On the Menu: Piatti — It’s 20 years of Italian fare at this La Jolla Shores gem

By Will Parson

It’s been 20 years since Piatti first started serving its sought-after pasta, but only 19 since Bert and Gloria Levi shared their first date on this Italian ristorante’s patio.

Longtime patron Gloria Levi greets her husband Bert while their daughters color at the table.

The couple lives just down the street in La Jolla, and now that dining is a family affair for the Levis (their oldest is 13), Piatti is still a favorite. It seems that for everything from first dates to 50th anniversaries Piatti can offer something special with a consistency that turns first visitors into regulars.

Despite the elegant dining at Piatti, there is not a hint of pretention among the staff or clientele. On a quiet afternoon you can even park your stroller at your table and the waiter will deftly maneuver around it to pour you a glass of fine wine. If you find yourself waiting for additional guests in your party, Piatti can supply your children with some crayons and a paper scene to fill in with color.

Ravioli al Limon (Lemon Ravioli)

A full spectrum is welcome at Piatti. You can stroll off the beach with sand still clinging to your flip-flops, impress a date, or mark a special occasion. Large windows let a lot of light in during the day, but you can choose the patio if you need an extra dose of sunshine. Most tables inside are either close enough to one the aforementioned windows or near the open kitchen in the center of the restaurant.

It is safe to say anything with pasta will be delicious, though the lemon ravioli and pappardelle are especially sought-after. Also of note is that Piatti offers a variety of gluten-free pasta dishes. This being La Jolla, there is, of course, a variety of seafood on the menu to take advantage of local ingredients, such as Carlsbad mussels.

The menu is also seasonal, so if you’ve been to Piatti once already, you might find something new on a return visit.

As for Gloria Levi, one favorite among several is the salmon salad.

Sous-chef Rafael Partida

“It’s like home-style but just really delicious. The kids enjoy it and the adults enjoy it and you can both come and eat and nobody will argue that they don’t want to come to the restaurant.”

If you go


  • Address: 2182 Avenida De La Playa
  • The Vibe: Approachable, casual, elegant, rustic, unpretentious
  • Signature Dish: Ravioli al Limone (Lemon Ravioli)
  • Open Since: 1991
  • Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday–Thursday: to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday
  • Web: www.piatti.com
  • Phone: (858) 454-1589
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Patio Seating: Yes
  • Take Out: Yes
  • Happy Hour: None

On The Menu Recipe

Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online only. This week: Piatti’s Basil Ricotta Ravioli with Lemon Cream Sauce & Citrus Gremolata

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Posted by Susan DeMaggio on Jan 19, 2011. Filed under Food, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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