Monday, October 22, 2012

Palermo Ristorante Italiano - Silverlake, CA

"It's a spaghetti time, you guys!" Chances are that's the first thing you'll hear when you step inside Palermo Ristorante Italiano in Silverlake. It'll be owner, Tony, cheerfully announcing to a group of hungry patrons that their table is ready. A lively, friendly, totally UN-Hollywood type of joint, Palermo serves up traditional Italian favorites and is famous for its cheap pours of boxed wine.

Back in the day, this was our spot. Michelle and I ate here practically every Sunday night. It's where we planned our wedding. It's where we plotted our move to Nashville. It's where we conjured up all sorts of crazy ideas over gooey, cheesy pizza and meatball hoagies. That was five years ago; before I went plant-based.

It seems unfathomable that we've been back in LA for 10 months now and haven't even tried to see if Palermo could accommodate my vegan diet. I just assumed it would be off limits, but it turns out I was wrong! After a reassuring phone call and double confirmation from our waitress, I discovered the pizza dough at Palermo is egg and dairy free. Score! Michelle breathed a sigh of relief and all was right with the world again.

We rolled in last night. The place hasn't changed a bit, right down to Tony leading us to our table with this signature catchphrase, "Have a nice one, you guys!" Michelle was in foodie heaven, but I had to tiptoe around a few omni obstacles to create my vegan pie. You see, here's the rub: While the crust is definitely vegan, there is parmesan cheese in the pizza sauce. Bummer, but not a deal breaker. I go sauceless all the time. The waitress told me for vegans they use an olive oil and basil base then pile on the veggies. The result: an epic mushroom, onion and artichoke pizza that tasted insanely delicious - and yes, I ate the entire pie by myself (I have an eating disorder). I'm telling you, without the heavy cheese to weigh me down, I can solo tackle whole pizzas Kobayashi style.

And there you have it, our triumphant return to Palermo. A pleasant surprise and a weekly tradition restored. Our Sunday nights in LA will never be the same... err, I mean they'll be exactly the same... as they used to be.

BTW: I'm considering this a "new" restaurant on my way to 10 for Vegan MoFo because it's the first time I've been to Palermo as a vegan. Hey, I make the rules 'round here! That's six. Four to go.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I'm a vegetarian, but my boyfriend is vegan... Looks like I can satisfy my fettuccine alfredo craving tonight! :D