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Hearty Arty: New Eats in Little Italy

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.

Image

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!

Image

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.

Image

Image

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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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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.

Image

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!

Image

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.

Image

Image

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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