Il Grano Lives! Sorta

As I’m sure many of you know - Sal Marino closed up shop and is now at Marino in Hollywood just a few doors down from Providence. I was a fan of Il Grano and sorry to see them go. And had not had a chance to visit Marino (I live on west end of the west side AKA Santa Monica). But I did go today. Hadn’t seen Sal in years - he still looks like a teenager with a little gray in his hair - like an actor in a high school play who puts a little gray in his hair to look older. He’s still young and very enthusiastic about food. And I did what one should usually do at very good Italian restaurant - let him “do his thing”. And he did. I didn’t take pictures (sorry I’m not that guy) or take notes (not that guy either), but I had I think six or seven courses (no dessert) with some wine and champagne pairings selected by Sal. And it was terrific. A lot of crudo in a variety of herbed dressings - light, flavorful. Snapper, octopus arancino, wild Japanese shrimp - some crudo with pistachios (I forget - what with the wine and an old friend I had not seen in 15 years) and Black Cod with a (I believe) with a delicious porcini cream. Sorry on the details, but to know Sal is to love him and Il Grano - and if you’re missing Il Grano - it’s there! I plan to put it on the regular rotation. Gonna be a great “date” place. Also to note (my friend doesn’t eat pasta - she was watching her weight) so today’s pescatarian meal was remarkably carb-free. Delicious, lights and healthy? Can’t wait to go back. With wine and tax it was under $300.