I have a friend who lives in Washington and whenever she visits me in Santa Monica she always asks if we can go to "that yummy Italian place" again. That's Fritto Misto (and she's not the only one who wants to go back).
Fritto's been in business for over 25 years and has succeeded because it has a simple formula: "yummy" food, reasonable prices, and good service from friendly servers. The bus boys (is there a new term?) are efficient and will keep your water/tea glass full. They offer lunch specials for under $10, and they always have a dinner special. The salads are huge and can easily serve as a meal for one person or can be split by up to four people as a first course. The Greens and Gorgonzola is always a popular choice. The menu features at least two dozen pasta combinations or you can build your own using any of the ingredients on the menu. My favorite is the Chicken Picatta with artichokes and pine nuts added. The wine list probably features about a dozen selections and always features a special wine in the $5-$6/glass range. I think the corkage fee is about $5 if you want to bring your own bottle. And don't deny yourself a basket of bread. It's worth the carbs.
They don't take reservations so the wait at dinner time on a Friday or Saturday night can be about 30 minutes long but it's worth it. Somehow they turn the tables quickly without making diners feel rushed. I would say the atmosphere is convivial due to its small size and the closeness of the tables. Don't be surprised if someone at the next table leans over asks "Oooh, what's that" when your dish is delivered. That's the kind of informal place it is.
I'd recommend it as a place to take your family, your friends, a date, or even to go by yourself.
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