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Eat up the art at the newest eatery in Little Italy. La Villa (1646 India Street; 619-255-5221) opened its doors about three weeks ago.

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La Villa, before the signs went up

It's owned by the same people who have that rack of restaurants across the road, Buon Appetito, Sogno di Vino, etc.

This sure looks a charmer.

Not cheap cheap, but you can get an anchovy pizza (Yes! Or am I the only guy on the planet who doesn’t hate anchovies?) for $13. Or a roasted pumpkin soup for $7. Mostly, though, you’ll pay $15-20 to fill ye old belly.

What I like is it’s a fun crowd running the joint. And they’ve got an unpretentious art vibe going. Huge picture frame inside the front makes diners look like a scene from a Matisse, or is that Renoir, or Monet, or Manet? Aaargh!

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Amy poses in The Frame

Whoever, whatever, it’s a living scene.

Not sure who the Renoir is who has painted the actual murals here, but they are really fun conversation starters that make you wanna go try out Italy itself.

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In back: a chef’s table in the actual kitchen, in the separate cottage behind the main house. Love to do that. Nice long table, surrounded by a dozen chefs.

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Sous-chef Kyle Daley at the kitchen chef's table

The head chef I met, Chris O’Donnell, says it doesn’t have to bust your bank to eat back there, but I couldn’t pin him to a typical price. No happy hour yet. But may be coming.

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Rebecca handles the calamari

Meantime, you could always split the anchovy pizza. Half of the fun is deciding which part to sit in. Tons of green-cushion outside eating in the side yard is really seductive. See and be seen!

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