I know in general, it’s a pizzeria. It’s not fancy-pants Italian food. The location is very casual, and in the middle of a stretch of Japanese noodle houses, boba shops, and soup dumpling places. But honestly, I have had some of the best, and most honest, good-old-fashioned eating experiences here at Clusi Batusi.
The chef/ owner, Michele Gargani is one of my favorite inspirations. Young, full of energy. Enthusiastic for feeding people well. Somebody asked me recently what my best meal of 2013 had been, and I couldn’t think of anything other than Michele’s pork bollito misto (with freshly grated horseradish)… paired with, (naturally) Vitovska!
Pork Bollito Misto.
I love Michele’s food because it is clearly prepared with a lot of love. I had a pork chop the other day that nearly ruined me for all other pork chops. It wasn’t anything fancy or rarefied or super expensive. It was just a quality ingredient, prepared and seasoned perfectly. So simple. So infinitely satisfying.
Another perfect dish. Crab and potato fritatta with a poached egg and fresh Marjoram. Again- perfect raw materials, simple and flawless execution. This kind of cooking makes me swoon.
Baccala on toast. One word: Ethereal. Yes really- even in the form of whipped salt cod. How does Chef Michele do it? I think he just loves food, and he loves feeding people. Los Angeles is a better place for it, too.
Benjamin Zidarich and Michele Gargani discuss Carso wines.