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Osteria La Buca - 38 Reviews - 5210 1/2 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA - Local Favorite Reviews - Phone (323) 462-1900

Osteria La Buca

5210 1/2 Melrose Ave (at Wilton Place)
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 462-1900
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Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA
Osteria La Buca - Los Angeles, CA


( 23 )
( 5 )
( 4 )
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( 6 )


This is my new neighborhood joint. Well, when I have someone over with money willing to treat me, that is. I went there last night for the first time after seeing that is is pac...


It was a very sad evening for us. What was once an awesome, charming, delicious and authentic Italian restaurant has seemingly gone corporate. The food has suffered. The atmosp...

Editorial review from Citysearch 8/7/2013

this place has amazingly fresh food, incuding incredible mixed fruit plates. great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike with an emphasis on healthy but yummy food. very flexible and helpful staff. also a popular hangout for hollywood stars and industry meetings. more

Editorial review from Citysearch 3/14/2013

Had a reservation tonight for a special occassion. When I got there, I was greeted and escorted to my table by a young girl who probably scored between a 650-700 on her SAT's. She had trouble performing simply human tasks like improvising, troubleshooting, and speaking clearly and succintly. Then we get to the table and it was markedly the worst table in the place. I will not visit again, especially if I have to interact with such a pathetic excuse for a human being. more

nice 1/31/2012

Honestly, I hate corporate Italian Food but this time I honestly loved it. It pains me to say it too. I really do love there lasagna! more

Freshest Italian in LA 4/13/2009

The freshest pasta I've tasted in LA. The bruschetta is great and tiramisu is phenomenal. I was less impressed with the pizza, but I'll have to try out another pie to really give it a fair chance... still by far one of the best Italian places in town. Try to get a spot up top near the fireplace if you can Pros: the food!!! more

Okay, Lovely Interior, Expensive 3/5/2009

I went to Osteria La Buca because it was relatively close to my work and it had five (5) stars on this site. The restaurant is right by the studios in a slightly sketchy area. The inside, however, is lovely and it definitely seems like an industry hangout. My waiter was nice, but pushy. I consented to a meal that I didn't pick and ended up ordering a dessert I did not want. I had one of the pasta specials which wasn't anything special... It wasn't really good at all. It was about on par with spaghetti and Ragu. Plus, my companions and I were left hungry due to the small portions. The Diet Coke mix was off as well. The tiramisu, however, was actually pretty good. The bill for three (3) pasta dishes, two (2) desserts, and three (3) soft drinks came to eighty dollars ($80) before adding in a tip. Although the prices aren't exorbitant, they are way too much for the quality and amount of food you receive. Pros: Beautiful Interior Cons: Expensive, Mediocre Food more

Romance, service with love, and great food 2/13/2009

This is my new neighborhood joint. Well, when I have someone over with money willing to treat me, that is. I went there last night for the first time after seeing that is is packed nearly every night of the week even while restaurants around the country are reporting slow downs in business. There is a great energy inside. If you don't know Italian wines - which I don't really - just ask for a reccomedation. Or ask to try a sample. They will gladly oblige. Have a drink at the intimate bar and then have your dinner there too. Or move upstairs to the cozy fireside room. The ravioli with butter and sage sauce is perfection. The pizza was delicious - I prefer a little crispier crust, but the quality of ingredients and preparation were obvious. Pros: Romantic setting, Excellent food, Great Vibe Cons: Expensive more


I'm a former restaurant owner and I'm a pretty damn good cook. I found La Buca a few years ago and I have watched it grow into a beautiful restaurant. Comments to other reviewers. It's not a pizza take out joint. The pizza is served as a first course.Secondly, if a waiter rushes you, ask to speak to the manager. The waiters interested in turning your table over.Don't put up with it because the owner won't. The food is delicious and because they know me I am treated very nicely. The main pleasure beside the food is that they recognize you and greet you warmly, something that many restaurants in LA lack. It's not an Olive Garden, so relax and let them take you back to Italy. Lokk at the Chandelier and enjoy the ride. Pros: Pasta""s & Pizza the best in the city more

