Caffe Pinguini

4.8
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733 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Italian owners, Tony Cotrufo and Enrico Fiorentini, both hail from Rome and have been serving fresh authentic Italian cuisine at their Playa Del Rey location since 1997. They offer homemade pastas, an excellent wine list, outdoor seating and daily specials.


Caffe Pinguini was awarded with the "Marchio Ospitalita" Italiana - Seal of Authenticity". The seal distinguishes those restaurants with the highest quality of Italian hospitality.
What 733 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

We were seated inside and it was very loud. The waiter gave me the impression that his primary mission was to get us out as fast as possible. He wasn't rude, but definitely wasn't helpful. The waiter was abrupt, but overall the service was slow. This was probably because he was assigned too many tables to take care of. The food came out warm, but not hot, and was just okay. The location, near the beach, is fantastic.

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fantastic. We arrived earlier than our reservation and they seared us immediately. The waiter was incredibly nice and accommodating as we couldn’t decide between two pastas so he suggested he do half and half. Who knew that was even and option? We also split one portion and he didn’t bat an eye. He even split our salad beautifully with each of us getting our own plate.

ES
Baltimore
19 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The burrata insalata was excellent. Service was quick and the hosts very courteous. Been here a couple times and have been impressed with their very reasonably priced meals. They’ve recognized that the straight forward and simple Italian ways of cooking, when combined with fresh ingredients yields wonderful meals. Only wish I could have for this restaurant would be a few more Italian wines to choose from on the list.

D
Los Angeles
24 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Caffe Pinguini. It feels like we just stepped into a restaurant in Italy. Everyone there is friendly and the food is outstanding. They also sometimes have unusual wines from Italy, and they are well worth trying. The ambiance is perfect!

OT
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food, great service! Wonderful night!

OT
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was immediate, attentive, and efficient. Solid menus, lovely ambience on the patio on a comfortably warm weekend evening. My party and I thoroughly enjoyed the dining pexperience, including the necessary valet parking in this tightly packed beachside area.

SC
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Just wasn't the same as I remember previously. I asked for vegetables with my Veal Piccata and got potatoes and it wasn't very lemony flavor. Just ok

Salad actually was delicious - arugula and radichio

Sandi

ES
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff was very accommodating. Food was excellent. The freshly baked bread loaves are hopelessly addictive.

TL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food, service, fun atmosphere and awesome location! A bit pricey - but really, its worth it!

w
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Caffe Piguini was recommended to us. So this was our first visit. The service was absolutely top notch. The thing that was most impressive was that we were not rushed, or left waiting. The server's timing was excellent.
We shared the shrimp salad; it was amazing! The salad was perfectly seasoned, a detail many restaurants overlook.
Our entrees were outstanding as well.
Needless to say we will return to sample another of your beautiful menu items.

S
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

This was out third visit to Pinguni since we moved to LA 5 years ago. Previous experiences had been amazing. Food and service were on point.

This time however, the service was subpar. The waiter seems tired, he was polite but you could sense a little tiredness in his voice/energy.

I ordered the Spaghetti with king crab special and the four cheese pizza. The spaghetti was very watery and there was almost no crab to justify the price.

The pizza’s dough was as a hard as a tortilla chip and the cheese hard as plastic with almost no taste.

Unfortunately we have this restaurant another try and based on our we Weill not be returning.

Best,

Yannig

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My birthday

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

And just outside the bubble for a perfect evening.

c
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this place! We’ll be back! Great service and fresh food ❤️

JB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent always!

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the first review I’ve written and I’ll keep it short. This is hands down the best Italian food in LA! I put it right up there with some of my favorite east coast places.

RW
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Way too noisy. Food was good but it seemed that the staff seemed overwhelmed.

AF
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my niece for her med school graduation celebration. We had a lovely time on the patio on a cool August night. The wait staff was wonderful and guided us very educatedly to our ultimate food decisions. I love Caffe Pinguini! It has such lovely everything!! Thanks for being a wonderful restaurant in our neighborhood!! Bravos!!

MM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and excellent service! The patio seating is very nice, not noisy at all. Outside heaters keep the chill off. I have been there 3 times and enjoyed everything!

SJ
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Caffe Pinguini is a must stop for me when I’m in LA, best fresh, authentic Italian cuisine I’ve found

D
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I invited a “foodie”friend for dinner at Caffe Pinguini and he enjoyed it. He recently visited relatives in Italy and he said the homemade vegetable soup they made him in Italy was exactly the same as he had at Caffe Pinguini. Truly authentic Italian food. Very attentive, friendly and knowledgeable staff.

QI
Los Angeles
59 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We just discovered Caffe Pinguini - it is a great little spot for a quiet, authentic Italian meal. Not particularly fancy but warm and welcoming with excellent food.

F
Los Angeles
68 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a birthday dinner for our friend. There were 5 of us. This was his first time and I am sure it will not be his last. He wrote me a thank you message and could not say enough about the experience.

Give it a try!! You will not be sorry.

C
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Absolutely delicious food !
Party of 4 all loved our food and ordered different entrees
Authentic Italian even our waiter
We will return

T
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first visit and we will be back. Specials were unique and tasty. Caprese Special unique and Fresh Mozzarella was outstanding.

MH
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Great place always! This last time, the vingerette on the salad was so salty I couldn’t eat it. I told Jean Franco.

B
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed the old-world, romantic atmosphere! Great attention to all details, and superb Italian cuisine! Our meal - from the buffalo cheese starter to the pasta and filet mains to the tiramisu desert - could not have been better! A true gem!

BG
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Some of the best Italian food and most delightful ambience around! A must visit for you! They never disappoint!

OT
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great meal at Cafe Pinguini. I had the veal picatta which was excellent. Service was fantastic and the ambiance was very nice.

ML
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This place is a gem.

F
Los Angeles
68 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have not been here in a couple of months. It is good to see that the nothing has changed. Same great food and service. My favorite Italian restaurant. Parking is a little tough because of the road work. Valet it and that problem goes away.

AH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Solid Italian restaurant with a couple of proper Italian servers. They knew at least something about the wine that I wanted and why.

W
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A visiting out of town guest

A
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food

D
Palm Springs
20 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

This was our first bad experience here after not going for a few months. The menu and food was Excellent as expected. The waitstaff, however, appears mostly new hires?? Our waiter has rude and disinterested in our dining experience...didn't come by to pour our wine, or ask if we wanted coffee with dessert, no smile or pleasant greating that we'd become accustomed to at what used to be one of our favorite restaurants.

KD
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed this dinner. Food was good as well as the service.

OT
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is by far one of my favorite restaurants in LA, and has been consistently for at least the last year. I fancy myself a gourmet chef so love to go to places where I can get food better than my own. The spicy sauced homemade pasta was delicious, and the special of branzino grilled with reduced rosemary sauce was scrumptious. The service was always attentive, and it's delightful to hear that Italian accent. Close your eyes and you're in Sorrentino.

EG
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Feally great. Food was delicious.

LK
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Good pizza! And the restaurant really looks Italian, wonderful ambience. We thought our waiter was maybe a secret spy, but that didn't take away from the good service.

SB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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