In a town where success is as ephemeral as a cactus flower and restaurants come and go before you even knew they existed, Valentino remains a stronghold and a bright, shining star in Los Angeles.
Piero Selvaggio, the brains and creative direction behind this legendary dining establishment, has weathered storms of all descriptions from Italian nuova cucina to seismic tremors, not to mention the ever-changing mood of Angelenos. Skillfully taming the exuberance of the 70s, Selvaggio created this jewel on the West Side in 1972 and, over the decades, has continued to shape and transform Valentino Santa Monica, always ensuring the traditional resources and mainstays of his native Italy remain prevalent. Today Valentino is both a reflection of those classic Italian traditions and the changing lifestyles and expectations of today’s diner.
Although Piero is and always has been the common denominator, he has developed a competent team over the years. Chef Nico Chessa mans the kitchen and executes a flawless and timeless menu. Classic and memorable antipasti, pasta and main dishes continue to dominate the menu at Valentino, but new, innovative options including vegetarian and gluten-free selections are now part of the landscape as well. And Valentino’s obliging culinary staff will gladly adjust any menu item to accommodate a guest’s needs or tastes or “small plate” appetite. It’s all served up in a delightfully charming, yet evolved setting that has our guests returning time and time again.