Il Forno

4.4
851 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian

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About

The “food, owners and servers are all so very Italian” at this “neighborhood favorite” next to Santa Monica Airport (and its branch on Colorado Avenue) where locals go for “delicious, unpretentious”, “reasonably priced” fare and “friendly”, “attentive” service in a “low-key” setting that’s “perfect” when “you want a tablecloth but don’t want to get dressed up.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm Dinner: Moonday - Thursday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Dinner: Friday - Saturday 5:30 - 10:30pm Dinner: Sunday 5:00pm - 9:30pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday - 5:30pm - 10:00pm Dinner: Friday - Saturday - 5:30pm - 10:30pm Dinner: Sunday - 5:00pm - 9:30pm
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Phone number
(310) 450-1241
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Domenico Salvatore
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Private party facilities
Il Forno has everything you need to create the perfect party, office meeting, family or social event. Whether at your location (office, home, etc.) or ours, we can plan and deliver a custom menu for your guests. We can accommodate any event including Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations, and Office parties. For your special event, Il Forno offers two Private dining areas. For more information on our catering services please call or email us.
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Private party contact
Sorin Costache: (310) 450-1241
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Catering
Full catering service available, office catering, at home cooking, to go pick up.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Between 29th and 30th
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Parking details
Parking available behind the restaurant and under the restaurant at no charge
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Public transit
Santa Monica Blue Buss #8 at 28th street and walk back one block.
Additional
Beer, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 851 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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J
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and service. Easy parking.

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l
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was looking for a good place for my daughter's birthday in Santa Monica. I read the reviews and chose this restaurant. It was very busy, yet we were seated quickly with our reservations. Our waiter was extremely helpful, upbeat, and all around wonderful. The pastas were very fresh and the menu has many interesting items. My family of five were all impressed and we will definitely return.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Their food is so yummy! Service is great too!

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C
Las Vegas
21 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Il Forno is an excellent neighborhood gem Italian style restaurant. Both the food and service are excellent and we usually choose one of the dinner specials when we eat there. One bad thing is that the amazing bread and tomato/ balsamic that is served. It is so good, that many times I can't finish my meal because of it. So if that is the worse thing, then this is your place.

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JT
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love this place, it's solidly in the restaurant rotation of my friends.

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v
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Have been eating here for years. The pasta with Lamb ragout is one of my favorite pastas in LA.

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M
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Octopus salad was incredible. Pizza Margherita amazing, the complimentary bread & bruschetta delicious. Shared their lemon cake for desert. Fantastic. The service was excellent. Loved the atmosphere. They take good of care of you and waste no time making sure you are no longer hungry once you are seated. Absolutely 100% satisfied, worth every penny. We were impressed and delighted with this restaurant. Will be retuning for seconds. Highly recommended.

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BO
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never had a bad meal...ever....
They will make you whatever you want...even if it is not on the menu..
The food is excellent

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MC
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ll Forno is one of those places that is so consistently great, that I sometimes want to keep it our secret. We’ve celebrated so many big events there & service is always top notch.

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BH
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always the best family and food experience our family had. We so appreciate everything about Il Forno. Thank you so much

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NG
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Il Forno is both a neighborhood place and a special restaurant. I have had it as a go to place since 1993. The only problem is that the fresh bread is too good. You tend to fill up on it. I don’t think I have ever left anything on my plate. I always wipe my plate clean down to the last hint of sauce. Everything I have had is great to the last drop. My favorite is the Tortellini Nouvi, which is now only on the lunch menu. But they make it for me for dinner. I have pasta. But the pizzas, meats, fish and chicken are equally good. Go and enjoy.

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g
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food and A1 service. A piece of real Italy

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TH
Los Angeles
58 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Always consistent. Friendly good service, good food, nice wine list. Very good choice for casual dining. Will continue to return.

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SS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Brought a foodie for her birthday and she was very pleased with the food. I finally got it right.
The only hitch we had was a forgotten appetizer- but we asked for more bread- which is so delicious- I would be happy with just the bread and the bruschetta, Delish.

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d
Los Angeles
39 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We got home and just didn't feel like cooking dinner ourselves. It is so wonderful that we have this collection of urban eateries down the street on Ocean Park Blvd. Il Forno is the best of the lot - a vibrant, friendly neighborhood gem, walking distance from our home. The owners and wait staff greet us like family (yes, they do know us) and we get seated promptly. They always take care of us - but we watch them catering to everyone with the same warm care and concern. We never tire of Il Forno - they always have specials that aren't on the menu. Chef Domenico is a genius at preparing food in a custom sort of way. I know that if I asked him to make a dish in some off-the-menu sort of way, he'd do it. Il Forno rocks!

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S
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

THE BEST RESTAURANT EVER!!!! I love everything about this restaurant!!!
I’ve been dining here ever since I was a kid, and now with my own kids. I feel like they are a part of my family! Simply, THE BEST!!

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S
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, excellent. Service, impeccable. Food, delicious. Our favorite restaurant.

