La Cava

La Cava

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lacavashermanoaks.com/Welcome.html
  • Phone: (818) 981-1517
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: T-Sa 11:30am-2:30pm
    Dinner: M-Sa 5:30pm-10:30pm
    Dinner: Su 5:00pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options:
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from La Cava
The LA CAVA concept is based on Armando's roots. Born and raised in Florence, he greq up learning that as a local, one would go dining in the little Osterias where everything was made fresh daily, prepared with basic ingredients, simple recipes, delightful flavors and lots of love, for a fantastic experience that was also "gentle" on your wallet.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
La Cava reviews from OpenTable diners
42 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (30)fit for foodies (17)great for outdoor dining (12)special occasion (8)romantic (6)notable wine list (4)good for groups (3)kid-friendly (2)great for lunch (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • Knocked down a notch
    TammyVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We've been to La Cava about 5-10 times now and love it. Have to say, though, that this last visit was a bit disappointing. Food was great, as always, but service not so much. We were advised to wait to order our pizza appetizer until we had our entree order ready, but once we ordered, the pizza took a long time and when we got it, it was the wrong pizza. The right one took ten minutes and arrived right before our entrees. Annoying, but food was great, as always, and we'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A neighborhood spot with good food and service
    Hillsguy
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    La Cava has a lot going for it...the menu is made up of favorite dishes...not too exotic but not too ordinary, either. The kitchen did a fine job with our food (there were two of us)...both our meals were excellent...better than expected. The wine was also excellent...and both the maitre de' and our server were friendly and efficient. That said, I found the look of the place to be a bit drab...it is a small room and not unpleasant but the charm factor could be ramped up a bit. And because it is a small place, when the room fills up, one feels a bit hemmed in and the noise level rises considerably.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely dining experience.
    Neighborhood4Dining
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We really enjoyed our dinner, but next time we will order more Italian dishes. Our friends ordered the Pounded Filet and it was very dry. My fish was delicious, but I will definitely order pasta or pizza next time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome food and service
    Andiamo
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    We love LA CAVA... Sat outside for dinner and had memories of streetside restaurants in Rome. Our server SHABAN was amazing and made our dinner that much better. I had the Boulibaise (sp) which was the best I have had in recent memory. Full of shellfish and other fish as well! My wife had the veal ragu which was "from the Gods). The calamari appetizer was crisp and fresh and the creme caramel dessert was perfection, LA CAVA is the highlight of the Ventura Boulevard dining scene. Enjoy it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • BETTER than most
    Mytai
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Do not waste your money on restaurants in the Valley that get so much attention with food write ups...this place is the best, and they don't hide behind too much salt to make their food taste good! it's real food, done very well.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food bad service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I took my wife to La Cava for her birthday. When I made my reservation, I specifically noted that on my the open table website. The restaurant did nothing special for her birthday. When I asked the waiter about it, he said that whoever sat us probably did not look at the open table reservation and that he was never informed and that it was too late and did not even apologize. We were surprised that the waiter did nothing to make it up to us. They do have really great food, but the experience was diminished because of this poor service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food, but a bit pricey.
    Sugo
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We enjoyed our dining at La Cava very much - and will definitely go back again. We felt it was a bit expensive - and corkage at $ 25 seemed a bit steep, but it was such a nice experience, that we overlooked the expense.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • La Cava Sherman Oaks
    SDietVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    1st time dining at La Cava, we sat outside but there was a lot of traffic noise from Ventura Blvd. I would recommend sitting inside. Although the food was very good and the server was pleasant, it didn't seem to flow as smoothly as I thought is should. But overall not a bad dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Meh
    esesjay
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I hate to rate a place on one visit or one dish but there were 3 of us and we were pretty much in agreement. First, my Caesar salad--pedestrian at best. Some chopped Romaine (that tasted more like iceberg) a few croutons and some shaved parmesan. Nothing special. The spaghetti with sea food is supposed to be one of their best dishes. Good sauce but the sea food was over-cooked. I like pasta al dente but this was getting stuck in my teeth. I also like my savory dishes but this was WAY too salty. The ravioli with spinach and ricotta was 'okay', not great. Nice homemade pasta but soggy. The pasta with soft shell crab was also too salty. Nice enough atmosphere. Service, polite but nothing special. Overall I give them a 'C'.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Kr8tiv1
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Service was amazing! Small intimate restaurant so would highly encourage reservations.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • new2nhood
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This is Italian dining without leaving So Cal...it took me back to my trips there.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great local restaurant!
