Modo Mio has been a welcome dining destination for all of us Palisadians for many years. With its excellent Italian cuisine and calm rustic décor, the setting invites you to relax and enjoy the aromas wafting into the dining room from the kitchen.
Some three months ago proprietor Gian Franco Bertolino sold the restaurant to Frenchman George Zaoui, who has fortunately kept the excellent quality of the food and has maintained the décor with the same charming wall mural and large rack of wines. Furthermore, the setting is quiet enough for conversation.
A serving of thinly sliced sourdough bread and butter gave us something to nibble on while we studied the extensive menu. The chef sent us a special bruschetta fragrant with garlic, olive oil and fresh tomato. Delicious!
My special salad of arugula with shaved fennel, Belgian endive, sliced pear and roasted almonds all tossed in splendid Dijon vinaigrette ($12) was exceptionally tasty, and generously portioned, so much so that I took some home to enjoy the next day.
Barbara, my friend, reported that the non-dairy asparagus soup was light and quite scrumptious.
She was equally enthralled with the fish of the day, fresh halibut with a lemon caper sauce ($29). Naturally I had to taste it, and found it superb. With the fish came a generous assortment of crispy roast vegetables: potatoes, broccoli, zucchini and carrots.
My choice was the sautéed veal scaloppini special topped with artichoke leaves in flavorful lemon and white wine ($26). It was good to the last bite, so much so that I somewhat ignored the array of excellent vegetables.
What makes a meal here particularly compelling is the variety offered, from more than a dozen salads ranging in price from $8 for the mixed green salad to $13 for the top priced versions. The array of pastas varies from angel hair pasta with fresh vegetables ($13) to spaghetti al cartoccio with shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari in a light tomato sauce ($20). For risotto lovers there are four versions, while those who desire chicken, veal, lamb, beef or fish will find something pleasing also. Prices for these vary from $16 for a grilled free-range breast of chicken to $39 for a breaded veal chop.
In other words, not only is the atmosphere pleasant, the service excellent and the food great for a large or small meal, but Modo Mio continues to deserve its Zagat awards.
Especially delightful for me is proprietor George’s new dessert selection called Café Gourmand, consisting of a coffee and a selection of four small cookies meant to be shared. George’s wife makes the cookies. I found the bite of the delicious macaroon with coffee to be the perfect finish.
Modo Mio serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. except on Friday and Saturday when they stay open until10:30 p.m.
15200 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades