San Gennaro’s Restaurant (located at 140 South Barrington Place, just across the street from Archer) has courteous servers, excellent food with generous portions, and clean ’50s style decor. The restaurant has been in business for 21 years.
Javier, the kind young server I spoke to, attributed this to catering events, many Brentwood kids coming to the restaurant after school, and a mix of loyal and new customers. When I went for dinner on a Friday night, the café was busy with a steady flow of customers.
There were enough waiters to accommodate the amount of people eating at the restaurant, and they checked in often to ask my opinion of the food. The “Genuine New York Italian cuisine” style café, open for lunch and dinner, also delivers and caters to many types of events.
The extensive five-page menu contains delicious food served for about 20 years without change, always coming with an appetizer of fresh-made garlic bread and classic Italian olive oil.
The restaurant incorporates many choices for dietary restrictions, such as introducing a new option of “Italian lite” – food made without oil, salt, or cheese for the weight-conscious individuals. Also, San Gennaro offers gluten and whole-wheat pasta or pizza on request.
The specials menu, though more expensive, has very interesting combinations and changes every two weeks. Some new and favored dishes from the specials menu are the classic Osso Bucco (a veal and marrow bone stew) and the most popular Trio Ravioli Del Mare (Jumbo shrimp, crab, and lobster ravioli in a tomato garlic wine sauce, for $28.95). For a special treat, many young diners love the fresh gelato bar, which can be sampled and also put atop desserts. For the older customers, a separate wine menu is provided with choices from the wine bar.
The food is available for takeout, and there’s also a separate delivery menu, ordered by phone or online. The waiters always sing “Happy Birthday” for birthdays and bring the special guest a dessert. With the soft oldies music playing in the background and colorful tiled walls, the feeling of hospitality is reinforced.
Javier, who has worked at San Gennaro for 6 months, shared his story about coming to this genuine and delicious Italian restaurant. Javier was friends with the owner’s son from baseball, and was unfortunately laid off from work as an accountant because of the sinking economy. Afterwards, Javier turned to his connections in order to earn some extra cash, which he mentioned is “always handy.”
Javier also informed me of the catering service at San Gennaro, which is still in effect though sadly doesn’t provide for Archer anymore. The restaurant does private parties, weddings, birthdays, etc. on any budget with a special catering menu.
They also still cater for other schools, such as Westview in West LA.
If you feel like having some authentic and scrumptious food, just visit San Gennaro’s for lunch or dinner. For the lucky Juniors and Seniors, this means it’s as easy as crossing the street from Archer during your free time.
Editor’s Note: As of summer 2013, San Gennaro Cafe has closed.
Featured Image: Capucine Berney ’13