This LA Neighborhood Italian Spot Has Always Been There For Me

From my parents’ first date to my senior prom, Farfalla Trattoria never fails.

3 min read

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Of all the restaurants I’ve ever been to, no place has been as meaningful to my life as Farfalla Trattoria. Since it opened in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighborhood in 1987, Farfalla has been the definitive, stalwart local spot for any and every occasion — and not by chance. The food at Farfalla isn’t gussied up or particularly frilly. That’s its greatest strength; it fits perfectly into whatever you need it to be.


Unlike so many LA Italian restaurants, Farfalla distinguishes itself with a rustic-yet-sophisticated menu. The mellow, Caesar-adjacent Insalata Farfalla is layered with toasted, tomato-y pizza bread; the light and smoky Farfalle al Salmone features delicate smoked salmon and peas. There are too many good woodfire pizzas to name. My favorite dish is the toothsome and savory Rigatoni Tre Funghi that stays al dente even as leftovers, with vodka sauce clinging to sautéed mushrooms and oozing from the ridged noodles’ interior.


Farfalla is the restaurant where, over 30 years ago, my parents shared a bowl of Fettuccine Bolognese on their first date. At dinner before my senior prom, my friends and I laughed as I burned my mouth on my favorite pizza, the Salsiccia e Arugula. Despite the plethora of arrabbiata, tomato sauce, and other stain-worthy foods threatening our ball gown attire, my friends and I inhaled our food that night. Years later, I still scarf down the same sausage and arugula pizza, whether I’m dressed for an occasion or in my sweatpants for a night in. 


While it’s always been a popular, often-crowded restaurant, Farfalla has expertly managed the swell in delivery orders since the pandemic, with takeout containers and pizza boxes stacked up to its ceiling. The food always arrives hot, never needing a reheat.


Recently, my family ordered our Farfalla go-tos on a bleary Thursday: Calamari, Gnocchi Di Pollo, Insalata Farfalla, and Fettuccine Bolognese. I’m always excited to uncrimp my pasta from its aluminum container and unveil my pizza from its box, knowing it’ll be the same as I’ve always remembered. Constant and dependable, Farfalla is a workhorse of a restaurant that, despite its growth in popularity, has never sacrificed its quality. It’s a place I will always keep coming back to for any occasion, assured in its comfort and consistency in whatever I order, whether it’s an elegant seafood tagliolini or a simple margherita pizza. 

Farfalla is a place I have loved for a very long time, and it’s unquestionably one of the best Italian restaurants in Los Angeles. May it keep being there when we need (and want) it most.