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.
Totally enjoyed our Valentine's dinner and our waitress Isabella was outstanding!
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.
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.
Fabulous menu – totally excellent dining experience. Will be going back often.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
We enjoyed our first visit. A wonderful find near our home. We will be back.
We have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and have only been here once so we thought we would walk down to the boulevard and try it again. The service was great, waitress was very knowledgeable. My husband ordered the steak and although it had a nice flavor it was tough. I could not eat the bite he shared with me. We should have sent it back but he powered through, however we did mentioned it to the waitress. It would have been nice to have been offered a few dollars off one of our starters as compensation.
The restaurant is comfortable and well decorated, and the people who work there are extremely nice. The food is quite good, and you can carry on a conversation with friends without yelling to be heard. This goes a long way in making this a restaurant I would go back to. It's a perfect local spot to have an informal and good dinner after a movie.
Cafe Carolina is a great neighborhood restaurant in the heart of Encino. Many of the locals go here for good food and good conversation. The staff are very friendly and the chef even comes out of the kitchen from time to time to greet you and get your opinion of the food. They have monthly specials that concentrate on specific areas of Italy and Sicily each month. Try this restaurant and you won't be disappointed.
Loved the little cafe. The wait staff were wonderful they right there to service us. I am not a wine person so the wait staff let me taste some of their selections. My flat steak was wonderful and tender. The cheesecake devine. Can't wait to be back to Cafe Carolina.
If you like authentic Italian food, this is the place. It's not the Americanized version most restaurants produce, so if you're looking for heavy, cheesy, greasy, over-sausaged pasta dishes that make you want to take a nap, this isn't the place for you. The ingredients are fresh and extremely good quality. Several of the dishes are made with house-made pasta. One of the exciting things about this restaurant is that every few weeks the chef changes the specials so that you can try foods from different regions of Italy. Each region is unique and has its own delicious recipes. It's a wonderful way of trying new and exciting foods. One of the best things on this menu is the Carbonara. Its a simply dish, but not easy to make well and this is the best we've ever had. Oh - and did I say the prices are incredibly reasonable? Well, they are!!! I would recommend this restaurant to anyone, but if you're an Italophile, you'll be in heaven. And the staff is even better than the food - friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive.
We have the opportunity to meet with the Chef and most likely owner. A fantastic italian guy and he treated us as you would treat a guest at your place. Food was beyond delicious.
Our server Mo was delightful. Clearly, well prepared thoughtful food presented for people who live to eat. A nice wine list accompanies the excellent menu selections, and corkage fees are totally reasonable!
The entire experience was excellent. The service was fantastic (our waitress was Mo) and the food was terrific. A great neighborhood gem.
Cafe Carolina is a small Italian restaurant on Ventura Blvd in Encino. The location is not the greatest, but the quality of food is very good. The prices are very reasonable compared to other trendy restaurants on the westside. We had the filet of sole and Linguini with Shrimp. Both were very good. Overall, a great dining experience.
This restaurant never disappoints. The flavors are totally authentic, the ingredients are always the freshest, the service is attentive without being overbearing, and the specials menu changes monthly. I'm gluten free, and that's never a problem. We absolutely love Café Carolina!
VEry pleasant with a good salad. Flexible about special requests. Food was very good, The menu could be karger in the main dish list.
It's been in business for 14 years and we just found it. It turned out to be a wonderful experience food wise and the server was very pleasant and helpful. We will definitely come back.
We love this little restaurant on Ventura Blvd. it's the authentic rustic Italian food. Great place to eat healthy and Organic. Good service and very reasonable prices. We had the chicken and lamb with spinach...it was delicious.
Cafe Carolina is a gem. Their food is beyond outstanding. Portions are generous. Staff is friendly and welcoming. This was our second visit and I expect that this will become one of our regular dinner spots.
I had heard that Cafe Carolina was good, but until we experienced it I did not realized what a special spot it is. This restaurant is real gem. My wife and I enjoy small, quaint restaurants - particularly those with exceptional food and a "welcome to the family" atmosphere. Cafe Carolina did not disappoint. From the moment our server approached us and the moment we took our first bite of the delicious, carefully and artfully prepared food, we know that we were in the right place. Their pastas are beyond sensational. The portions are generous. Highly recommended.
Party of 4 ... our first time here. Friendly staff that got the job done. Panzanella salad was quite nice - would order it again. Burrata caprese salad also got good reviews. Duck ravioli was tasty but a bit on the dry side. Taglialtelle with chicken was good. Wine selection is ordinary but probably to be expected of a small neighborhood place. Do order the Grandmother cake for dessert.
