The legendary East Harlem restaurant famous for its mobster mystique and turning away the likes of Bill Clinton and Madonna will finally open its first West Coast location in Hollywood on September 17. Rao’s is opening on 1006 Seward Avenue, and currently taking reservations for the wise guys and gals who wish to beat the masses (323-962-7267).
If you’ve heard, or read about the hype surrounding Rao’s 10-table, 117-year-old Harlem location at the corner of 114th and Pleasant, then you know it may take you another 117 years to get a reservation. Seriously – you have to know someone to get in, or book your table one year in advance. Indeed, tables are reportedly “owned” by locals and get passed down generation by generation. The menu offers simplistic, Southern Neapolitan cuisine like lemon chicken, mozzarella in Carroza, and traditional family-style Italian dishes. The eatery is every pasta-loving foodie’s dream.
In 2006, Rao’s opened a location in Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas strip, which, as you could imagine, does not offer the same ambiance as the original, but provides the same amazing veal chop, pasta fagioli, and other staples.
With 95 seats, and dining both indoors and out, Angelenos should have a much shorter wait time than New Yorkers. Hours are 5pm to 10:30pm and Chef Nicole Grimes will head up the restaurant. The Los Angeles location’s menu is yet to be seen, but let’s hope for the same deliciousness. After all, it is one of LA’s most anticipated restaurant openings of 2013.