Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Best Thing There...

I mentioned the unsettling experience at Il Fornaio yesterday. The federal agent, blase as you please, daintily cutting his salad, gun on full display? That one? Incidentally, someone commented (unfavorably) on my use of "fibbie" in the singular. Since it stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation and a bureau is definitely made up of many, I stand on my use of it.

Happily, the Il Fornaio at 1800 Rosecrans Avenue, Manhattan Beach, offers an experience so sublime, so perfect that I nearly drool thinking about it and that is their olive rolls. These fat spheres glisten in their basket, peeking seductively out from a crisp, white napkin. They are wonderfully chewy -- a little nip through the crust and into the green olive-studded flesh. Texture? Superrrrb.

Il Fornaio, which seems to pride itself on being more Italian than you could ever hope to imagine, doesn't serve butter with them or their sesame-crusted twins, but offers the classic olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce.

I kept telling Richie, "Now don't fill up on the bread! You've got a meal coming!" while I did exactly that. Happily, there are Il Fornaios dotting the landscape and each of them has a bakery attached. for a location near you. Leave me a couple of the olive rolls, would you?

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