I am born and raised in Los Angeles - and even though La Dolce Vita has been in business since 1966, last night was my first time there ...... but not my last. You will definitely need reservations at La Dolce Vita because it is a small, intimate space. The entire staff is professional but not stuffy - in fact they are very friendly. Yes the place is pricey - but you get what you pay for. My dining partner ate like there was no tomorrow. We split the calamari appetizer and then split an order of farfalle pasta with Italian sausages. This pasta dish is incredible. My friend tried the sand dabs which she said were OK but not fantastic. I ordered the rack of lamb entree - the wine reduction sauce was fantastic. As it was my friend's birthday, and I'd notified the restaurant in advance, we finished our dinner with a complimentary tiramisu - to the tune of the waitstaff singing "happy birthday" to my friend.
We split a bottle of Chianti at $55 - the bottles of wine start in the mid $40's and go up into the three-digit price range.
I look forward to going back and introducing friends to La Dolce Vita - it's old school rat-pack Italian decor with an updated menu is a winner!