15200 Sunset Blvd., Suite 106
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Modo Mio has been serving Palisadians classic northern Italian fare for more than 25 years from the heart of the Village.
“It is very complicated to survive,” Owner George Zaoui shared about remaining open through a pandemic, “but a few of our regular customers are very supportive and continue to order takeout from us since the beginning of the lock down. We want to stay positive and hang in there. We’ll get through this.”
Northern Italian dishes are characterized by a lesser use of sauces and an overall lighter and healthier style of cooking, the cucina rustica’s website explains.
“Northern Italian main courses often reflect people’s pride in their unspoiled countryside and are likely to include a nice variety of meats and poultry,” the website continues. “Seafood and shellfish are very popular on the coast.
“The overall rule is, ‘If it grows or lives well in the area, then it can make it onto the table.’”
Dinner began with Insalata Di Spinaci—fresh spinach, toasted almonds, sun-dried tomatoes and hard-boiled egg in a pesto vinaigrette. Right off the bat, I was a fan of the dressing. The pesto base made for an interesting flavor, that paired well with the spinach.
The salad proved to be a good ratio of toppings to greens, which allowed each bite to be a fair balance of flavors.
Other salads on the menu include Insalata Modo Mio, mixed baby greens, tomato, fennel and mozzarella, and Insalata Tricolore, with radicchio, arugula and Belgian endive, which Zaoui shared is one of the most popular dishes served at the restaurant.
Next up was an offering from the Antipasti Freddi list: Caprese e Pomodoro, featuring mozzarella, tomato, basil and extra virgin olive oil.
Everything about this dish was fresh, from the basil to the cheese to the tomatoes. I enjoyed this take on a classic choice, which had its own unique pop of flavor with the addition of artichoke.
Additional choices on the menu include Salmone Affumicato, fresh asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon, served with goat cheese in a honey Dijon vinaigrette, and Antipasto All’Italiana, prosciutto, salame, mortadella, artichokes and provolone.
From the Paste Al’Pesce, I tried Tagliatelle Capesante e Salmone—spinach tagliatelle with fresh bay scallops and smoked salmon in white wine with leeks and onion. This was my favorite dish of the evening, each bite was an explosion of flavor. Chockfull of seafood, Modo Mio does not skimp on the protein.
This dish really highlighted for me the fact that the dishes are full of flavor but lightly sauced. Although something of this nature could be heavy, this particular dish was not.
Next up was the Ravioli Dello Chef, filled with ricotta and spinach in a pink sauce or butter and sage. This was another standout offering, each ravioli came filled to the brim with ricotta and cheese, making it filling but not overly heavy.
Other Ravioli dishes include Ravioli Di Pollo, filled with skinless chicken breast and fresh spinach, served in a roasted Roma tomato sauce, and Ravioli Di Pollo Tacchino Affumicato, filled with smoked chicken and turkey, served in a marsala wine sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms.
The last dish came from the Pesce menu: Salmone In Padella, sautéed wild salmon with white wine, lemon and capers. As far as salmons go, this one was tender and buttery, but again, managed to not be too heavy.
This came with a side of potatoes, which was served perfectly crisped, even after a drive home, and a selection of vegetables. The lemon caper sauce was a good match for the salmon, which also was a hefty portion.
For those seeking vegetarian fare, Modo Mio has you covered: There is a section of Paste Alle Verdure, with dishes like Lasagna Di Verdure, handmade pasta, layered with minced fresh vegetables, herbed ricotta and marinara, and Gnocchi Modo Mio, potato dumplings in a tomato-pesto cream sauce.
Though I took the dishes home, Modo Mio is currently open for outdoor dining on a patio for those who are interested. There is free parking available under the restaurant, which has its entrance on La Cruz Drive.
And even after all of that food, I still only hit a few of the sections on a very extensive menu, with additional choices in Carne, Risotto, Dolci and more. There truly is something for everyone on the menu—and many, many reasons to go back.
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