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Cafe Carolina
Cafe Carolina

Cafe Carolina Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.organiccafecarolina.com/
  • Phone: (818) 881-8600
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday 5:30pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Organic, Vegetarian
  • Executive Chef: Giuseppe Dossi
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Please visit our website for our catering menu.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Zelzah Ave.
  • Public Transit: Ventura Blvd at Zelzah Ave. (west of White Oak.)
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking is available in the back of building and on street.
A word from Cafe Carolina
Chef Giuseppe Dossi, from beautiful Lago di Garda in northern Italy, invites you to experience authentic Italian food as it was meant to be – fresh, delicious, and made with passion!

Formerly of Il Fornaio/Manhattan Beach and Prego/Beverly Hills – after earliest inspiration and instruction at his mother"s side! – Chef Giuseppe is committed to bringing you a culinary experience his "Mama" would be proud of!

We are also proud to serve, to the extent possible, organic products in an earth-friendly facility. We firmly believe organic ingredients are the healthier and tastier choice, for both our bodies and the soil.

Come experience our warm, inviting trattoria-style atmosphere – perfect for your dining delight. While we are not a vegetarian restaurant, we understand the needs of vegetarians, as well as vegans (the chef was a vegetarian for many years). Let us know of any special requests.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "This place is amazing!!! The food is outstanding and the service is stellar. If you love Italian - this is the place!!!"
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Dreadful experience. The kitchen is lost--courses not timed; food overcooked; and dishes poorly conceived and executed. Waitress and owner were clueless to the ongoing distaster. The excuse was kitchen was understaffed. Ask why the owner chooses to be a waitress at a supposed mid-scale restaurant."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "This place had us remembering when we were in Italy! All those little places in Italy where you had that great meal and promised to come back someday, well......this place will take you there."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "I have celiac disease and find it challenging to eat out. The gluten free selection was great, I even had dessert. I highly recommend Cafe Carolina. Our server, Kim, was great. The hostess was also wonderful!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "My sister and I were looking for a nice Saturday night dinner that had good food and not terribly expensive, when we came across Cafe Carolina. Our server was very pleasant and welcoming, recommended the flat steak which was unusually tender and flavorful, vegetable was steamed and still crisp and the accompanying Pinot Noir was perfect. We all decided to return again in the near future as the restaurant was perfect for special occasions or just a nice evening out."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "You know it has to be good in order to go back twice in one week! Went with a group from work but for my last meal before heading back home, back I went. The Parma salad is so scrumptious it was worth the trip. Anything else you order, you can't go wrong. This time the past dishes were out of this world. Cant wait to go back to LA so I can go back!!!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "I eat here about once a week--sometimes more. The food is great, the restaurant is run by a family, who know me by name, lol. They change their specials regularly to cover different regions of Italy. The cheesecake is to die for. The burrata caprese is probably my favorite thing there. It's so close to where I live, so it's very convenient as well. I have brought several of my friends there already."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Come here about once every two months. Always great food!. Gnocchi is special and the sole is consistently great. Enjoy the periodic foods of an Italian region. Great experience."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Very good food. Nice wine list Spinach salad good. Tagliatelle and chicken meatballs delicious. Both enough to share. A pleasant evening!!!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "i like the menu that features various regions of Italy. I don't know of another restaurant that does that. The owner is a very nice man. it is fun to speak Italian with him when he is there."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "No fault with our food or service but we were surprised to see an extra charge on the bill for the vegetable we requested instead of potatoes. First, we have never been charged extra for this type of substitution, and secondly, shouldn't the server have told us when we asked for it?"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "The food at Cafe Carolina was really good; lasagna was particularly tasty, as was the bruschetta. A region of Italy is highlighted each week, which is fun."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "This restaurant has been in the neighborhood for over ten years, but I only recently discovered it when I did take out last month when I was looking for a good pasta with pesto. The food we took out was so great that we had to try it again. This time we dined in and were really pleased. I ordered the fish special with mint and orange sauce with red peppercorns. It was served with sauteed spinach with just the right amount of garlic and other spices. Wonderful! My friend ordered the pasta that he could personalize and finished every bite. We are going back again soon to sample the fantastic flavors of Northern Italy. I think I have found my new favorite Italian restaurant!"
