Skip the tiramisu, take the cannoli, recommends S. Irene in the L.A. Times.
It's rare that S. Irene is at all snarky or gives a restaurant zero stars. But then the L.A. Times critic probably would never have gotten around to trying the Valley's Firenze Osteria if Top Chef contender Fabio Viviani hadn't taken it over. Italian restaurants with the exact same halfway decent cooking and somewhat overpriced food litter every neighborhood in L.A., and it's rare to find one that stands out.
Meanwhile, I had forgotten that Viviani was a local when I gave away DVDs of last season's Top Chef last week. Congrats to Tovantran and Michael Tu who both knew I was thinking of Top Chef contestant Stefan Richter from L.A. Farm, who was born in Tampere, Finland.