Campanile [Closed Nov 30, 2012] in LA cooks with fresh local ingredients without too much fuss - allowing the individual components to shine. Last night's dinner consisted of a frisee salad with crispy duck confit, pancetta, walnuts and saba, an entree of an incredibly tender niman ranch flat iron steak with wild mushroom-potato gratin and roasted shallots, and a dessert of almond and brown butter cake with armagnac prunes and crème fráiche - truly one of the best desserts I've had in the past year. One complaint however is that the wine prices seemed a bit steep - even by the glass, but I'm no expert on wine pricing.
Lovely space, the front of the restaurant is a glass enclosed courtyard...the second half of the courtyard area overlooks the kitchen pass through so you can peek into the kitchen. Vibe is casual elegent.
Food was solid to good. Started with a softshell crab which was good could have used a little acid to cut through the richness of the crab. Next had halibut over frisee with pancetta and fingerling potatoes, perfect cooked fish and overall a good dish. we shared three desserts, the dark chocolate semifreddo, banana cheesecake, and strawberry cobbler, again all were solid.
the style of cooking reminded me of Corduroy, but frankly the food at Corduroy is much better.
Overall a good meal, but wasn't blown away. A good restaurant to take a group that includes non-foodie types, will please a wide range of palettes and tastes...ie: when you have a large group of people going out for a graduation dinner!