Growing up on the Westside, I was quite familiar with the Century City Mall. It has since been acquired by the Westfield Group and transformed into a massive and modernized indoor-outdoor mecca for eating and shopping. Eataly just opened there and it sparked my curiosity.
Eataly is a mega Italian marketplace that opened Friday, Nov. 3. They occupy 67,000 square feet of Italian food and amazing gourmet edibles on two floors of the Westfield Century City.
Glass windows allow customers to see bread being made and curds of the mozzarella stretched. Even an on-site cooking school run by Lidia Bastianich is part of the operation.
Despite what the parking elevator sign says, the entrance to Eataly is on the second floor. The door on the third floor is their exit and when the marketplace is full, they shut the entrance door and assemble people through stanchions.
The first area you see as you enter Eataly, is the Lavazza Cafe. This is a full service Italian espresso bar that features coffee, espresso and cappuccino drinks. Immediately behind the cafe is an area where you can order gelato (made on-site), cannolis and bombolonis.
Climbing the spiral staircase takes you to another espresso bar. Looking around, the floor resembled an Italian marketplace. At the center, they had Italian cookbooks, cookware and a plethora of Italian dry goods like pasta and pasta sauce.
Eataly seems to have the complete realm of Italian eating experiences. People on-the-go can benefit from the pre-made Roman-style pizza available by the slice. Behind this station is an Italian street food cafe where items like polpette, Arancina Siciliana and lasagna are quickly prepared. Neapolitan-style pizza is made-to-order using a beautiful custom made wood burning oven.
The bakery has beautiful Italian tortes on display. Mini cream puffs, tiramisu, biscotti and other Italian pastries line the glass display cases. One of the display cases is dedicated to their housemade chocolates.
A significant part of the marketplace is devoted to Italian wines. Customers looking for that special drink will appreciate the on-site bar. Refrigerated cases feature quite a few American craft bottle beers. One case is devoted to prosecco.
Providence chef Michael Cimarusti and partner Donato Poto teamed up to create the on-site Dock-to-Dish seafood restaurant named Il Pesce Cucina. I was surprised to hear that there was a 30 minute wait for a seat by the bar. Similar to Eataly Boston, a wood burning grill will be the centerpiece for a new restaurant called Terra.
Eataly is a fun place to window shop at your leisure and see what may appeal to you. Because the operation is so transparent, it is fun to simply watch how everything from cannolis to mozzarella cheese is made. It is the perfect place to relax on the weekend.
Eataly (inside Westfield Century City)
10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067