There are plenty of hideaways in Los Angeles, and even more hideaways with star-studded tales. You can eat your way through the city’s 500-square-miles and collect such anecdotes that would seem to span as long. But Dominick’s is different. Yes, this Italian restaurant in West Hollywood was once a clubhouse for the Rat Pack, and sure, its brick patio is secluded from the outside by ivy-covered walls. Yet, those tales seem to blend into the atmosphere. Maybe it’s the charming knick-knacks and photos above intimate seats, but Dominick’s feels like a family home. And since everyone idolizes Sinatra, the awe of him and his pals is replaced by comfort. The songs you hear overhead are familiar, and the food is just as cozy.
Before you gather at a dinner table layered in white, pull up a stool at a bar painted in red. Sip the macanudo – a drink with rum, wood-grilled grapefruit, bitters, lime, and pepper – and then move to your chair as the patio’s fireplace brightens at twilight. Spread out plates for grilled artichokes flavored with lemon and decadent rice balls sitting in sauce. Later, decide between the ricotta gnocchi and tonarelli cacio e pepe, which are made in-house, or stick to the chicken Parmesan served with sautéed zucchini and squash.
Just as you would make room for dessert at your family’s request, do the same while the patio is aglow. Share the sugar-topped ricotta fritters, and finish the stories that matter most to you.