Best Italian outside of Italy, or maybe inside too 9/20/2008

Mamma is a grand master of pasta. Get the bolognese. By far the best I've ever had. I have never had a bad meal here. My wife and I have been eating here since it was four tables where the patio is now. Always great service and excellent suggestions. Can't make up your mind. Let the waiters choose for you. They will never steer you wrong. Oh and I almost forgot about the wine, great wine that's hard to find most places. more


Oh My God! I ate lunch last week at LaBuca, absolutely, by far the best pasta ever. I enjoyed the pesto pasta with a glass of Proseco, then topped off with tiramisu and expresso. I thought I was Italy for a second. Pros: Pesto pasta Cons: Niente more

Amazing Pastas, Great Service and Beautiful Wine Pairings 9/13/2008

I recently had a lovely experience at Osteria La Buca. I went with my boyfriend for dinner and we shared the most fabulous meal! Our Italian waiter greeted us with charm and a friendly tone and even brought us into a room to show us the fresh homemade pasta before they cook it so we could pick out what kind we wanted! We shared a few pasta dishes, their gnochhi and a burrata appetizer that was to die for! I would highly recommend this place! They also were great at suggesting wines to pair with the meal. For a romantic evening...Osteria is a perfect Italian spot;)! Pros: Pasta, Appetizer, Wine, Service, Atmosphere Cons: Nothing to Say! more

fun atmosphere 9/11/2008

great food, great service, cool place. Pros: food is amazing!!! Cons: can't think of any more

solid but very plain 9/9/2008

not bad, pretty solid pasta but nothing to rave about. place is nice and cozy, maybe a little too dark.... Pros: old school italian pasta Cons: maybe a little too bland.... maybe more

Delicious food but expensive and... what's with the aggressive wine pushing? 9/8/2008

The food was delicious, except for the salad and dessert. Honestly in that department, I've had better at Maggiano's and I'm not even kidding. But the pastas are absolutely to die for, and the atmosphere was nice. So I would go back, minus the salad and dessert in favor of that wonderful pasta. The service was prompt, friendly... problem is, the waiter was pushing the wine and alcohol SO aggressively, you had to wonder. Is the food (quite expensive, small portions) not enough to keep that place open? We all know restaurants make a huge margin off the booze they sell, but to be THAT pushy about it... and then to literally make you feel bad for opting for ONE $40 bottle instead of giving in to the incessant $90 wine push was completely ridiculous! That alone will make me think twice about going back. A little advice to Mama, let the food speak for itself and tell your waiters to ease up on the ""pressure sales"" tactics with the alcohol. For God's sake, it's LA; we all have to drive home! A little irresponsible... and greedy... and annoying. Pros: nice atmosphere, brilliant pastas Cons: other dishes average, very aggressive alcohol push more

Pasta pasta pasta! 7/27/2008

I always order the same thing: Pros: the handmade pasta Cons: valet is expensive more

Best Italian food in the city - maybe even in the US 5/25/2008

I've been meaning to post this review for months and after another amazing meal I came home and made myself write this. This place is unbelievable. The pasta is perfection in both taste and al dente! My favorite part is the sauce - OMGGG - I am NOT a sauce person. I eat spaghetti with ketchup because I don't really like sauce. At other Italian restaurants I push the sauce off my pasta as much as possible, at La Buca I scoop up every last bit. We literally ask for more bread just so we have an excuse to eat more sauce. I'm absolutely obsessed with the arrabiatta. The tomatoes are so fresh, it's just the right level of spicy and it's the only arrabiata I've liked since I traveled to Italy a few years ago. I've also had the pesto - we love it on gnocchi - and the vodka sauce - both incredible. Ok, so we've covered the pasta and the sauce and now I have to talk about the tiramisu. I have to preface it by saying, I hate tiramisu. I tasted my husband's tiramisu at La Buca a few visits ago and could not believe what I was eating - soo amazingly moist with a very heavy coffee flavor. Now, everytime we go we have to order it. In addition to amazing food, La Buca's staff is very authentic Italian which matches the extreme authenticity of the food (we brought our friend who is from Italy here last month - this is the ONLY Italian restaurant she has liked in the US. she basically licked her plate clean - and she is PICKY!). Mamma, if you ever get to meet her, is ADORABLE! She was so sweet and I was impressed that she actually came out to meet her customers when we requested it. Pros: everything - food, sauce, tiramisu, staff, ambience - everything Cons: i can't go here everyday more