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "When someone mentioned this place, it sounded like something that was sure NOT to miss when in LA. Its a place in a location that has many ethnic options and I wouldnt have stopped given the location but put on the breaks, what a find! Every visit to LA this has to be a MUST eat here place. The food was unlike any Italian I have ever had and the portions were large and the price, they arent charging enough..... Tell your friends so they can tell their friends, this place is worth the drive. Coming from Denver, wish we had something like this here...."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Great quality food and very reasonable prices. Service is ALWAYS extremely pleasant. One of our favorite regular places. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We were hoping for better service and food. The dining room was about 1/3 full, not busy at all for 12:30pm brunch. Food took about 50 min. to arrive...no explanations/apologies. We ordered a Chicken Crepe, a Mushroom Crepe, two Nutella Crepes, a Chicken Cesar salad, and French Toast. Very small servings. French Toast was black at the edges and corners, I was reluctant to ask for a new order; didn't want to wait another 50 min. But it was pretty burnt so I did ask for a re-do. The new ones were not burnt, but were very soggy and mushy in the center. The other dishes were ok. We didn't get a good feeling here. I was hoping the owner or chef would come out to ask if everything was ok, but no one did. Waitress was very unconcerned."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "The food was very good, so was the service. The wait staff were very friendly. The noise level however, was terrible. We were a party of Six,we couldn't speak to each other from one end of the table to the other. They need to fix that!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "I just discovered this gem. It's great food and gives the option of real gluten free Italian food if you need it. The only downside is as the evening progressed it got louder and louder. We left around 8pm and we could barely hear ourselves talking. Come early for dinner if you prefer a quieter ambiance. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Surprisingly excellent food, and not just the average menu choices, for a neighborhood Italian restaurant. Service was a little slow, considering I went in the middle of the week and it wasn't that busy, but not that slow and the server was knowledgable and very friendly. I'm not really familiar with the restaurants in that area but I would say it's a "find""
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "We love it here. The food is authentic and well made and the staff is very friendly. "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Surprising little gem and worth the drive from the beach. Very popular spot and the staff cares very much for your satisfaction. We are definitely going to pay a return visit"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Cafe Carolina is always good. The main part of their menu hasn't changed in years, and regulars may find their favorite dishes not as exciting as when they first tasted them. However, new customers should be impressed with the great, fresh food. The have an affordable wine list. Service is good"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "A surprise find in the Valley, excellent and authentic Italian with charming setting and personality. Very busy the night we came but the staff was extra nice. Absolutely NOT corporate, this is a chef's own place."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Our first time there and I would say the food wasn't that flavorful and the bread was very plain. I had beef medallions with spinach and potatoes, one of their Specials and my husband had their Marsala chicken and said it was only fair."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We will definitely be going back for the amazing food, and can't wait to take my Italian father. We were all thrilled with our pasta dishes. Everything was perfect."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Three and a half years and I finally decided that I could leave my daughter with her papa and have a girl's night with one of my closest friends! I chose Cafe Carolina, never having been there, based on location and ratings (about a midway drive and excellent reviews.) The restaurant did not disappoint! The food was delicious - I enjoyed a ravioli -special for that night. I'm not easy on pasta... don't go with the typical level, preferred mainstream.... and this was right on key! My friend's pasta was also terrific... one with a pink sauce (that she sometimes makes at home) and she was impressed! The staff was all very friendly and eager to help. Overall, it was a wonderful way to spend my 1st girl's night out!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "We've been to Cafe Carolina several times now, and have enjoyed our evening there each time. The food is great tasting, and it's been nice having different regional specials every month during their "tour of Italy". The service is prompt and very friendly -- we really like the atmosphere of the restaurant, and even when it's quite busy the noise level is reasonable, making it a great place to have dinner with friends when we want to visit over a leisurely dinner."