Tuscan Son (West LA)

Does anyone know about a Chef Massimo who either worked or owned a fine-dining restaurant in Beverly Hills for 10-15 yrs? He’s apparently opened a new fast casual place on Santa Monica Blvd near Overland (where Bru’s Counter used to be).

I stopped by today for a first visit, and it was pretty good (pics coming later). Tuna salad sandwich was fine (grilled bread was a nice touch) and the small side of olives were delicious. All of the pastries on display are apparently made in-house. Had the cornetto and the banana bread. Both were VERY good (perhaps even excellent). Is a cornetto supposed to be a bit thicker and chewier than a croissant (which was the case here)? Wonderfully crispy crust on the cornetto and the subtle aroma and taste of orange. The banana bread was very moist, and the serving was quite large (thankfully, the bread wasn’t as “heavy” as it looked). Service is almost bizarrely polished for a fast-casual place.

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Massimo Ormani?

Are there nuts in the banana bread?

None that I could discern (I still have a decent portion of it left and just ate some). BUT, if someone has a life-threatening allergy, you might want to check yourself since I’d feel horrible if I somehow missed one.

@CharlesDarwin: your guess is as good as mine.

@robert: Thanks for the link. What I had pretty much matches what the article describes (sans any filling). It was awfully good…

Bru’s Counter was horrible - good to know that there is a new place there and from your description it sounds pretty good. I’m frequently in that area and will have to check it out. Any non-carb choices on the menu?

Which corner of Santa Monica/Overland? Hard place to locate online.

Bru’s Counter was at 10700 California State Route 2, (aka Little Santa Monica Blvd.) South side of street.

Just west of the corner of Pelham and California Route 2.

I live not too far from this place so I hope it’s good. Not much of an online presence yet but menus are shown here:

It also has an Instagram.

@Omotesando: I don’t recall the whole menu, but it seemed to be sandwiches, salads, a few pasta dishes, a few soups, and the baked goods (you can see most of the chalkboard menu in one Instagram photo). Salads and soup would prob be your best bet for gluten free?

BTW, I actually thought Bru’s Counter was serviceable, so YMMV.

When I said that the tuna sandwich was “fine,” it really was “just” fine. This place isn’t an anything like a Uovo or a Gjusta. Or even a Metro Cafe (yet).

I wouldn’t mind having the sandwich again, though, or trying their other entrees. I thought the 2 baked items were very nice, though. Partner had the leftover banana bread and swears it’s zuccini bread (there are green flecks) and that he tasted and smelled no banana. I disagree w/ the no-banana part and swore the sign said “banana bread,” so… :wink:

The full menus are in the post I linked. Bru’s Counter was hit-and-miss for me, but I will definitely miss their salad with chicken, Brussels sprouts, goat cheese, dates, and avocado.

Loved their brussel sprouts. Oily, savory goodness. The salads left me cold, but I thought their wraps could be decent. I thought it was a touch overpriced for what it was, but it’s also within walking distance of one of my offices, and that’s counts for a lot…

The menu in the link appears to be the same menu I saw yesterday.

Pastry case also had lemon bars, maybe some type of mousse tart, and some muffin-looking things.


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This reminds me that I miss the Massimo Bakery that used to be on Washington…amazing cakes…I had their almond cake as my wedding cake, and the pistachio was also wonderful

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Finally got around to trying Tuscan Son the other day and was very pleasantly surprised. My rigatoni fiorentina was very tasty – the meat sauce wan’t Pasta Sisters good but very respectable. Also their pastries look scrumptious and are all baked in house. The location itself has been redone and looks super cute. I’ll definitely be back.

I’ve been maybe 3-4 times. Pastries are indeed very tasty (and I’m not normally a fan of sweets).

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Thanks for the heads-up on this place. They deliver!


Stopped by the other day for lunch and there was a line out the door. Don’t recall that ever being the case at Bru’s, so I think these guys will be just fine.

Also, forgot to mention, I tried the cornetto, too, and really enjoyed it. Reminded me of a cross between croissant and sweet brioche. It’s the perfect pastry for dipping in coffee.

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Grabbed a quick lunch to go.

Toscana Salad was great. Huge portion, fresh-tasting produce and well cooked meat. My favorite touch was little cubes of fresh pecorino. Yum. I’m not a dressing guy, so I skipped it here (balsamic) as I often do on salads. My test of a good salad is whether it still tastes good and moist without dressing—the answer here is a resounding yes.

Banana bread is delectable. As someone else mentioned, it looks quite large, but is less densely packed than you first expect.

I’ve tried this place for dinner a few times, but only to-go via UberEats, and found the pasta dishes to get very dry by the time they arrived. But that’s not really the restaurants fault, so I do want to dine in for dinner one of these days.

EDIT: Before the salad patrol comes out, I do enjoy my salad with dressing relatively often, especially at restaurants. I would never go to La Scala and order the chop sans dressing. I hold or go light on the dressing generally when I grab salads to go.

EDIT EDIT: Prime example of salad that tastes atrocious without dressing: anything from Tender Greens

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I have to bite… What’s an example of a resaturant/cafe salad that tastes good w/o dressing? (although I fully agree w/ you that the dressing should be light)

Ate a pasta dish once at Tuscan Son and thought it pretty mediocre (don’t recall what I had), so I assume that pasta just isn’t their thing. Will try the salad when I’m there again.