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“Lovely meal, great service and charming ambience.”
Review of Carlitos Gardel

Carlitos Gardel
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Ranked #136 of 10,036 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Central L.A
Los Angeles, California
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Lovely meal, great service and charming ambience.”
Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

Had a wonderful meal with my daughter, both of us going with specials (lamb chops and branzino) rather than their standard meats. Great service. Solid wine. Cozy, charming atmosphere. Top 20 rating a bit inflated, but still a definite thumbs up.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Steven K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    130
    32
    10
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
LOS ANGELES
Level 5 Contributor
30 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A piece of Buenos Aires lives in LA”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

I have sought out restaurants in Los Angeles that bring me back to the countries i have sought out the finer foods in life and Carlitos Gardel brought me back to Buenos Aires. The food was superb, the setting was classy, and the service was like I was being served by family.

As we sat down for dinner tonight, we started with Papas Fritas Provenzal, a traditional Argentine appetizer, full of flavor, yet not OVER garlic'd.

I then was caught inbetween a few items on the menu, so our host for the evening Jimmy, recommended Tapa de Ojo de Bife, which is the Cap of the Ribeye cut. However it comes in approximately a 10oz steak instead of what you would normally find a cap being 2-4 oz. I elected to go with the chimichurre glaze and by no means was I disappointed. The Steak to be best described was cooked perfectly medium rare ( I am stickler for meats to be prepared as ordered, as my culinary instructors always had grilled me on). The marbling of this cut was phenomenal, and I have to say that even in the top steak houses in Los Angeles, its near impossible to compare. The Glaze was definitely a must as well, it took this meat from great to excellence.
I dont want to disinclude the golden mashed potatoes and grilled mushrooms as they were delicious, but this steak was one of the best Ive had in Los Angeles.

And then I got word of their desserts...

I have been searching for real Dulce De Leche ice cream in Los Angeles since the moment i discovered my first time in Argentina. I HAVE FINALLY FOUND IT !

Carlitos Gardel makes Argentine style Dulce De Leche ICE CREAM! And that wasnt the only thing I got to have for dessert :) .

An old world recipe of two traditional Argentine cakes create the family recipe of Postre Gardel. A dulce de leche based cake that is old world meeting the NEW. A super light mix of two different cake blends, fresh dulce de leche and whipped cream. An out of this world finish to an excellent meal. I promise next time I will take pictures !

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank JeremyisMe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A Destination Restaurant”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank flowerlady28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Try heading "Carlitos" Way”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jpwriterguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Romantic evening, disappointing pasta.”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jason C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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