I've been going to Marco's for some 15 years now, beginning when it was run by Marco's mother. She would seat us as if we were guests in her home. Although ""Mama Marco"" (as we always call her) is no longer with us, I still feel her presence every time we enter the restaurant. Water, foccacia and menus all show up almost as soon as we're seated. ""May I get you a beverage?"" is one of the first things we hear. No ""my-name-is-Steevan- and-I'll-be-your-waiter"", but instead a more-personal ""how are you this evening?""\r
From the fresh foccacia with tomatoes, then to minestrone soup and Caesar salad, and then the main course (hmm...what tonight? Lasagna? Pizza? Ravioli, spaghetti, chicken piccata?) Everything I've ordered is delicious, which makes it hard to decide. I often choose lasagna bolognese - I love lasagna but it's really time-consuming to make at home, and this is probably better than mine anyway... Their portion is so generous that i often take half home and have it for lunch the next day. My boyfriend loves their meat ravioli in bolognese sauce, always asking our waiter for ""extra, extra"" sauce.\r
Last night it was pizza - medium crust, ""Mama's Special"". Really delicious, very filling. After soup and salad, we couldn't finish it and took half home - which we reheated and devoured for a midnight snack.\r
Everything - bread, tomato sauce, iced tea, tiramisu - tastes freshly-made. That's why I could eat here a couple of times a week and not tire of it.\r
L.A. may be a food 'scene', but Marco's isn't part of any 'scene'. Good food, made from scratch, with a warm staff. It's like eating in my grandmother's home, but without the guilt.
Pros: Delicious, fresh food. Free parking (!!) Relaxed, unpretentious. Small and intimate. Patio available.
Cons: Landlord (Walgreen's) wants to tear down and build a drugstore, so no improvements to the premises for a while now.