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  • Caffe Pinguini

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Caffe Pinguini
Caffe Pinguini

Caffe Pinguini Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.caffepinguini.com
  • Phone: (310) 306-0117
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 6:00pm -10:00pm; Friday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 10:00pm; Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Gerardo
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Delivery, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: We do different kinds of catering from buffet to a full dining experience.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Culver Blvd
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Choose of street or valet parking.
A word from Caffe Pinguini
Italian owners, Tony Cotrufo and Enrico Fiorentini, both hail from Rome and have been serving fresh authentic Italian cuisine at their Playa Del Rey location since 1997. They offer homemade pastas, an excellent wine list, outdoor seating and daily specials.
Caffe Pinguini was recently awarded with the "Marchio Ospitalita" Italiana - Seal of Authenticity". The seal distinguishes those restaurants with the highest quality of Italian hospitality.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "I've driven past this place many times and never knew what I've been missing out on. The food is fresh, authentic and masterfully put together. The servers almost seem authentic too. I had the pesto pasta with chicken added and I'd have to say probably one of the best pestos I've had in a very long time! We shared several appetizers including Caesar, buffalo mozzarella, and eggplant wrapped in mozzarella. The Caesar was the best!"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Competent, unobtrusive service. High quality food."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "Took my wife here for our anniversary. The place was romantic old school Italian with a good menu and wine list. I had the fillet a tartufo, which was excellent. The linguini al mare was also quite good. The prices were a bit higher than expected based on the yelp rating, but not outrageous considering the food and location. Too bad there is no view given that it is so close to the beach."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Delightful alternative to chain restaurant for lunch with a client. Caffe Pinguini is sophisticated and impressive for the first timer. Eat inside or out but out is definitely the treat here. Suggest it definitely."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "A nice, non rushed evening with our friends. Great food, service, atmosphere and delicious WINE!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "The ambience was great, very attentive service, the bread was delicious and we really enjoyed our meals. We will definitely be returning. Parking is an issue if you do not like valet and the bar has wine and beer only. Neither an issue for us as it is walkable and we love wine!"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "The delightful Italian brothers and their staff took great care of us from the minute we arrived. Between the four of us in our party, we had perfectly prepared, generous portions of Wild salmon, Chicken Eggplant Parmesan and Veal Marsala and a delicious fresh green salad. The bread was a treat in itself. The olive oil, produced by the family in Italy, is wonderful. The food was presented in a beautiful fashion. The wine was superb. Most important was the warm welcome we received at this authentic Italian establishment. We felt as if we were honored guests in their home which was filled with classical Italian ambiance. Cafe Pinguini is at the top of our list of favorite dining experiences."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Great northern Italian food. I had the butternut squash risotto it was buttery and the squash was firm to the bite. I say my friend also enjoyed their'Chilean sea bass; since they clean their plate."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "The food here is good and arguably worth the price but the atmosphere is horrible. Service sucked, why yes I would like another glass of wine but I prefer to have it before I start eating dinner, not when I am almost finished. Also, we saw diners seated after us get served before us. No light to see the menus (and no, I am not "old") so you have cellphones being used all over the place to see the menu and the food. And we were seated next to a group of 6 who proceeded to shout at one another, making conversation impossible at our table for over an hour. We will not be back."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We had a superb meal in this friendly, busy upscale Italian restaurant. Everything from the spinach salad with fresh mozzarella, to the linguini with fresh basil pesto and chicken picatta was absolutely delicious. Only drawback: it was a Friday night, the place was crowded and we had a long wait between our salad and the rest of the meal. We are already planning a return to the restaurant on a different night of the week. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Pinguini has been a beach staple for several years now and the food continues to be superlative! I take many people visiting to this restaurant and am never disappointed. Fabulous bread and great pasta dishes! And you're always met with a wonderful wait staff...don't miss this one! "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Our group of 3 arrived on time for our reservation and told we could sit anywhere, there were several empty tables. We sat and received bread and water right away, then we were completey ignored for 20 minutes. A group of 4 arrived after us and received service immediately, we had get up to ask for menus. The waiter then returned to the group of 4 delivering drinks and taking food orders, still ignoring us, so we walked out."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "very pleasant atmosphere, good food, slightly overpriced, seems to be a "hip" restaurant, great for hot evenings"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "When we saw the place we were nervous. The food blew us away. House made mozzarella burrata with arugula, all pasta made in house. Fish special was really special. Try it. You won't regret it. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Plans to connect with an old friend turned out great at this fabulous establishment. She was beautiful and so was the night. Thank you Mel and all the staff for the marvellous hospitality."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "I took my wife and two friends here for her birthday. The food was great!! Service was paced perfectly, not rushed or to slow. I like eating outside here because it is quieter than inside. With the heaters you are comfortable. I would classify inside noise level as energetic. A great place for a special occasion or just a casual dinner. Again I love the food."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Upon entry, it's a little concerning but once your settled in and greeted by the waitstaff, becomes wonderful! The food was awesome, the wine list a little pricey but some good selections and for desert the tiramisu is incredible! A definite for me next time I'm in the area..."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Fresh made pasta and pizza, true Italian heritage and a romantic ambiance. This continues to be one of my favorite neighborhood gems! Great for a romantic occasion as well."