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Cafe Carolina

253 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion

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Cafe Carolina is an Italian restaurant in the Encino area of Los Angeles. It is designed to mimic small, family-owned cafes in Northern Italy. There are simple decorations all around the room and beautiful tables draped with colorful table clothes in bright colors. Chef Giuseppe Dossi prepares authentic recipes he learned during his life in Italy, using only fresh seasonal ingredients from the local area.

Many cuisine options are available for vegetarians, vegans and those with special dietary restrictions. Chefs make everything from scratch, including all of the regular and gluten-free pastas used for dishes. Rotating dinner specials at Cafe Carolina reflect the twenty unique regions of Italy and the cuisine that's served there. The regular menu features dishes such as pizzas, pasta, chicken Marsala and more. If you like the Cafe Carolina sauces in your dish, you can buy a jar to take home.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Italian, Organic, Vegetarian
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Hours of operation

Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday 5:30pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(818) 881-8600
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Giuseppe Dossi
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Please visit our website for our catering menu.
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Cross street
Zelzah Ave.
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Parking details
Parking is available in the back of building and on street.
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Public transit
Ventura Blvd at Zelzah Ave. (west of White Oak.)
Beer, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 253 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipBrende (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2016

Totally enjoyed our Valentine's dinner and our waitress Isabella was outstanding!

Chabee (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on January 30, 2016

We've been going to Cafe Carolina for years. It's a great family run restaurant with interesting and unique organic Italian food. Their menu changes with the seasons and they typically feature specials from different regions of Italy. Consistently good food.

OpenTable Diner (Las Vegas)
4.0  Dined on January 23, 2016

Service was great, our server was attentive and friendly. I wasn't overly impressed with my particular dish, but other than that, I would come again and try something else. I enjoyed my dining experience.

vipOpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on January 3, 2016

Fabulous menu – totally excellent dining experience. Will be going back often.

larryg (Los Angeles)
2.0  Dined on January 2, 2016

The food was just so-so. The pasta was under cooked and not hot. We felt very rushed even though the restaurant was now very crowded

GardenLady27 (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on December 31, 2015

It was the first visit to Cafe Carolina for everyone in our party of 6. We were all impressed. The food was all very fresh, home made pasta, vegetarian options. The staff was very busy but attentive. We will definitely return.

vipAlwaysouthbound (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 19, 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. Very comfortable and basic decor, but the food was outstanding! They provide an authentic Italian dining experience and feature a different region each month. Ours was Sicily and there were local wines recommended for each course. The Fogata appetizer (beef liver and onion) was delicious, salad perfect, my wife's lasagna was meaty and my salmon in parchment with mushrooms and fresh veggies was outstanding. We had no room for dessert. Street parking was available. Only glitch was they didn't report our points to OpenTable and had to follow-up but OT customer service took care of that quickly. Highly recommend Cafe Carolina!

vipHappyeater (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on December 4, 2015

I came to Cafe Carolina with a group of 7. The menu had such a large variety we were all pleased that this restaurant offers an option for half orders of pasta. Many of us tried two different half pasta dishes to be able to try more of the tempting selections. We were not disappointed. The Gnocchi and the Pollo pasta were the favorites of the group. We had a lovely and helpful server as well. I would recommend.

Amoose (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on October 22, 2015

Several years ago when we tried this restaurant, it was almost empty and the service was unbearably slow. What a turnaround! This time the restaurant filled up quickly even on a weeknight, and the service was prompt, friendly and helpful. The eggplant parmesan was exceptional. So fresh and flavorful -- not breaded and fried. My friend had the gnocchi, which she said was delicious, too. Altogether it was a delightful evening. Cafe Carolina could become a new favorite.

FussyEaters (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on October 20, 2015

We enjoyed our first visit. A wonderful find near our home. We will be back.