Eataly L.A. at Westfield Century City
I first learned about Eataly through my friend Kristy Nall, who visited Eataly New York a few years ago. She spent the entire day dining and shopping in the Italian food haven that took up an entire New York City block. So when I heard they were opening an Eataly in L.A. at Westfield Century City, I was ecstatic. Every time I drove by the “Opening Fall 2017”, it felt like a tease. Finally, it came to reality yesterday, November 3rd. I attended the special media grand opening and I was in Italian food heaven! I brought Kristy, who was able to gauge the differences between the New York location and the L.A. location. She put it best when she said, “It’s like comparing Disney World to Disneyland: similar content, different use of space.” I’ve never been to any Eataly, and have never even been to Italy. But I imagine Eataly is everything I would want to eat in Italy, condensed into one amazing space.
This morning (Saturday), I took my husband and daughter to Eataly L.A. We arrived around 11:00 AM and there was already a line wrapped around to get in, because it was already at capacity. After a 30 minute wait in the ever-growing line, we finally got in. I had to leave by 1:00pm, so I only had an hour and a half to show them around. That wasn’t nearly enough time, because we didn’t get through a quarter of the 67,000 square foot space. Instead of waiting in line again to eat at a sit-down restaurant (the wait was anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour), we bought stuff from the market to take home and eat. Needless to say, it’s best to strategically plan your day around a trip to Eataly, because it’s probably going to stay pretty busy, especially on the weekends. Tip: If you follow them on Twitter (@eatalyLA), there is a line-o-meter which tells you an estimate of the current the wait time.
About Eataly L.A.
The main entrance to Eataly L.A. is on the second floor of Westfield Century City, where you will see a cafe, desserts area, and a cooking school. Upon entering, there is a spiral staircase that takes you to the main Eataly area, which houses three sit-down restaurants, nine take-away counters, and another cafe. The shopping area is integrated throughout, with an extensive wine shop, refrigerated sections of cheese, and many other Italian staples and unique items. There is a third floor coming, which isn’t open yet and unannounced.
There are dining restaurants at Eataly L.A. – La Piazza, Il Pesce Cucina, and La Pizza and La Pasta. A fourth one is coming, but still under wraps. Il Pesce Cucina is from famous Providence Chef Michael Cimarusti, who we saw at the media preview.
Shop and wine? Yes please. There is a bar and a wine-shop that you can lose yourself in. The L.A. location is Eataly’s largest wine shop in the U.S.
There are cute narrow shopping carts, shopping baskets on wheels, and traditional shopping baskets to choose from. With the abundance of choices, there are also workers who can advise and help narrow down your options. Tasting stations make shopping fun, and the specialty food counters are exciting. I could watch them make pasta all day! Everything looks fresh and delicious, and a large percentage of the items are locally sourced.
Eataly is fronted by Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich, along with Bastianich’s son, Joe, and founder Oscar Farinetti. Eataly L.A. is located at Westfield Century City. For more information, visit their website at: