Wow! That is what came into my mind as I strolled through this food lovers’ “Disneyland” (as my friend had called it). It is rather like that of an amusement park in that there were lines everywhere.

Not sure that I really wanted to fight the crowd when my friend mentioned this place that had just opened less than a few weeks ago. I was told the wait would be more than an hour to get into the restaurants. I finally relented since I did not have much to do that Saturday, and had plenty of time for waiting in lines.

My friend got there around 10:30am, and me around 11:15am, so we did not need to wait outside in order just to get in. However, there was a line already for “La Pizza, La Pasta”. The food looked really good at “La Piazza” while we were waiting in line, and I was told that the “ll Pesce Cucina” serves very good seafood. I noticed that for people who came later on that day, there was a line just to get inside Eataly.

First of all, I was glad that I registered online for “Smart Parking” which allows the car to enter straight into the garage without having to get a ticket, and that it also automatically bills the credit card on file without having to pay at the station before leaving (there is a 50% discount from now until end of the year for parking once registered).

It was exhilarating for me to walk around such a wonderful, happy place with lots of fresh and quality food. There is a station where fresh mozzarella is being made, another where doughs for fresh bread were being kneaded, and another where a lady was making fresh pasta.

There are lots of cheeses, beautiful cuts of meat, and seafood, produce, fruits and all different food products form Italy.

We were finally seated after lining up for over an hour for La Pizza, La Pasta. The hostess was telling me how much she enjoys working there since she loves food. I would not mind working there part-time as well, especially at the “Venchi Cioccolato” where one can purchase individually wrapped chocolates by the pound.

The pizza that we had ordered, “Tartufo”, with porchini mushroom puree and black truffle was quite light and flavorful, not salty as most other pizzas tend to be. The “Tagliatelle al Ragu” with brasied brisket was tasty, with the pasta being made daily on premise. I also liked the housemade mozzarella with a choice of 3 side accompaniments.

I was not full after those 3 plates, but my friend was stuffed. So instead of getting a Panigacci(a flatbread imported from Tuscany)as we had wanted to, we decided to wait, and get some sweets instead.

We purchased these 3 small bite size pastries at the “Venchi Ciocolate”, and the pastries were put into a beautiful box with ribbons which in itself looked rather fancy and expensive.  I really wanted to keep the box, but it got a bit soiled by the pastries, so I had to let it go. I exercised strong self control when I only picked two pieces of the individually wrapped chocolates that one can purchase by the pound. One of them was probably the best piece of chocolate I had ever had, with depth of flavors that were complex and rich. The other 3 pieces of pastries of which I ate all by myself were not as special, probably because I had them very soon after having a medium gelato (hazel nut and pistachio flavors), and an Italian hot chocolate with whipped cream!

We finally made it outside Eataly several hours later. The “Disneyland” of food was quite a fitting analogy and it certainly was a happy place for me.

Eataly: 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90067  Phone: 213-310-8000