bestia is located in downtown la in the arts district. from the outside, you see this industrial space that somehow pulls you in. once you walk in, they somehow soften the space with beautiful decor, stunning chandeliers and pops of color. because of how crowded the restaurant was, i did not snap photos of the interior (as to not disturb fellow diners). i did however get photos/videos of what jess and i ordered and it was phenomenal.
first things first, be sure to get a reservation. we had to book a reservation for a thursday evening almost two months out to get the time slot we wanted (7:45pm). we arrived about 20 minutes early, valeted the car (would highly recommend as street parking is slim in the area and the parking lot is tight) and were inside by 7:30pm. the hostesses were incredibly gracious and we were seated at least 10 minutes ahead of our reservation. i would have been happy being seated on time so they had already earned extra points with us by this point.
our waitress was not only friendly but incredibly knowledgeable about the entire menu. since it was our first time, she had plenty of recommendations and suggested we order some things to share in order to be able to experience more of the menu. she gave us a few minutes to discuss the menu and in that time, a wine connoisseur came over and was able to find jess a great alternative for the red she was looking for (she typically likes a malbec but since that wasn’t an option on this night, he recommended something she loved just as much). i was on the fence between two rosés and after explaining the flavor profile of what i was looking for, he brought over the perfect glass. there were a good 80+ wines to choose from and the menu was easy to navigate since the ones sold by the glass had a dot next to them.
for our starter, we ordered the calamari alla plancha. typically, calamari is fried or lightly battered. this one was completely different and arguably, more delicious. it was marinated with citrus and chili and tossed with cucumbers and mushrooms. i honestly could eat this every single day. jess loved it just as much.
now for the entree portion, i was pretty set on burrata pizza, especially because it came with chilies on it and i love a kick. at any italian restaurant, jess typically gravitates towards gnocchi. we both agreed that we would sample a little of each other’s meal.
i am still dreaming about that burrata pizza. the flavor profile was out of control and it was so fresh and creamy. the gnocchi was simple yet perfectly cooked. sometimes, i find myself avoiding gnocchi because it can be a little dense. that was not the case at bestia – i would gladly order a bowl just for myself during my next visit. the portions are perfect and with the plates being so rich, if the portions were any bigger, it would be too much to handle. especially if you are like jess and i and want to save room for dessert.
if you know me, you know chocolate is far from my favorite sweet. however, there was this chocolate budino tart that had salted caramel, olive oil and sea salt and we just had to get it. our waitress highly recommended two desserts and this was one of them.
for someone like me that appreciates my chocolate being balanced out by a little salt, this was absolutely delightful.
if you are looking for an amazing italian restaurant in la, i could not recommend bestia enough. for the full menu, click here. there is something extra special about restaurants that are not part of a chain – it is like there is a little extra love sprinkled into each dish served.
have you been to bestia already? if so, what is your favorite dish? if not, head over to open table to book your reservation asap. you will thank me later.