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RH
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I were concerned that arriving for Mother's day lunch would entail a long, noisy wait, with mediocre food. Instead, the restaurant was pleasantly not full, and our section was quiet. The waiter was superb, suggesting we split a salad when I hesitated on salad size, and provided enthusiastic descriptions on my queries about a veal dish. My wife had a rigatoni dish which was excellent, and the veal was outstanding, with vegetables cooked to crisp perfection. The waiter was great throughout, bringing a wonderful Pinot Noir, and following up several times during the meal. We did not use the option, but gluten-free pasta was available, a potential real bonus for me. The meal cost was exceptionally reasonable. Also, free self-parking! I think this restaurant represents a remarkable find on the West side, and we both wish we had tried it earlier. The food would not be out of place in a much more expensive environment.

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m
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is a hidden gem, yet a reliable restaurant. I have been coming here for decades, yet have been to MANY Italian joints throughout L.A. I ha e tried almost every dish on the menu and have never failed. xoxo

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TG
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love to go for lunch and sit outside at II Forno. Also, we often go for dinner. The food is always delicious and the service is outstanding. We enjoy dining here for special occasions. Our son’s family loves to dine here too. II Forno is a gem....hats off to the owners and staff.

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M
Los Angeles
21 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

As always the food was fabulous

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R
Los Angeles
24 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is awesome—-simply a great meal!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love these guys!

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e
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best! Long time favorite!

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DR
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I was looking for a nice restaurant close to McCabe's as we had tickets to a show that evening for our anniversary. I wasn't familiar with nearby Ocean Park Blvd by the SM Airport, so I scanned my options and chose Il Forno based on the amazing menu and wine list. One of our best restaurant experiences from the easy location and parking all the way thru the panna cotta, everything was excellent and we'll be repeat customers whenever we find ourselves nearby. You know you're in good hands when the host and waiter instill hospitality and demonstrate a command of the menu. The bread and bruschetta were excellent, especially when paired with a nice bottle of Reserve Chianti. The menu contains so many interesting preparations it was hard to narrow it down, but we selected the capriccio imperiale and carpaccio to get started. Both were excellent and wonderful introductions to the fresh and flavorful dishes available. We then enjoyed the medaglioni di vitello and risotto smeralda for entrees. Delicious preparations both, the mushroom sauce on the veal working well with the wine and the risotto's saffron base the best I've ever had. A shared panna cotta for dessert was light and refreshing and capped off our introduction to this wonderful Santa Monica Airport area spot.

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A
Los Angeles
53 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lunch menu is replete with traditional northern Italian items, many of which have a special touch/updating which makes them a welcome new experience. Service is outstanding. Tiramisu is the best we've had ANYWHERE. Il Forno is a neighborhood gem which deserves a much wider audience. One of the best restaurants in Santa Monica, and its prices are reasonable.

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f
Los Angeles
36 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food, delightful environment, good service. Good old-fashioned reasons to love a restaurant and go for any number of reasons, with all kinds of friends: singles, couples, small groups. We are never disappointed.

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J
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The waiter misunderstood my order and tried to make it right.

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D
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Il Forno never disappoints. Food was outstanding (halibut pricey but so good), love the rolls and tomatoes that they always put on the table (can't stop eating them), the people are so nice and accommodating, from management to servers. Took daughter and son in law and 3 year old with us, they loved it too, their first time. They were shocked how packed the restaurant got around 6 pm on Sunday! Great place!

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n
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The butterflied Branzino special was...SPECIAL! And everyone in our group liked their various pasta dishes.. clams, shrimp, etc.

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GM
Los Angeles
57 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was absolutely perfect. The service, the food and the ambiance was wonderful.
We would recommend the Curry Scampi .... the sauce is phenomenal.
Check it out and you will be pleasantly, surprised .

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O
Central Coast
24 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great pasta , very consistant for over 20 years, very good service , great menus for every taste .

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OT
Los Angeles
41 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Il Forno has been our family’s “go-to” Italian restaurant for years. The food parallels anything you would find in Italy, with one exception. Il Forno’s bread that they bring to the table is far superior! Everyone there is welcoming and makes you feel like family. We love it!

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JL
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

LOVE LOVE LOVE the food so good I had to IG it! @josefster :) Only issue was service was slow for 2 people ordering salads, however the food was worth the wait! Also shout out to Joseph who I think is the owner and was very accommodating . Love this place will be back next week, with hopefully more time to kill.

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OT
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely quiet table in “Willy’s” Room.” Started with tangy complementary bruschetta style tomato chunks werved with warm pizza dough bread. Two of us ordered fish which was served with a beautifully presented array of different vegetables, while the third ordered a yummy bolognese. Shared a to-die-for Tiramisu to end a delicious and relaxed meal.

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NG
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I have been going to Il Forno since 1995 and it is consistently outstanding. While they took my favorite dish off the dinner menu, if I request it, they make it. They will accommodate any reasonable request. There food is better than other places that charge 50-100% more. And the bread, you will eat to much whether with olive oil and garlic at lunch for the tomato olive oil mixture that come with dinner. Simply put, this should be your number one go to Italian restaurant. By the way, no one makes a better dish than their Tortillenni Nouvi.

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f
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food and service was very friendly if a bit slow sometimes.

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SV
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service outstanding. We are from out of town and only in LA for a week but plan on returning because there were so many choices on the menu we wanted to try.

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S
Los Angeles
21 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable, as usual. Our daughter joined us for lunch. When she comes up from Newport, she always loves dining at Il Forno.

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s
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Delicious good at reasonable value. would have preferred a bit less noise!

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