Sometimes it’s hard to decide where to eat. Sure, I have a list of places, but they aren’t always in convenient locations. That’s when I turn to things like Groupon, because if I’m going out to eat somewhere I’m unfamiliar with, I’ll be damned if I pay full price. On this particular eve, I found a discount for an Italian place in West LA called Campagnola Trattoria.
When we arrived, we found Campagnola Trattoria inhabited a nice-sized space and had a nice-sized menu to go along with it. We started things out meaty, with the Bresaola E Pecorino, which translates to slices of cured beef, with olive oil and shaved pecorino cheese. It’s a loose translation, but the combination is something quite delicious, which I found to be very similar to carpaccio, but better. But as good as it was, it can be a bit overwhelming and is definitely for sharing.
For my main course, I opted to design my own pasta. Usually this means I order gnocchi with whatever sauce catches my eye that night, but there was something on the menu that threw me completely off. It was a pasta called Malloreddus and the menu described it as “Semolina Sardinian Gnocchi.” It’s actually closer to the ancient gnocchi and needless to say, I had to try it.
I ordered it with Carbonara sauce and when it arrived, it looked like a bunch of silk worms swimming in old milk. Yes, it looked that good. But in all seriousness, it was really delicious. The carbonara sauce had a great balance of flavors, and the pancetta was especially good. The pasta was great as well. although the malloreddus had very little in common with normal gnocchi, aside from being dumpling-esque, it was a worthy replacement. Well, at least for a night.
In general, I have to say I was impressed by Campagnola Trattoria. Yet, I did feel that the prices were a bit steep. Sure, I had a discount, but without it I might have left with the feeling that I unloaded too much of my wallet on very good food that I could have eaten elsewhere for less.