Clusi CatI 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.  Chef

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!Carne

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.

BacalaBaccala 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.Benji and Michele

Benjamin Zidarich and Michele Gargani discuss Carso wines.



About The Author

I love all things Italian: the beautiful country of Italia, the Italians themselves, the language, the food… and above all, I love Italian wine. The people I meet in my charmed life are fascinating, the wines are extraordinary. I needed a special place like this to write about them, and to remember them.

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4 Responses

  1. Geoff

    I couldn’t have said it better, Joanie. Michele’s understanding of ingredients, flavor profiles, and his imagination (yet remaining simple and honest in his preparation) are second to none in my book. And yes…that pork chop, if its the same one that I had a few months back, is the best I’ve ever had.


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