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Saying goodbye to Los Angeles Italian restaurant Dominick’s

The restaurant business sees a lot of openings and closings to be sure, but I must say I am most sad about the imminent closing of Dominick’s in West Hollywood.  This neighborhood Italian has served locals and celebrities alike since 1948!   Known as a former Rat Pack hangout, Frank Sinatra is just one of many Hollywood elite to enjoy dinner and drinks at Dominick’s on Beverly Boulevard.  There is a wall of black and white 8 x 10 signed glossies that could very well mean those famous folks all enjoyed meals at Dominick’s.  It was only recently announced that the building has been purchased and a new restaurant will move in.  Which is such a shame because the adjacent Jerry’s Deli has sat vacant since May 2013.

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I first visited Dominick’s a few years ago with a group of my best buddies from my work days at Mattel.  Somebody had heard of Dominick’s three-course $15 Sunday Night Supper and so we left the South Bay for a delicious and reasonably priced meal in West Hollywood.  We dined on the charming patio and had a memorable experience with solid food and drink.  I do remember the lovely fireplace area and the friendly service.

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When I heard of Dominick’s December 20th closing, I just knew I had to make one more visit.  My research buddy, Elisa of LA Woman Tours, and I made a reservation for a Monday evening and opted to sit in one of the cozy indoor booths.  Our server Winston made the meal memorable.  We decided to splurge since we won’t ever get the opportunity again.  We ordered these beautiful holiday colored, but Wizard of Oz themed, “mocktails” called The Ruby Slipper and The Emerald City.  I love that the bread is served in its own brown bag and had a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top.  We moved on to a shared appetizer, Rice Balls with melted mozzarella inside.  We both have a special love for pasta, and spaghetti was on our minds.  Elisa opted for traditional Spaghetti & Meatballs while I ordered the Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, tossed with garlic and olive oil and a dash of  crushed red pepper.

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And then came time for dessert.  When the menu says all gelato and sorbettos are made in house, you know that’s the direction I’m going.  While Elisa opted for the off-menu warm skillet cookie (we were in the know because of a special text we received confirming our reservation) I got the house favorite Gelato Sundae.  Vanilla gelato, hazelnut hot fudge sauce and this massive mountain of homemade whipped cream sprinkled with crushed biscotti.  I wish I could say I shared it, or only ate half, but that’s just not true.  I enjoyed every bite.  In honor of Dominick’s last few days in business, I wanted to make a respectable effort.  And I think Dominick would be proud!

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By Trish Procetto