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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 14 times today

Caffe Pinguini

4.7
519 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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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
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Phone number
(310) 306-0117
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Gerardo
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Catering
We do different kinds of catering from buffet to a full dining experience.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Culver Blvd
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Parking details
Choose of street or valet parking.
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Delivery, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 519 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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5.0Dined 4 days ago

I was introduced to Pinguini's by a friend. I loved it so much I suggested it to my boyfriend for date night! The staff is very warm and friendly. Our waiter was Luca. The food was delicious, the ambiance was romantic, I felt like I was in a quaint romantic restaurant in Italy!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

As always, Caffe Penguini does not disappoint. The lobster was perfectly done, the veal melted in your mouth. Wine list is strong and desserts are a great ending.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

Excellent Italian cuisine. On the expensive side but worth it.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Always a wonderful experience! Great food service wine and ambience!

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4.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Good service, good food. A nice dinner.

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4.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Special entrees were pricey. Service was excessive.
Trace of elegance at the beach. Parking may require Valet.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

The service was amazing when we asked them to help us surprise my parents with letting them know we were pregnant. They went above and beyond to make it a perfect evening. The food was also incredible!!

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3.0Dined on March 29, 2018

This is not a place for wine drinkers. The corkage is high $28 and their wine glasses are not good.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Always lovely

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4.0Dined on March 24, 2018

The wait staff is very pleasant and you feel as if you have stepped into a small restaurant in Italy. First impressions though can be off putting - the person running the front of the house does not have a very welcoming manner -- I felt forced to accept outside seating and he was brusque which is not how you want to start an evening out.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

It's always a pleasure going to Caffe Pinguini. The warm and familiar waitstaff are like visiting old friends. The food is wonderful. My favorites are caprese salad, Risotto ai Funghi, and creme brulee. It's romantic and fun to sit outside, but inside is cozy in the winter months.

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4.0Dined on March 20, 2018

I enjoy dining at Caffe Pinguini; the food and the staff are great. The only on-going concern that I wanted to share is that it often takes a long time to get the food served. I often have business meals and I am pressed to return to the office, so it woudl be helpful to have the service expedited. Thank you.

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4.0Dined on March 18, 2018

So many great Italian restaurants in LA but didn’t think Caffe Pinguini was great. Good not great.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

We love this place. Food and service is exceptional!!!

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5.0Dined on March 16, 2018

I feel taken care of whenever I approach Pinguini’s magic door on Culver,
just before you hit the beach.
Inside or outside,
both great in their own way.
20 years now, I’ve never had a bad bite.
Felt I should speak up for them as thanks for
feeding me with such warm spirit and impeachable food all these years.
Good destination dinner,
add a beach stroll.
.

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5.0Dined on March 12, 2018

Excellent, excellent food! Sea Bass was delicious and perfectly cooked. The pesto linguine with added shrimp was outstanding and more than I could finish. The food is very obviously homemade and the service was very attentive. Would definitely recommend.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2018

We were returning from a trip to the East Coast and the timing was right to enjoy dinner before driving back to Santa Barbara. We really enjoyed a meal here several months ago, so returned. The second visit was as good as the first. Attentive service, excellent specials, everything was delicious.

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5.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Best Italian menu with the BEST service!! This is our favorite place in our neighborhood....it’s like family!!!

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5.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Playa Vista residents here & happy to have this great restaurant nearby. One of our true favorites!!!!

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4.0Dined on February 24, 2018

The restaurant had a nice atmosphere. It was kind of loud but I got s good vibe from everyone enjoying themselves. My food was just ok. The person I was with enjoyed there meal. Was pricy for what we received but wanted to step out of the box. I would not return for the food.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Had the Sea Bass, Filet Mignon, risotto and pizza. All delicious. The bread is delicious. The service exceptionally great. Favorite place.

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4.0Dined on February 19, 2018

Buona sera! Relaxing local (Playa) location. Small pation is nice for conversation and getting away for a meal!

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4.0Dined on February 19, 2018

Overall, it is a very nice restaurant. One area that was a little surprising was the $28 corkage fee.

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2018

An excellent Italian restaurant. Moderate prices. Great food.

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

love caffe pinguini - amazing bread, olive oil, wine and entrees - staff is great, too.

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2018

So over priced! My boyfriend and I went there last night for Valentines Day and we didn't really enjoy it. The Caesar salad was $18 and super small (see pic)! The lobster and shrimp on our pastas were dry and over cooked. Their cheapest bottle of wine was like $70. We then tried to pay with a gift card which had $100 on it and they decided to run it for $80 and the rest on a credit card. So ridiculous. I don't think we will come back.

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3.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Service was very lacking. We waited almost 20 mins for someone to come by our table at all and then the waiter kept forgetting our orders. Food was pretty good but the noise and the poor service really intruded on our celebration. Maybe they were just having a bad night, will try again sometime not in a weekend

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5.0Dined on February 9, 2018

Parking for lunch is a pain.

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5.0Dined on February 2, 2018

One of our favorite restaurants ♥️

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

Great food! Delicious warm home baked bread! Service was excellent! My husband had Risotto with Mushrooms and I had Chicken Parmesan...both were very good. We sat on the outdoor patio which was quieter than the inside restaurant...great for conversation with our friends.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

What a great surprise Caffe Pinguini was. The food was outstanding as the service. I will definitely go back when I am in LA.

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4.0Dined on January 26, 2018

Sea bass was cooked perfectly, soft but cooked through. Side vegetables and salad were over-salted so we sent back the salad. The waiter apologized and removed it from the check. Professionally-handled so as to not spoil a great evening. Always a fun date spot with some families too. Valet is $5.50. Location is next to the beach - great for an after dinner walk.

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5.0Dined on January 26, 2018

We had a business meeting and they were considerate of this. Food is amazing!
The corkage is not amazing.

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5.0Dined on January 25, 2018

This was the best part of a business training trip to LA. The wine suggestion was spot on. The gnocchi was indeed soft pillows of perfection in the savory mushroom sauce. The overall meal delightful while enjoying the outdoor patio. As I was dining alone, I was able to fully absorb the ambience and the happy chatter and laughter happening around me. The other guests LOVED this place, too. Thank you, Giovanni, for the exemplary service and making me feel like a welcome guest!

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4.0Dined on January 20, 2018

Loved the food! Delicious, authentic and unique food ideas.

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4.0Dined on January 20, 2018

Great food felt like being back in Italy

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5.0Dined on January 20, 2018

The service is fabulous and the food is amazing! It’s like being in Italy

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2018

Giovanni was attentive and pleasant, went out of his way to make our dining experience great.

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2.0Dined on January 6, 2018

We have been enjoying Caffe Pinguini for 20 years as we recall and unfortunately, this dinner was one to forget. From the inappropriately dressed hostess who didn't greet us with other than "Name?," to the busboy who addressed us as "amigos" and rushed to noisily clear our plates before or as soon as we took the last bite, we felt anything but the relaxed, warm Italian atmosphere one would expect. The food was good quality but came out too quickly to digest between courses. For the prices, we would expect more of a fine dining experience, not fast food. We encourage the management to address these issues and return to better standards.

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5.0Dined on January 5, 2018

Everyone is so welcoming... the restaurant is beautiful and looks like a lot of locals frequent this place as it seems that everyone is familiar with all staff. Food was amazing and can't wait to return.

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