    Valleyfoodie
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    We have dined at La Cava twice now. Both with Westside "snooties" that did not believe you could get a good, gourmet, fresh meal in the Valley. La Cava is fantastic and I believe "wowed" them. Perfect Italian food. Simple menu, but delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Italian In Valley
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Love this spot. The food is consistently great, wine list is a blend of recognizable favorites and a few you have never heard of, and service is exceptional. Try anything off the specials menu as I have never been disappointed. Seafood is always good here. One of my favorite spots in the valley and definitely the best Italian spot around.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It's about attitude...
    GourmetSteve
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    and a $25 corkage fee. 4 of us had dinner there and brought to bottles of wine. We shared some of each with our waiter, who was not familiar with Russian River Pinot Noirs. I was shocked when we got the bill and was charged $50 corkage. $50 corkage may be acceptable in a better restaurant but not this one. When I spoke to the waiter he went back to the owner who just "That's my policy". I'll never go back to La Cava again. Oliva on Van Nuys Bl has better food, friendlier staff and I don't pay corkage.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very slow lunch service
    JayTeaThreeVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Had a business lunch last week. When we arrived there was only one other table seated but it took an hour to get a cheese pizza as an appetizer. We needed to rush through our entrees just to get get back to work in time. Owner never apologized or made any effort to make it up to us. Instead he explained that they only had 2 cooks and justified the delay stating "we're slow food made to order." That's fine, but most people don't have time for a 2-hour lunch. Regardless, none of our orders (a margherita pizza, salads, and a sauteed sole w/ picatta sauce that I cook myself at home from scratch in 10 mins) should have taken anywhere close to the nearly 90 minutes it took. The food was good, but not great. I couldn't justify returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • La Cava was OK but too $$$$$$
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This is a standard, decent Italian restaurant but much too pricey for the average quality, and quantity of food. The price for three for dinner, including one inexpensive bottle of wine was $200.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best pizza in the Valley
    BruceVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    The first time -- a few weeks ago -- that we ate at La Cava we noticed the family at the next table devouring what appeared to be an incredibly great pizza. So that's what we ordered this past Monday -- along with a Caesar salad -- for a quick, early dinner. We were NOT disappointed. The crust was super thin; the cheese was just right -- the sauce tasted as though it had been made in Florence. It was perfect for two people. And both the water and busboy were personable and very efficient. Great prices, too. (I should note that we loved the far more elaborate entrees we had the first time we were there; fabulous lasagna and fish.)
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 25 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 39 reviews are from the La Cava reviews archive.
  • Just like Nona's
    StltwngirlVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Every dish tastes like home! Nothing beats Italian food!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Gem
    SteveVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    great find and i have eaten there with the family twice in 6 weeks , only concern is how often they update the menu as so far thats the only concern
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but inexplicably slow
    frequentdinefam
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    We ate at La Cava on a Monday night, we were a group of 7 and we were basically the only people in the restaurant except for one small table of people. The ambience is ok, a kind of storefront Ventura Blvd. restaurant, perfectly fine, though. But the service did not work for us. We ordered around 6:50 pm and we didn't get our meals until after 8 pm, which was just ludicrous, and there were no special orders or anything. The food itself was very tasty mid-level Italian food, not exceptional but exactly what was expected for the price, but the wait just kind of ruined the experience. We had a hungry 9 year-old in the group so it was really not the place to go for us.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not as good the second time around.
    Foody
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    This was our second time at La Cava, but there will not be a third. The sauce on the seafood pasta tasted like it was canned; the lamb was not cooked as ordered; the broccoli was limp; and the cappucino was watery and cold. Too bad, because the staff is friendly and we like to support our local restaurants. The place was full, so maybe we just had bad luck that evening.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Holiday staff?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    I've been to La Cava many times and always loved it. Other than two nights ago, my last time was as recent as six weeks ago. But Saturday (7/5/14)... real problem. Maybe it was a holiday staff, but the waiters were horrible. Service was really, really bad. Sad to see (and to say) because in the past I have really liked it and we took some "foodie" friends there who will not be back. Too bad. Again, I'm hoping it was just a case of a holiday staff covering and, unfortunately, blowing it!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • WarrenC
    WarrenCVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Fun Italian and great gluten free pasta. Owner is on the floor and makes sure all is going well.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • StltwngirlVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    THE BEST OF EVERYTHING: Food, Service and Ambiance....
