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Da Barbara Opens in Los Angeles With a Unique Italian Menu 

Chef Barbara Pollastrini’s just-opened restaurant in the heart of Hollywood features a seven-course tasting menu served in an intimate setting with only seven tables.

1:15 PM EST on January 3, 2024

Da Barbara's Is It Winter Yet

“Is it Winter Yet” from da Barbara: Pumpkin tortelli with orange, candied pears, and Pecorino Romano fondue.

Calling it “the crowning heart of her dream,” Barbara Pollastrini has opened her new tasting menu restaurant, da Barbara, in Hollywood. The Rome expat has long called Los Angeles home, and she’s cooked on movie sets, as an executive chef at restaurants, and on cooking competition shows, but this is her first solo effort—and it looks stunning.

Guests enter da Barbara through a glass façade that exposes the apartment-like interior, which has five small tables on the first floor, and two larger tables and an open kitchen on the second floor where Pollastrini does her work. 

Barbara Pollastrini
Barbara Pollastrini, the chef and creative mind behind da Barbara in Los Angeles.

She’s created an opening menu with seven dishes, five savory courses and two desserts, that reflect her philosophies about cooking seasonally and “with a deep passion for the art of gastronomy,” as she writes on the restaurant’s website. 

The menu opens with homemade ricotta served with focaccia and tomato confit, then moves onto a gnocco alla romana, dubbed “Almost a Carbonara,” with house-cured guanciale, crispy artichokes, and grated egg yolk. Next are: Forest Medley, a mushroom tart with beef tartare, caramelized onions, and hazelnuts; Is It Winter Yet, which pairs pumpkin tortelli with orange, candied pears, and Pecorino Romano fondue; and Rollin’, a filet mignon roll stuffed with prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano, served with seasonal vegetables and caramelized onions.

A Cannolo That Thinks It's a Strudel
A Cannolo That Thinks It's a Strudel from da Barbara in Los Angeles.

For dessert, Pollastrini starts with a liquorice semifreddo with mint, then caps the menu with a show-stopping “Cannolo That Thinks it’s a Strudel,” with sabayon cream and apple flambé.

She opened da Barbara just last month in a space that she says she designed and built with friends. The new restaurant, which she likens to a dinner party atmosphere, instantly puts Los Angeles’s already impressive Italian dining scene into the spotlight in the new year. After being a supporting player for years, Pollastrini seems ready for her star turn. 

Check our more photos below.

Balance of the essentials
"Balance of the Essentials" from da Barbara: homemade ricotta with tomato confit, which is served with focaccia.
Forest Medley from Da Barbara
da Barbara's "Forest Medley": tartalette with mushrooms, beef tartare, caramelized onions.
Dining room at da Barbara
da Barbara features just seven tables arranged around its townhouse setting in Los Angeles.
Exterior of da Barbara
The first hint that da Barbara will not be the usual dining experience is approaching its apartment-like interior, visible through floor-to-ceiling windows.

da Barbara, 6411 Fountain Ave., LW4, Los Angeles, CA 90028, @da_barbara_p, barbarapollastrini.com

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