No parking, ridiculously overcrowded and a two-hour wait...? Who cares -- go there anyway! 5/16/2008

My December '07 experience: A German/English redhead, a Chinese Muslim and a half-Polish atheist drink raspberry brandy with a Spanish-speaking Lebanese dude at an Italian restaurant. Only in Los Angeles. Pros: Gives the phrase ""intimate venue"" a whole new meaning. Great staff, great wines, great ambiance. Cons: No parking, ridiculously overcrowded and a two-hour wait for a table. more

Gone is the old La Buca we loved... 3/9/2008

It was a very sad evening for us. What was once an awesome, charming, delicious and authentic Italian restaurant has seemingly gone corporate. The food has suffered. The atmosphere is now ""trendy"" instead of intimate and sweet. The love that ""Mama"" put in each and every menu item is gone, replaced by something akin to an upscale Macaroni Grill. Pros: Upscale, trendy atmosphere. Extensive wine list. Cons: Not even close to the original La Buca more


So we actually live around the block from this place and have been wanting to go here for awhile so we acutally saved our first meal here for valentines day this year to make it kind of special. We took the time to make a reservation 5 weeks in advance. When we arrived we were treated like we had no reservation and were made to wait with people that walked in off the street. When i mentioned to the hostess that we made a reservation she agreed in non english and just wrote our name down. This kind of set the mood for this place. We looked up the menu online and were prepared for what we were going to have since we are vegatarians and obviously can only eat certain items. We were given no notice when we made the reservation there would be a Pre fix menu on valentines nite and nothing from the normal menu was availiable. Seems like they TRIPLED their prices just for such a special occasion. KIND OF LAME for a ""neighborhood"" place.After waiting 15 minutes they finally seat us in the little side room where the heater is broken and basically it was like sitting outside with no heating source (which if it was summer it might be nice but unfortunately it was cold outside).. Anyways it took us at least 6-8 times to get the waiters attention to get another glass of wine. The food actually wasnt that bad. BUT the biggest,grossest, worst thing about this place and what will make us NEVER return was when we turned to look on the wall next to us and theres a big r@ach crawling around on the wall. When we alerted the busboy he said ""oh a cucaracha"" and laughed and smashed it on the wall much to our disgust and amazement. When we received the check the waiter asked how everything was we were like umm there was a r@ach on the wall while we were eating the waiter laughed and said ohhh okay and walked away. Not exactly the response we were wanting when we just paid 139.00 for a meal. Pros: Food was good Cons: Parking,Ambience,Service more

Real Italian in a Cute Atmosphere 11/21/2007

We tried this place a few weeks ago and were blown away. It's a little far from where we live, but I'd drive there any day of the week. I believe the restaurant has been renovated recently with a new lodge-type feel that was very cozy. It took a little while to be seated even though we did have a reservation, and I wouldn't say the service was the best. BUT, the food was outstanding. We tried 3 types of pasta (spicy marinara, vodka sauce and one other that I am forgetting) and also got white fish. To start, we tried a calamari dish and a margharita pizza that was amazing. And we brought our own wine, so i can't comment on that. I really enjoyed this place and will defintiely be back. Pros: Pizza, pasta, ambiance Cons: Only valet parking, service not the best, took a while to be seated more

Gnocci made for those who love gnocci 8/9/2007

Large, light, fluffy pouffs of gnocci melt in your mouth along with the delicious pink vodka tomato cream sauce highlighted with shrimp. Everything is homemade, everything is fresh and flavorful, just as you would hope for. Pros: authenic Italian more
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Menu for Osteria La Buca

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  • The Scene
    Since the expansion in late 2007, the former La Buca, meaning den or hole, restaurant now offers a trendier osteria atmosphere. The simple yet elegant loft feel created by...

  • 5/9/2008 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm Sat 5:30pm-11pm Sun 5pm-10pm
  • Payments:

    Visa, American Express, Discover, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    Central LA, Greater Wilshire / Hancock Park