This little gem has a charming, rustic Italian ambiance, and beautifully cooked food to match. It's actually hard to believe this treasure exists in the Valley.
We have eaten at Cafe Carolina a number of times and have always enjoyed it. It has a nice neighborhood-restaurant feel, from the menu to the service and decor. The old-vine wine is good and well priced. I grade tough, so three stars is a strong rating for what it is, a relatively simple and unpretentious place for an easy dinner out.
What a lovely experience! The food was pretty tasty and they had a wide variety of dining options. I tried the gnocchi pesto for my main course, which I would order again. The bruschetta appetizer was alright... Didn't taste the caramelized onion as much as I would have liked, got mostly mushroom. I would probably try something else next time. Definitely a great place to catch up with friends and split a good red wine. I will comment service was a tad slow in the beginning, but improved as the dinner went on. I was a few minutes late, but the rest of my party arrived on time said they had to wait a bit to be seated for about 10 minutes. Also, they did seem pretty insistent on closing right on time. That encouraged us to leave before we could order desserts and boy, the dessert list looked good. All in all though, very tasty... Maybe venture into their pizza list next time. I will certainly come back!
Giuseppe is the real deal! Great food, authentic preparation and different regions periodically. This gives you the opportunity to try a vast variety of cuisines.
The ravioli from P iedmonte were out of this world. Thank you for making them even though they were no longer on the menu. And the artichoke was unbelievable. Brought back memories from dining in Alba.
This restaurant was so good!!! In spite of the low brow neighborhood, this restaurant manages to shine brightly! The atmosphere is plain but clean and the service is attentive and excellent. The food is supremely gourmet and of the highest quality. It is as though a high end Beverly Hills restaurant was dropped into the middle of this area of Encino, but without the ambiance or the aesthetic details. We will return again and again and definitely look forward to their catering, as well! What a neighborhood gem and what an unexpected treat. Many vegan, gluten-free and organic options. Fit for Foodies, for sure! So reasonable.
Wife and I went to Café Carolina on valentines day. Overall we had nice time. Its smallish space with rather tight seating. The lighting had a rather yellow ambiance that I didn't care for but my wife liked it. the noise level was a bit loud for me but some may consider that an energetic or vibrant ambiance. Service was very good. We had reservations, were seated without wait and they accommodated our request for a specific table. Our waitress greeted us promptly took our order and frequently checked back with us. food came promptly and was prepared well. thought the wine list was a little short but it had a decent mix of foreign and domestic offerings . All in all we enjoyed the dinner and would probably return on quieter night.
We are never disappointed when dining at this restaurant. The food is always wonderful and the staff are always glad to see us. We dine here frequently as a result.
Although we live one mile away, we have never been to Café Carolina. Well, now we think we will become regulars. The lasagna and pasta were delicious. I loved the Italian wine while my husband preferred the Cabernet Sauvignon. Good service, good food and wine suggestions and a real neighborhood gem!
This restaurant is a real gem not to be missed when I'm in that part of California. Not only do they offer a variety of authentic Northern Italian cuisine they also offer organic greens and chicken as well as their house-made pastas which are made with organic flours. And of great importance: they have gluten-free selections as well as appropriate selections for my granddaughter who is a celiac...and they are delicioso!
Booked this restaurant for a group of 8 on a Sunday night. We had two birthday diners with us. From the very beginning, the service was excellent. They made us feel special from the moment we entered the restaurant. The food was great and the portions were generous. It was a great way to spend a Sunday evening.
We ate here many years ago before the owners expanded the restaurant. We made reservations for dinner last night, but were seated at a small table in a back corner, where we could hear the waitstaff yelling information back & forth. (That was the only downside to the evening.)
The service was impeccable, and our server made helpful suggestions that proved perfect, including saving us some money. Our food was truly delicious! My husband had a linguine & seafood dish that was lovely. My chicken marsala was hot, perfectly cooked, large portion and light. The sauce was not overly sweet or thick, just perfect.
While it was a busy Sunday night during holiday season, we received excellent, friendly service. The fact that they have organic food, desserts sweetened with agave, and convenient parking made it even better. We would highly recommend Cafe Carolina to our friends.
Absolutely the best Italian food in the valley. Super fresh and amazing quality. Chef Giuseppe is incredibly talented and make a the restaurant feel like eating in his home. Mascarpone cheesecake also to die for. So good and so ridiculously affordable.