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Reviews, Quotes & Awards

“But the Factory Kitchen is a compelling new hybrid — an informal trattoria with rather formal northern Italian cooking, like those restaurants you sometimes find hidden in the warehouse districts of European cities that just happen to have a Michelin star. The dishes are composed; careful. This is not country food.”

Auriana’s rice dishes at BRERA Ristorante are marvelous things: generous and hearty, finely balanced but a bit more minimalist than you think they might be. (It is occasionally refreshing to encounter a dish here without the sharp flavor blast associated with local Italian cooking.) The risotto alla Milanese is as creamy and subtle as it might be at a trattoria in the Navigli, touched with but not overwhelmed by saffron and cheese. From the center of the rice soars a roasted marrowbone, well browned but not overheated. And when you spoon a bit of the quivering marrow into the risotto, a shot of pure animal essence against the tang of the risotto’s mellow Lodi cheese, the effect is almost magical — numbing if you’re eating the whole dish by yourself, perhaps, but a small essay in the interplay of richnesses underlined by the toasty fragrance of the rice. The grand, serious Italian restaurant L.A. has been yearning for.

This “factory” is actually sleek, with cement columns, a modern bar and wide-open garage doors that enhance its lofty feel. However, the heart and soul of its kitchen is dedicated to traditional Northern Italian cuisine. This should come as no surprise, as Angelo Auriana and Matteo Ferdinandi are turning heads with their quickly expanding empire. Devotion to regionally specific flavors is clear in every bite, such as the focaccina calda di Recco al formaggio, layering shatteringly crisp dough between Crescenza cheese, tomato sauce and capers. Everything in the mandilli di seta is delightful, from the thick sheets of “handkerchief” pasta to the almond-basil pesto. Desserts, including a Saracena espresso-soaked buckwheat tiramisu cake with toffee crunch, are ambitious.

BRERA RISTORANTE is included in the prestigious 50 Top Italy as number 43° in the category “50 Best Italian Restaurant in the World” in their recent 2020-2021 award.

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