Bestia, the newest hot spot for downtown Los Angeles dining, is appropriately named for a few reasons. Namely, it’s a beast to find, park, and get a reservation. It seems like the entire city wants to try chef Ori Menashe’s (formerly of Angelini Osteria) innovative take on Italian fare.
Located in an old industrial warehouse in the Arts District of downtown, the only clue tipping diners off to Bestia’s location is its spray-painted name and valet stand in the alley by the main entrance. Inside, Bestia has an upscale urban architectural feel with exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and an open kitchen. The L-shaped interior space is divided into a main dining area with small booths, communal tables, and a long charcuterie bar featuring a salami counter with marble tabletops.
The wine list skews Eastern European, and includes options including lambrusco, pinot grigio, and moscato from Italy’s Friuli region.
Antipasti are both traditional and adventurous, including a selection of house-made cured meats, grilled sardines, roasted bone marrow, chicken gizzards, and beef heart tartare.
Main courses include a variety of rustic handmade pizzas, pastas, and a small selection of entrées including dorade, braised pork, and hen. The standout dishes include the house-made salami board, chicken liver crostini, and ricotta gnocchi with pork sausage and black truffles. Desserts, made by Menashe’s wife, pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, are seasonal and include chestnut donuts with coffee gelato and whipped cream, crème fraîche panna cotta with huckleberries and persimmon, and pistachio cream tart with buttermilk gelato. If you’re looking for rustic Italian cuisine at a reasonable price, head to Bestia.