La Scala

Most of La Scala’s noontime customers show up for the famous chopped salad. We’re not saying they’re wrong, but stray from the insalate at the Beverly Hills landmark and you’ll find spaghetti with a cream-tinged bolognese, tangy medallions of veal scallopini, and husky meatballs. There’s something reassuring about sitting in a shiny red booth beneath sketches of long-gone celebrities. All the better while tucking into Southern California’s smokiest bowl of fagioli toscani.
Best Chopped Salad, September 2006
There are many good chopped salads in town (those at Pace, the Ivy, and the Polo Lounge come to mind), but La Scala’s is the one we measure them all against. At about any time of day, if you tune in just right, you’ll hear the steady chop-chopping of romaine, iceberg, garbanzos, hard Italian salami, and mozzarella coming from its kitchen. We sometimes think we could make this at home. But taking into account the perfect chill of the greens, the spice of the salami, the Parmesan-nuanced vinaigrette, and the uniformity of the chop, we fear ours would wilt in comparison.