A-1 Produce and Veggie Lovers Deli. Specialties: saag paneer, masala dosa, potato bonda, pakoras, kulfi ice creams. Entrées, $5 to $6. 9043 Reseda Blvd., Northridge; (818) 998-6900. See Page 18 for review.
Ago is more scene than substance, a slick Italian restaurant from Agostino Sciandri (of Toscana fame) that runs on autopilot. Specialties: bistecca and grilled rib-eye from the wood-burning oven, ricotta cheesecake. Entrées, $9 to $35. 8478 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 655-6333.
Alessi Ristorante & Bar is a warm neighborhood Italian restaurant with a main dining room, private dining room, garden room and wine room. Specialties: brodetto di cozze, prosciutto and arugula pizza, butternut squash and fontina ravioli, cioppino alla chitarra, grilled pork porterhouse. Entrées, $9 to $27. 6602 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; (323) 935-1197.
Alex Scrimgeour's model for his eponymous restaurant is formal and old-fashioned with a large menu, thick wine list and plenty of service. Specialties: coriander-crusted skate wing, grilled pigeon salad, Spanish anchovy in caramelized onion tart, tarte tatin. Four-course prix fixe menu, $60. 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 933-5233.
Allegro chef Mario Petillo doesn't over-sauce his pastas and isn't afraid of simplicity. Specialties: Sicilian-style pasta, spaghetti cacio e pepe, grigliata mista (mixed seafood grill) and grilled rack of lamb. Entrées, $8 to $21. 1160 N. Tustin Ave., Orange; (714) 639-7921.
All Family Restaurant features menus written in Korean, but a table card offers English translations. Specialties: steamed or fried dumplings (mandu), kimchi dumplings, rice cake dumpling soup, hand-cut noodles in broth. Entrées, $12 to $20. 1032 S. Crenshaw Blvd., No. B, Los Angeles; (323) 935-2724.
Alto Palato. Specialties: grilled Mediterranean sea bass, lasagna, three-course regional menus served on Wednesdays. Entrées, $11 to $28. 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 657-9271. See Page 14 for review.
Ammo packs in the hip and the healthy, where sleek tables and concrete floors provide a backdrop for stylish comfort food. Specialties: poached eggs with fennel, beets and prosciutto, whipped potatoes with roasted shallots, double-cut pork chop with caramelized pears, Scharffen Berger brownies. Entrées, $9 to $28. 1155 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 871-2666.
Angeli Caffè serves rustic regional Italian fare. On Thursdays, chef Evan Kleiman presents family-style dinners featuring dishes from around the world. Specialties: cacciucco livornese (fish soup), pasta, pizza, roasted half chicken. Entrées, $8 to $18. 7274 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 936-9086.
Angelini Osteria. Specialties: pizza with burrata and tomato, zuppa di borlotti, skate salad, bombolotti all' amatriciana, spaghetti alla carbonara, branzino in sea salt, bistecca alla Fiorentina, panna cotta. Entrées, $16 to $30. 7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 297-0070. See Pages 14 and 15 for reviews.
Antica Pizzeria. Pizzas, $9 to $11. Villa Marina Marketplace, 13455 Maxella Ave., Marina del Rey; (310) 577-8182. See Page 14 for review.
Antojitos Latinos Restaurant doubles as a mini mart, with diners facing shelves filled with stacks of Colombian chocolate and exotic canned goods. Homesick Colombians go for the authentic country-style breakfast. Specialties: café con leche, buñuelos, beef empanada, papa rellena, batidos de leche (Colombia's version of smoothies). Entrées, $6 to $9. 14909 Vanowen St., Van Nuys; (818) 781-9004.
Antonello Ristorante was created to resemble a street in owner Antonio Cagnolo's hometown in Italy, and it's where Orange County's power plays happen. The uninitiated order off the menu; regulars leave decisions to the servers. Specialties: fresh-textured sauces, veal, seafood and pastas. Entrées, $14 to $35. South Coast Plaza Village, 1611 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana; (714) 751-7153.
A.O.C. Specialties: chicken liver crostini, beet and blood orange salad, gratin of salt cod and potatoes, cheese plates. Entrées, $8 to $16. 8022 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; (323) 653-6359. See Pages 8 and 15 for reviews.
The Apple Pan burger counter, an institution since 1947, continues to draw customers who are as loyal as sports fans. Specialties: steak burger, hickory burger, egg salad sandwich, tuna sandwich, banana cream pie. Entrées, $12. 10801 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 475-3585.
Arnie Morton's menu is show-and-tell. The beef is super-aged and every portion is humongous at this downtown steakhouse. Specialties: jumbo shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, prime rib, New York strip, filet Diane, double rib lamb chops, potato skins, sautéed onions, cheesecake. Entrées, $22 to $36. 735 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles; (213) 553-4566.
Arroyo Chophouse is an Arts & Crafts-style carnivore's fantasy from the brothers who also own Parkway Grill. Though the place is usually jammed, the steaks and chops don't always live up to expectations. Specialties: beefsteak tomato salad, prime rib, Grand Marnier soufflé. Entrées, $19 to $36. 536 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena; (626) 577-7463.
Art's Deli remains the definitive Valley deli, where you go to be abused by busy waitresses, pick up some fractured menu Yiddish and eat the best corned beef and pastrami on the boulevard. Specialties: corned beef sandwich, "I want it all" chicken soup, short ribs in the pot. Entrées, $10 to $16. 12224 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 762-1221.
THE RESTAURANT GUIDE 2003