If nights at Dan Tana’s are among your best memories, it had a lot to do with the attentions of maître d’ Craig Susser. After 23 years at the West Hollywood landmark, Susser has branched out on his own, transforming what was the Melrose Bar & Grill into a slightly shinier version of his previous home. The bar is packed with a crowd that seems to have followed him. Even with a reservation, expect to wait a half hour to be seated. Once ensconced in your blue-green booth, an actor straight out of The Godfather might be behind you, relishing salty but sinful versions of veal Parmesan, meatballs, thick steaks, and lovely linguine with clams. As at Dan Tana’s, the dishes here are pleasing, but they’re based on a heavy American interpretation of Italian cuisine. Palms are greased, martinis are up, and the mood—like the marinara—is warm, comforting, and of another era.  // 8826 Melrose Ave. (310-276-1900 or D nightly. Full bar. Italian $$$

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