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Free Lunch

Eatalian Cafe: Pizza, Pasta, Pastries & Gelato

What is now Eatalian Cafe was started in Gardena three years ago by Antonio Pellini and Eugenia Catellani, a couple from Italy's gastro-fabulous Emilia-Romagna region.

Their original plan was to open a factory that would produce and distribute freshly made Italian staples like bread, cheese, pasta and gelato. Taking advantage of an excess of space in their warehouse, they decided to open a small restaurant to serve the food made on the premises. That was then: now, Antonio and Eugenia are opening a second restaurant not too far from the factory, and their product supplies the needs of their restaurants only.

You'd probably want to go to Eatalian more than once. There is too much to explore in just one sitting. Just ask John Musante, an Italian-American introduced to us by Antonio as Eatalian's oldest customer. At 92 years old, John has been visiting Eatalian regularly since it opened, making trips there from his home in Santa Monica.

We learned about Eatalian Cafe through an exchange that two kcet.org commenters—Jessica Koslow and Tony Chen—had on the site back in June (you can read the entire thread here). Jessica suggested that Tony and she review this hidden gem for Free Lunch, and we took them up on it.

Tony and Jessica ordered tortelli di zucca (fresh squash ravioli) and a Napoli pizza to start, then followed it up with a caprese salad. That day the mozzarella was not from Eatalian Cafe, but the Pellinis plan to serve their own daily anytime now.

They also tasted the freshly made gelato and had a chance to chat with Antonio about his pride and joy, a 1961 FAEMA espresso machine. There are only two machines like it in the world. The other one is located at an old coffee shop in Innsbruck, Austria.

Eatalian Cafe
15500 S Broadway St
Gardena, CA 90248-2209
(310) 532-8880

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