I’m going to make a confession here – my favorite cuisine is Italian and my hands-down favorite Italian restaurant is Sfixio in Beverly Hills, CA.
It’s the closest to any food I’ve eaten in Italy that I can find in the States. So, think of it as getting your Italian fix, without the expense of traveling to that gorgeous place – imagine, Firenze in the spring.
Sfixio means “on a whim” in Italian slang and I’m so glad that Mara and Massimio (husband and wife owners) decided to open this “on a whim” in 2011. At the time, I lived almost down the street and walked by one evening looking for a place to have dinner and went in. I am SO glad I did. It has been my “go to” place for a birthday celebration, the place I always take friends that I want to impress with great food but it’s especially my favorite when I don’t want to eat at home and am craving some fabulous Italian food (can you say all the time?).
Mara, who rules the front of house, is from Milan and Massimo, who’s the master in the kitchen, is from Florence so the atmosphere and cuisine are definitely Northern Italian. This means a lighter hand in the kitchen and dining room- not your typical Italian (dark wood, red table cloths, etc.) restaurant atmosphere. They have no freezer so everything is fresh including the pasta that is made to order and not before.
Do not expect huge American portions – these are the same size portions you will find in Italy. That means that you eat courses here – you will not get a heaping bowl of pasta (actually they never use bowls for pasta) so don’t expect one. Pasta is a course in Italy, and not a main course, a Primi Piatti – First Course. That being said, I’ve come in for a simple salad and a pasta and been completely satisfied. The sauces are always light and never over powering.
If you like truffle you must try their Truffle Caviar Pasta. It’s a signature dish and not on the menu. Do not expect caviar in the pasta as there isn’t any. The caviar in the name refers to the shape of the little beads of truffle that are tossed in the fresh pasta. This truffle caviar is imported from Italy regularly and is incredible tasting and incredibly rich in flavor. This is a dish that contains cream as well so it’s not exactly dietetic but DEFINITELY worth the calories. Amazing, to say the least, and worth every fabulous review it receives.
They have a wonderful whole grilled Branzino but my favorite fish on their current menu is the Salmon with Caponata. They used to have it only as a special when Massimo would make the Caponata but it was so wonderful they’ve finally put it on their regular menu. I can’t resist. They also serve some wonderful beef, veal and chicken so everyone has something they can order.
Please save room for dessert. I’m not a big sweet eater but Massimo’s desserts are so light I always save room. My favorite is Ricottina con Amarene- a fresh ricotta served with imported Italian cherries. Perfect.