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“A Destination Restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carlitos Gardel

Carlitos Gardel
7963 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (Central L.A)
(323) 655-0891
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Ranked #7 of 8,555 restaurants in Los Angeles
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Argentinean, Italian, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Central L.A
Virginia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A Destination Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Some restaurants you go to once, enjoy it and then forget about it. Not Carlitos Gardel on Melrose Ave. near Fairfax in Los Angeles! This is my second review of Gardel's because it has become a destination restaurant for us. We do not live in LA, but we travel there regularly and we make it our business to enjoy dinner there every visit - at least once!

The food is divine, the service impeccable, the wine selections excellent, the ambiance just what you would expect in a fine dining experience. There is even live music after 9:00...a very pleasing keyboard player, whose playing simply adds to the atmosphere without impeding conversation in any way. The Argentinian/Italian influences (just as in Argentine culture as Gerard explained to us) make for a wonderful selection of dishes with every course. We have tried many appetizers (the portobello with spinach is a favorite!)....have enjoyed the lamb chops, the skirt steak, the fish, the pastas - and try hard to leave room for the homemade desserts! The newest addition is irresistible - dulce de lece Ice cream with dark chocolate bits - worth going for that alone, actually!!

This family owned and run restaurant (with two generations on the premises) shows the pride they have in everything coming out of their kitchen! I already look forward to our return!!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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86 reviews from our community

90% Recommend
    70
    8
    4
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Try heading "Carlitos" Way”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

In a nondescript area of the famed Melrose Avenue tucked between a lingerie shop called Agent Provacateur and a clothing boutique called Lotta, is Carlitos Gardel restaurant. From its location and simple black awning, one might anticipate an interesting throwback night club upon entering. What you'll find instead is chicly designed Argentinean Steakhouse appealing to plenty of 'eye candy' and youthful meat enthusiasts, as well as those seeking to impress their dates with their culinary prowess.

Now, don't confuse Argentinean with Brazilian (something I did originally when my friends mentioned it) for this is not a churrascaria. This is menu-based, but believe me, it won't disappoint.

To say the meat in this place is fantastic is really understating its case. But no one leaps right in and starts with the entree, so I started my dining experience with their special buratta appetizer wrapped in prosciutto. I openly admit to becoming a burrata snob, and having ordered that cheese countless times in many different places, rarely do I find the dish to be both aesthetically and palatably pleasing. Not only was the prosciutto so finely sliced and wrapped that it melted in your mouth, it could hardly encapsulate the delicate buratta so that it would not leak out. The tender white cheese was mouth-watering to look at and impossible to enjoy slowly, as each bite required an added taste in what became a mouth-spoiling starter.

Their 14 oz rib-eye served as my main course. Cooked medium rare and dabbed with chimichurri sauce, it was as tasty a steak as I could remember, cooked flawlessly. Yet I was more amazed when I tasted my friend's skirt steak. Usually skirt steaks are so thin they end up either overcooked or flavorless. This was not only moist and tender, but the juices flowed so freely I felt my mouth filling with the excess as I bit into it. Everyone at the table concurred that this was an unexpected surprise. The filet mignon in a mushroom wine sauce seemed to hit the spot for my other friend as well.

We deferred to our own wine tastes and the only drawback to that is their $30 corkage fee, which I found to be a bit extreme. The ambiance is quaint and friendly, but not for people who are seeking a quiet hole-in-the-wall, something this restaurant might appear to be from the outside. You certainly will hear your neighbors and will find your friends snugly planted next to you.

For dessert, we tried both a chocolate torte with dulce de leche creme and another cake which offered some apples layered into a sweet dulce de leche icing. Along with coffees, the entire bill for six people including our one bottle of wine, came to approximiately $480, tip included.

If you want to get into the mood before hand check out their website, a noirish, 1940's throwback webpage with South American music to boot. http://www.carlitosgardel.com/. If you're in Los Angeles, and want to experience a terrific steakhouse without breaking the bank, try Carlitos Gardel. It's a fulfilling and delicious culinary experience.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Romantic evening, disappointing pasta.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Very nice atmosphere and servers. Everybody was helpful and knowledgeable.

Portabella $12 - Grilled Portabella Mushroom, layered with melted provolone cheese, sautéed spinach and feta cheese - very good, of course, because it's smothered in melted cheese!

Pasta Di Mare $22 - Fettuccine tossed with mussels, shrimps and mushrooms, in your choice of tomato or cream sauce - HORRIBLE! Completely bland, mussels were dry and rubbery. I have never had such a poor tasting pasta dish. No seasoning whatsoever. They never asked whether I wanted cream or tomato sauce.

The Salmon special was pretty good.

Pretty disappointing first experience, however.

Visit date: November 2011

  • Visited February 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“One of the best Argentinian restaurants in town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Make sure you get a reservation at this great stake place. It's one of the classier restaurants in the area and they feature mouth watering steaks cooked to perfection. These guys are the real thing. They have been at this for decades and the experience shows in the paring of their menu items along with their very extensive wine choices. The desserts are handmade on site by mom and taste just as fresh as can be. Want a real dining EXPERIENCE? Then try Carlito's Gardel on Melrose.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Empanada is excellent! I loved the meat and de mashed potatoes with pumklin is wonderful! Atmosphere is good, the service is good too! the restaurant is good for family, but is good too for romantic dinner! I recommend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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