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Although it has been open for seven years, my wife and I first ate here on 3/8/14.. What must throw potential diners from visiting is its small size, a name that doesn't sound like the Italian food it serves and its somewhat bare bones interior. All of those ideas go away when you take your first bite of appetizer or entrée. Our part of five ordered four different entrees and all raved about them. The desserts were great too."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The ravioli are amazing. We sampled 6 dishes, all were excellent and diverse in flavor. Also the cheesecake is something unusual, delicious, and not like any cheesecake I've had before."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "It was not my first time, but we brought friends that had never eaten there. As usual the food was excellent. The oxtail stew was FABULOUS, my only complaint was that I couldn't eat the bones. The Ahi Tuna and flat iron steak were great.. My friends had Nonnas cake and I had the (Italian cheesecake for desert and the plates were cleaned, both were terrific. Thank you Café Carolina for a wonderful dinner."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Liked the food, service and most of all that I could hear all seven people at the table. It has become the most important part of me choosing a restaurant. Hard to find in LA and the worse ones are the restaurants that blare music above the din"
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "My husband and I discovered this place accidentally several years ago when we were looking for a new Italian place in LA. We have been so happy with our discovery! We have been to Italy several times and this food is authentic Italian. The head chef and owner is from Northern Italy and the food shows it. The food has always been top notch, many things are organic, and there are always great specials. The staff is extremely friendly and the restaurant really is a family-run affair. They have a great corkage, too. $8 on weekends and $3 during the week. They also have a wine and beer menu. Some of our favorite dishes are the pork sausage rigatoni, the sweet ravioli, the gnocchi, the warm spinach salad, and the European hot chocolate!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Was looking forward to the Calabria menu as the chef rotates a portion of the menu based on different locales in Italy. Our group enjoyed the apps, especially the eggplant, and we had fish, gnocchi, ravioli with a sweet stuffing, and chicken as entrees. All very nice. Tell Giuseppe and Lucca hello from the birthday group. Corkage very reasonable. Mullingiani - had to look this up Appetizer of deep fried vegetarian “meatballs” of eggplant, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, basil and pecorino cheese, with marinara."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "Had a really nice dinner with a friend - great food (ordered the special), great wine (recommended by the waitress), great service, at a very reasonable price. Ambience was also very good - it's on the smaller side size wise but good lighting and good noise level - not too loud. Great evening. Mike"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "This restaurant had good reviews on Yelp so I was quite disappointed that it did not live up to my expectations. My dinner companion ordered the beet salad, which I ultimately shared with her. It tasted like it had sat in the refrigerator for days. Not very appetizing! I ordered a sea bass special and found it unappetizing as well. The fish was sort of limp, not very well prepared, the spinach was ok but the roasted potatoes were not crisp of well done enough. We enjoyed the wine suggested by the server. Not great overall."
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "It was so hard to choose because there were so many delicious looking options, including gluten free. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. Loved my birthday dessert! Even though we don't live nearby, all of us will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Can't believe this gem has been here for 11+ years and I just found it. The food is carefully prepared and well thought out Fresh pasta, good bread and wonderful options and choices. Prices are substantially reasonable and a corkage of $3 during the week and $8 on weekends is fantastic. I highly recommend this neighborhood restaurant."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Totally enjoyed our evening out at Cafe Carolina. Great organic, healthy choices, not overpriced, nice and quiet. Will definitely go back again."
    Dined on 1/21/2014
  • "felt like we were in Italy again! Food was wonderful and perfect for everyone in our group, including one diner with an extremely limited diet, one that is dairy free and another who is gluten free. Everything is fresh and perfectly prepared. Chef visits everyone...We have been looking for that "go to" restaurant that we can always feel good about and that can accommodate everyone without feeling like we are compromising - This is it! We can't wait to visit Cafe Carolina again!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "The food was delicious and I'm sure we'll return many times. My spouse was pleased with gluten free choices."
    Dined on 1/18/2014