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Review of Osteria La Buca

Osteria La Buca
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Ranked #306 of 11,994 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighbourhood: Central L.A
Cross street: Wilton
Description: Down-home classic Italian menu in the heart of the studio district
Reviewed April 4, 2018

On a Wednesday evening, 6PM, with reservations made, we arrived for our first visit to Osteria. Recommended by friends who frequented often, we looked forward to our experience. Our server was very helpful with her suggestions. We opted for the pappardelle Bolognese ($19) & it was reported to be very good. The chicken parm ($21) with the side of spaghetti ($5). The chicken parm was huge & was served with broccolini. It was delicious but it was so big that nothing else was needed. I would have been grateful to have been told this up front so that I could have skipped the side of spaghetti. One reason - it wasn't needed. Second reason - it wasn't good. I had asked if I could have angel hair instead of spaghetti but was told no. The pasta was thick & doughy so I left most all of it. The short rib ravioli was TINY - perhaps only 3 pieces, for $19, there should have been more than that. Tiramisu $10. We asked for a corner table because we were meeting someone for the first time & wanted to be able to talk. Our server was honest enough to say that their place was loud, which I had read in reviews & thus my reason for asking for a corner table, which we were given. Sure enough by 6:30 & until we left about 8, it was so loud you could not hear the person across the table at all. So, if you like a quiet place or a place you can carry on a conversation, this is not the place for you. If you want a loud experience, go. If you are lucky, park on the street, otherwise valet parking is available for a fee.

Date of visit: April 2018
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 - 25 of 164 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2018 via mobile

Food was ok but far from 5 star. Service fine until we were overcharged. Not by much but it was the principal in why that came about. Final straw was after leaving a 10% tip a different waiter was so rude he basically said he wanted 18% or nothing - they got nothing! Surely tipping is about the quality of food and service combined. If there is a set amount expected then add it on to the bill!
This unpleasantness occurred due to a different member of staff stepping in and being very rude to the detriment of the poor young woman who missed out.

Date of visit: March 2018
Thank Vanessa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 22, 2018


Actually this place is not only TERRIBLY NOISY but you can FEEL the vibrations of the music and chatter through your body. That is not a way to enjoy a meal! There's an upstairs and I foolishly thought it would be better there - nope! It's worse!

This dumpy place tries too hard to be sheik with "raw", exposed decor but the sound bounces off everything and it looks unclean and needs a face lift and lots of help with acoustics!

They are also way, way over priced and have an inflated idea of how much pasta should be! I mean after all it's flour, water and eggs! They also feel that their bread must be made out of gold as we had to ask twice for it and when "it" came, they serve a minuscule amount for a table of 6. It was 4 small 2-bite pieces, placed in a piece of paper on the table - no bread plates (guess they knew they wouldn't be serving more) and you really need it if you go their hungry as they make you wait and wait and wait for your food! Also should you make an attempt to get more bread, forget it. Two servers completely ignored the request.

Ok, now we finally got our wine, and tried to carry on a conversation. Nope...no-can-do!!! You can't even speak with the person sitting next to you! You can't hear them, they cant hear you and totally forget about talking with the person across the table from you. Its so ridiculous that two of us tried asking someone to turn down the music so that we could talk and a manager came over and said "I understand the music is too loud for you." We agreed. Then he replied in a loud voice "That's the way we like it. That's the way it stays. Sorry if you don't like it." and he walked away. Wow...sweet! Boy do they have a heavy handed attitude. Guess their business got too big to be humble and appreciate customers, but heck, we will never be back and I'm sure many others experience the same.

Honestly this place is such a disaster that it makes me wonder how many friends and family they put-up to writing comments for them!

Italian food restaurants are a dime a dozen. Half the reason to enjoy a dinner out is to have a relaxing time and good conversation - neither of which is possible here.

They rush you too which is very interesting. I read that on Yelp and then experienced it. If you are running late - even 10 minutes because of traffic, even call them and let them know, they informed us that they take that time off your allotted time at their table and they make no bones about getting you out! GEEZ!!!

The food is "ok" - not amazing if you are familiar with Italian recipes you can find much better- plus its impossible to digest from all the chaos there. Believe me, you will be doing yourself a favor by finding another Italian place because this lousy place is not a pleasant dining experience. There are so many other places - save your evening and yourself from indigestion. Go somewhere else!

One person was sick after dinner -- don't know if it was the food or the chaos in there -- but what if it was the food...just saying! We all ordered different things....

Date of visit: February 2018
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Thank jtzs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 22, 2018

This was Saturday night and it was loud, loud, loud, which dovetailed nicely with the rows of motorcycle helmets lining one wall of this concrete and glass establishment. (The upper floor is quieter I am told). Started with meatballs and their phenomenal brussels sprouts, then on to bucatini carbonara. Our server was over the top pleasant and efficient. The wine offerings are wide ranging, both domestic and Italian options, and fairly priced (we had a Santa Ynez Gruner at $56). As an occasional visitor to this town in which I grew up, I prefer Angelini because of the dish options: La Buca is about hearty Italian cuisine and it does this sort of thing very well. Very efficient valet parking added to a fun evening here.

Date of visit: February 2018
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Thank tuck33000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 11, 2018

First of all LA within a mile of this location has plenty of choices for dinning. This was a last minute choice for us as our daughter hadn't made reservation down the street and the place was packed.
So they gave us the "pasta room" which is an upstairs room with a prep table for rolling out pasta. It has a bluetooth device and a window that looks out over the restaurant.
Perfect for our group.
Our server was like talking to the chef herself. He could explain every detail of preparation. We had a vegan and everything we ordered had the option of meeting the Vegan requirements for her.
The wine list was of course Italian heavy but my wife, who's family are Calibrese wanted to try a wine from this not know for wine region. Our server obliged with an outstanding pinot like offering which was repeated 3 times over the course of our stay!
Service was brisk and each item was shared around the table.
Fish was the only flesh that we ordered and was a special I believe. The menu changes by availability of local produce.
The fish was a black cod and was amazing. The Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, all of the starters that didn't include meat, the pasta especially the Ravioli and finally the desert chocolate lava cake were all memorable and in flavor and presentation.
This is a very relaxed and cool place without pretension that delivers execelent and surprising offerings for modest to moderate prices.
This was a really great night for all in the Pasta room and I hope your experience there is as great as ours!

Date of visit: December 2017
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1  Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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