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Wonderful Italian food: appetizers, salads, main dishes and dessert were excellent. My Italian mother cooked authentic Italian food, and Penguini's was up to the test. The burretta and caprise appetizers were superb. The Chianti was delicious (finally a restaurant that provided a decent pour!) The pasta was perfectly aldente and the gelato was to die for. The pasta with eggplant and sauteed peppers was good. But not enough and were too soft, (should be aldente too!! I got the "not spicy" sauce which I preferred. The bread with olive oil was sublime. Problems: For a Sunday night, it was very crowded and noisy. Also, when making reservations, I said it was my husband's birthday, but that didn't get conveyed to the restaurant."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Excellent restaurant. Food was amazing and service was impeccable. Wine selection was above par and overall ambience was very nice. Outdoor seating is available too. Completely enjoyed our dining experience with our friends."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Great time with friends. Great food and service what else can you ask for?"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We came into an empty restaurant about 6:30 on a friday night. Nobody came by to get our drinks. I had to finally ask someone to come over and get our wine order. Then it took another long period to get someone to take our order. This is just poor service. The food was good. For a simple piece of salmon and sides of vegetable, which was on special, we were charged $32.50. Overall, unless you have to be playa del rey, there are better and cheaper restaurants, with better service."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Great food, wonderful service, and the right ambience. It was so comfortable that we were the last to leave!"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "We had heard a lot about this place for years and finally decided to check it out. It was a busy Saturday night but didn't seem unreasonably busy. We were sat right away but no one came over to us for about 15 mins. When our waiter finally came over he asked us if we were drinking wine, we said no and he gave us a look, took our wine glasses away and left us alone for another 10 minutes. The food was tasty but not worth the super inflated prices. The crowd was mellow. The ambiance was nice. The location is cool but the food was overpriced and the service was just unfriendly."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Always a good meal with good friends in a great setting when I come to this little neighborhood gem. I have come 3x and sat at the same table on the patio, with the same tall, Italian waiter, and I find myself happier with this place more and more every visit. What a great find."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Second visit to Café Pinguini, again with work associates. Lovely for lunch. Very good food -- everything fresh and tasty; well plated. Service was a little slow at times -- especially at the end of the meal. Had a hard time getting coffee, dessert and the check. Lucky for us, we had given ourselves plenty of time for this Friday afternoon business lunch."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "This was not my choice of restaurant and I knew nothing about it until the morning before. The location is cool, the food was excellent and the service was laid back but attentive - just how I like it, but not necessarily fast enough for some. The wild salmon was cooked perfectly and has a ton of good flavor, both of it's own and the seasoning. Ambiance was Italian enough without piling on the too much fake stuff. Overall a great find and I will definitely visit there again if I'm on the Westside."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Celebrating with group of seven for my husband's 70th birthday. I wanted quiet atmosphere and good food! They gave us a nice table by the window which I had requested and the food was great. Thanks Cafe Pinguini!!! Very enjoyable dinner!!"
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "The food was amazing as usual. However, it was a very busy night and the service was a bit off. The Tiramisu is to die for and worth the wait!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Found Pinguini on the local web search for romantic dinners for Valentines. I noticed Pinguini right away and liked that they made mention to a romantic Valentines Dinner. Prices were within my Budget and wanted a nice place for My Bride and I. So I reserved a table was easy to use online reservations. Upon entering the Restaurant Valentines Eve was greeted right away and knew this was the place. While waiting to be seated Was given a glasses of wine to enjoy while we waited. I did not mind waiting. Was well worth the wait. The food was above my expectations. Every bite was delicious and we'll cooked and At right Temp. Thanks so much for making our First Valentines together memorable TRUCKER DENNY"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "One of the best Italian restaurants in Los Angeles, this beach cities restaurant combines incredibly well prepared food with fantastic service. Ask to sit on their charming patio for a great time with friends or a romantic evening with someone special."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I must say I was hoping to find a neighborhood gem ... but, it was a little "meh". It was Valentine's evening, and I thought instead of playing it safe, to try something new. Everything was good, no real complaints, but nothing was amazing or notable. Sadly we were heavily coaxed into a $100+ bottle of mediocre wine, and the food, pasta and seafood, and sea bass, were "good", nothing special. App of burrata and such was "ok", tiramisu was good. I love food and don't mind spending, but when you do, you hope for something with a "wow", what a great dish! Food and service were just "good", not amazing by any standard. Almost 1.5 hours and $270 later, it was "ok", not memorable. I think I might have been happier at Mama D's for $40."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Normally love this place, made reservations but it was a pre fixe menu for Valentines Day…Too many dishes with cream sauce with the exception of lobster."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Serving portions were about double what we normally eat. Overall quality was generally ok, but the pasta had some hot spices not mentioned on the menu that ruined the taste of the linguine mare. Would never order pasta at this place."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The food, we've found, is always very delicious at Caffe Pinguini. The service this time was not so great. If the server came to the table to ask a question and one of the three of us answered, that answer was apparently the only answer that mattered because he would walk away without hearing from the other two. He seemed a bit put out having to serve us. Just saying."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "My friend and I both got the homemade spaghetti and I have decided that I can appreciate homemade past more if it is some thinner form. And the treatment of the pasta's was OK but not special."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "Thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to this great little restaurant. We have already mentioned it to friends and we will definitely be back. Great little spot."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "10 minutes from LAX. Wonderful Italian menu. Friendly, efficient service. Food was excellent"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "I am repeating myself. If you like great Italian food. This is the place."
    Dined on 12/11/2013
  • "We had dinner the night before Thanksgiving -- so it was quiet. This was perfect! We were able to enjoy each other's company before the craziness of the holidays. The food was very good, and the waiter was a gem. We will go back again, soon1"
    Dined on 11/27/2013