15200 Sunset Blvd #106 | Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 | (310) 459-0979 | restaurantmodomio.com | $$
By ALEXANDRIA BORDAS | Reporter
Gallantly dressed guests eagerly walked the red carpet and posed for pictures before entering Modo Mio to celebrate their special 30-year anniversary on the evening of Tuesday, June 16. The current Palisadian owners greeted everyone at the door by giving two kisses, one on each cheek, and chatted animatedly in French.
Familiar faces could be seen milling about, including Pacific Palisades honorary mayor Jake Steinfeld, and Arnie Wishnick, Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce.
George embraced guests as if they were part of his own family and spoke about how happy he is that his family relocated to the Palisades one year ago.
“Living in Pacific Palisades, to be here, is a dream,” George said with a thick French accent. “I left Paris to live here and if this really is a dream then I never want to wake up.”
He decided to buy a restaurant two years ago and visited every neighborhood in Los Angeles, waiting to be charmed by the right place.
“When I walked into Modo Mio I fell in love and so did my wife Veronique,” George said. “Sometimes in life you feel something pulling you in a certain direction and that’s what happened here.”
Over 100 guests took their seats on the red velvet plush seats and waited for the chefs to present various pasta dishes, which are homemade in the kitchen on a daily basis.
“Every product we serve is natural and not frozen,” the owner said. “We get our fish delivered weekly as well as our meat. Our bread is so fresh and we serve the best quality of food we can to our community.”
Guests helped themselves to spinach-filled ravioli, rigatoni alla melanzane, pollo (chicken) alla diavola and gnocchi, Modo Mio style.
Chatter died down and was replaced by the clattering of silverware while guests indulged themselves in flavorful Italian dishes and sipped wine and champagne from the French countryside.
The rigatoni was a crowd favorite and the owner said it is a pasta dish his regulars keep coming back for. The gnocchi was simmered in a subtle tomato-pesto cream sauce that gave this everyday Italian meal a savory twist.
Geraldine Tissot-Brown assisted George and his family in their immigration process and was specially invited to attend the celebration.
“When you work with families on their immigration process you become heavily involved in their lives, you really get to know them in an intimate way,” said Tissot-Brown, who also immigrated from France.
Similar to everyone else, the rigatoni was a bold standout to Tissot-Brown.
“Wow it is all so good though, I cannot stop eating it. I wonder if I could take the pasta to-go for my husband,” Tissot-Brown joked.
Benjamin, George and Veronique’s son, works at the restaurant and is studying business at Santa Monica College.
“Our pasta is the best I’ve ever had, and I am definitely not just saying that,” said Benjamin with a bright smile. “I love living in the Palisades, I am close to the beach and everyone here is so friendly and nice, so much different than Paris. Here, it is beautiful.”
Before dessert, George made a speech and thanked everyone for attending.
“I waited for 42 years to finally arrive here (in LA), I never want to leave,” he said.
Dessert consisted of a chocolate-layered tiramisu, fresh baked apple tart and pastries provided by The Sweet Nuns.
“I hope you all liked what you tasted and thank you very much for attending,” George said as guests, cheerfully full to the brim, sipped on espresso.