Hearts & Flame (Italian DTLA)

Warrior: This new restaurant is near Manuela in the old Inko Nito space. It was an odd experience. Lots and lots of staff (most of whom had Italian accents, and one of whom barely spoke English). Few customers. The kitchen took forever to prepare the food, and the meal lasted an hour longer than I would have expected.

The food itself was unusual. It was executed well—e.g., tender octopus and perfectly al dente pasta with moist chunks of sea bass. But it was not tasty. The pasta was too lemony to finish.

I would need to see several positive reviews before I return. 2.8 Warrior Points.

Peony [at another conference; Warrior as proxy]: The restaurant is cute and the staff were trying hard. I am not an expert on traditional Italian food, but tonight’s food was not really to my liking.

(These are strips of bottarga on top of caponata. I love bottarga, but I don’t understand the combination.)

(Sometimes looks aren’t deceiving. Really badly designed dish IMO, which is a shame given the good execution.)

(This was pretty good.)

I have to say, that pasta is one of the most unappealing-looking dishes I have ever seen. And I agree, bottarga on top of caponata just sounds wrong and mis-guided. I would ask for an extra plate, deconstruct the ingredients, and have two separate appetizers with my bread!

1 Like

I saw they opened like a month or two ago when I was walking by and just wondered “why do we need another Italian restaurant in the arts district?”

Looks like we really didn’t.