner bistro with a 25-foot ceiling, exposed-brick walls, a larger patio, and a menu that intros new, worldly deliciousness while gourmet-izing staples, which wasn't as easy as the commercials would lead you to believe. The chef's the same guy who upped the ante at The Mint, and starts his menu with cranked-up Boot grub like spaghetti w/ Kobe meatballs, filet mignon-stuffed cannelloni w/ lobster sauce, and Marco's classic sweet-ish crust pizzas, with new specialty offerings like the shrimp/chicken/crawfish/andouille "Pizza Orleans", and the Scottish smoked salmon/caramelized onions/mascarpone/capers "Pizza Salmon" -- impressive, but still lower on the food chain than Salsa Shark. There's also a healthy dose of brand-new, not-Italian-at-all offerings, like nori and pepper-crusted filet mignon medallions in ponzu sauce w/ horseradish whipped potatoes, a sauteed prime pork chop w/ grilled peaches & roasted sweet potato puree, and lobster-mushroom mac & cheese w/ truffle oil, a move Kraft countered by introducing house-pet-shaped noodles

Marco's also has 50 wines by the glass under $13, a $10 lunch menu with 10 options (lobster and shrimp po boy, lasagna bolognese, etc, each coming w/ chopped salad & polenta), and two Mon-Sat happy hours (3:30-6:30pm, 10pm-12am) with six $5-and-under apps, $4 wine, and $3 beer -- upholding the longstanding tradition of improving the perfection of booze by simply making it cheaper.