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb service; wonderful food
    Stealth89
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    The staff was flawless: attentive yet unobtrusive. The food was artfully prepared and delicious. The wine list featured some lovely selections. My friends from Canada were delighted with this little gem of a restaurant, and we lingered over our meal for 2-1/2 hours with no complaint. The only caveat is that the inside restaurant (they also have a street-side patio) is very small; therefore, boisterous fellow diners can become irritatingly noisy, especially when the wine has been flowing for awhile. Other than that, I cannot recommend this restaurant highly enough -- especially the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Italian Sherman Oaks
    StltwngirlVIP
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    I dream of eating here at least once a week! Feels like home! Taglatelli Bolognese and Ricotta Cheesecake Pie....now there are other wonderful dishes but this brings me right back home...to my Nona and Nana making that Ricotta Cheesecake Pie....YUMMMM....no Pinot Noir but their Chianti is very nice and light!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I love La Cava
    StltwngirlVIP
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Being an American Italian girl, I so appreciate Italian cooking that tastes like my mom's home cooking. EVERYTHING is wonderful and the service and the owner .... TOPS!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Italian restaurant in the 818
    IdontcookVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    I've dined at La Cava for over three years. It is the only restaurant in all of Los Angeles that I frequent on a regular basis because the food is consistently good and the service is easy and pleasant. The owner, Armando, is most always present, running around making sure everything is okay and gives the place authentic charm. Stand out dishes I enjoy: artichoke salad, tagiatelle bolognese, ravioli salsa rosa, gamberoni (butterflied shrimp in shell), fried calamari, any pizza (thin crust), any soup, desserts are amazing (tiramisu and creme caramel). Love the enclosed street patio on a warm night. I've heard people say it's expensive for being a neighborhood restaurant. My reply: you get what you pay for.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great little local Italian joint
    jlsphotoworks
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    just had dinner for the first time here. now is my new favorite local restaurant. super friendly staff and the manager/owner? great great personality. loved our dishes and the service was excellent
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jabes
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    The check was a little pricey for food quality/choice. Better options in neighborhood.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great find
    AndrewVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Attentive service, gracious owner, wonderful artichoke salad (a bit lighter on the almonds and it would have been great), excellent cioppino, the custard desert was a bit dense and heavy or the food would have gotten five stars Even thevalet parking is wallet-friendly
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mediocre Night
    jackieVIP
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    I usually love this restaurant but for the first time ordered off of the regular menu (pounded filet mignon) instead of the daily specials. Big mistake! I think I was eating horse meat. Very dry and past well done!! And it was expensive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect Neighborhood Spot
    bellygrubs005VIP
    Dined on 4/7/2014
    This small neighborhood spot is wonderful. The food was yummy good. The usual pasta dishes along with some new combinations. The salad was fresh and tastey and pasta was nice and hot! The waiter didn't miss a beat when we asked to move our table. The family seated behind us clearly was 'unaware' of their baby needing a diaper change---phew!!!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good Italian in the Valley
    WineLoverVIP
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    The homemade pastas are excellent. The entrees that we have tried have been uniformly very good. We have been here at least half a dozen times and have always had a very good dinner. The artichoke salad is also a standout. The deserts that we have tried have been good. The best that we have tried was the creme brulee. They are very good about spliting things. We usually get one of each course, and split everything. The wine list is small with acceptable prices. There is sufficient breadth to select an appropriate wine. La Cava can be rather noisy during peak hours, but off peak it is moderate. The tables outside get quite a lot of noise from Ventura Blvd. The dining room is a little tight, pleasant, withsimple decor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it! Excellent service!
    SusanVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Loved it! Excellent service! Had a romantic 2nd date. Atmosphere was perf.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, notable wine list, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Debbie Does La Cava
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    This place is a gem in Sherman Oaks. It's not fancy, but the food and the ambiance is great with low lighting and candles. There are a few table outside and I prefer to be outside if possible. The Waiters are friendly and efficient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious and welcoming
    ToboVIP
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    Remains our favorite all time neighborhood spot! Always come here with special friends as we know it is consistently delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • StltwngirlVIP
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    My favorite Italian restaurant in Sherman Oaks. I love the Taglatelli Bolognese and many other of their dishes. Their Pinot Noir vino is also tasty but never forget the dessert -- Ricotta Pie...tastes almost like my Nona's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food but won't be back
    JetskizeVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    We've been to this small but quaint Italian restaurant numerous times. Good food and moderate prices. But this is the only restaurant we've been to that will not give you a taste glass for wine. Since glasses of wine vary in quality and are between $12-16 a glass, the restaurants refusal to accommodate a taste is really not appropriate. Even more so, to charge $2.50 for marinara sauce with your order of chicken? There are so many choices of restaurants that the customer unfriendly practices turned us off.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our Neighborhood Favorite
    ToboVIP
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    La Cava is in our neighborhood, it always has excellent dishes, a combination of old favorites and new additions, everything is fresh and tasty. Salads perfect every time. Fish and vegetables cooked perfectly. Willing to accommodate special requests and dietary needs. When we travel, we like to dine here before we go, and when we come home, we can't wait to go back to our spot. Consistently for years, a wonderful experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.