The rustic dining room at Antico.
The food scene has been waiting with bated breath for chef Chad Colby, who made a name for himself at Chi Spacca, to come back onto the scene since departing the MozzaPlex over two years ago. And he’s finally done it, opening Antico, a restaurant dedicated to simple cooking from the Italian countryside. The space itself is far from its Italian origins and is located in a strip mall at the intersection of Hollywood, Koreatown and Highland Park in an area the team has dubbed “East Larchmont.”
Whereas Chi Spacca’s focus was squarely on the magic of meat, at Antico, Colby is serving up pasta, including shapes made by hand, like the hybrid of orecchiette and macaroni called maritati, which originates in Puglia and is served with a delicious arrabbiata sauce and chickpeas. His antipasti plate is another must-try, made up of house- cured meats, cheeses and seafood conservas. But the real focus here is on wood-fired cooking inspired by old-world techniques that have stood the test of time. All of the proteins cooked on the fire come with a selection of market veggies served family style.
Antico’s cavatappi served with lamb, Gaeta olives and pecorino.
There’s a whimsical wine list put together by business partner Kevin Caravelli (formerly of Maude), which includes some vintage Italian bottles. And a pastry program from Brad Ray of Eleven Madison Park shines too. If the food is any indicator, East Larchmont could in fact be the real deal. 323.510.3093
Photography by: NANCY NEIL