When you pull into the narrow parking lot of Caffe Concerto, you can’t help but feel that you may have arrived at the wrong location. Tucked away on an industrial street in the Korea Town neighborhood of Los Angeles, the stark white building with black awnings and rod iron accents seems to be out of place in the area in which it resides. But, like most things in LA, the seemingly dissimilar often make the best match.
Caffe Concerto is a convivial Korean-Italian (K-Italian) eatery and bakery with a diverse menu that features contemporary Italian fare, Korean specialties, and mouthwatering dishes melding the two cuisines. Upon entering the restaurant, you are greeted by a colorful display of various flavored macarons, cakes, and coffee bar. The restaurant is located on the second floor and the dining room is a little tight in space; however, the charm is plentiful. The decor is a balanced blend of modern Italian and slight kitsch that contributes to a warm, relaxed, and unpretentious dining experience.
We arrived for dinner around 7:00 p.m. and the crowd was modest but lively. We were seated at a large white table, which would typically seat at least 5. It seemed a bit large for two, but after our courses began to arrive, a table of smaller size would struggle to accommodate the hearty portions of each dish.
Our waiter said that the Frutti di Mare pasta was their most popular dish: pasta topped with a fresh seafood medley tossed with onion, basil and fresh parmesan in a light tomato cream sauce. I can see why. This dish was delicious; however, the Kimchi Carbonara tops the list for me. I recommended ordering the bacon lardons in the Carbonara extra crispy—you won’t be disappointed.
Just recently, Concerto launched brunch during the weekend from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The menu includes brunch favorites such as lobster benedict and fried chicken and waffles, but you can also get some of the specialty items such as seafood fried rice and the Japanese pasta dish, Mentaiko. For all of those who believe that brunch is dead, this menu will make you reconsider.
Concerto is located at 610 S Serrano Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90005. They are open Sunday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to midnight, and until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To make reservations or book an event call (213) 738-0909.