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Cafe Carolina
Cafe Carolina

Cafe Carolina Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.organiccafecarolina.com/
  • Email: info@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 WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Very pleasantly surprised by this "hole in the wall". The atmosphere was relaxed and the food was delicious. Will absolutely be back to enjoy another region of Italy!"
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "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
  • "Had reservation for 11...everything served at once. From Italian style steak to Gorgonzola gnocchi and gluten free offerings... Everything was delicious. My daughter even changed plans for a bridal shower and rebooked it toCafe Carolina."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Driving in from Hollywood, I was hoping this place would be good, and boy I was knocked out. The food is mostly organic, very fresh, and everything was beautifully presented. It was my girlfriend's birthday dinner, and she had been to Carolina's several times already. I was not disappointed! Really delicious, and the service was lovely. I also appreciated that the noise level was virtually non-existant, and the sugar-free desserts were yummy!"
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "Can't wait to eat there again. The gluten free pesto pasta was fantastic and the chef was willing to accommodate the request for no Parmesan in the pesto (unlike a Beverly Hills Ital'n restaurant the next day). This was a first time for 4 of us and we were all delighted with our meals and service. Featuring various Italian areas was a nice touch."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "I found this restaurant on YELP. I was meeting a friend and neither one of us are from anywhere close to Encino. The menu was great, I like that they do Italian regional cooking. Ingredients are fresh, tasty. The pasta and salad I had were great. Our service was comparable to any 5 Star. Cute, cozy, good."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Every meal that we had was amazing. The Gnoochi was the best that I have ever tasted. Chef Guisseppe is friendly and creative with his dishes. What a great find in Encino."
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "Eating at Cafe Carolina is like sitting down in your Italian grandparent's kitchen for a authentic home-cooked meal. The unpretentious surroundings and friendly staff complement the delicious preparations perfectly. A bonus is the no-corkage policy."
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "Everything was amazing. The chef choises a different region to design the weekly speciala after. Everything seemed to have a unique an tasty spin"
    Dined on 11/12/2013
  • "wish there were diners as food and service are good"
    Dined on 10/30/2013
  • "Cafe Carolina is an absolute gem! Their menu changes every few weeks to highlight regional cuisine from one of Italy's 20 different regions. The chef definitely knows what he's doing. The food is masterfully seasoned and tastes delicious. The wild boar and white truffle ragu was outstanding. I am excited to try new chef's specials when they change regions yet again."
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "Saw the newsletter about Tour of Italy menu, realized we hadn't been to Café Carolina in awhile and it was the perfect location to meet our friends for dinner. The service was outstanding, as was the food. We enjoyed salads to start -- the burrata caprese style was wonderful. Then on to our main courses... we tried the Butternut Squash Ravioli on the Tuscany specials list and it was scrumptious. The boys also enjoyed the Lasagna from the regular menu. We were able to relax and enjoy the visit with our friends for several hours over dinner, not being rushed by the wait staff who continued to be attentive about refilling drinks long after we'd finished our main course. A very enjoyable evening!"
    Dined on 10/25/2013
  • "Café Carolina has grown steadily over the years, expanding and getting a beer & wine license a couple years ago, and for good reason. The innovative menu by master chef Giuseppe Dossi draws on home cooking from his native Italy as well as recipes from around that country's diverse regions to make consistently delicious food. In addition, the restaurant has been committed to organic food and sustainable, green practices since its inception, so it's a feel good place too. Highly recommend!"
    Dined on 10/11/2013
  • "Cafe Carolina is a find! Especially with chef Guiseppe. I love the notion of rotating the food by region"
    Dined on 7/19/2013