7200 Melrose Ave, LA, CA 90046
I am fairly certain that the term “lunching”, along with the act, was manufactured in LA. And if perchance, I am wrong, I at least know for certain that LA is the culprit in exercising this ever-so trendy term. But for a town whose blood runs thick with wining and dining and being seen, there is a severe lack of places that truly encompass that European act of lounging and enjoying a meal for hours with friends and family.
I have found one that comes pretty close to feeling as if you are sitting in St. Mark’s Square in Venice. A café that offers fresh and tasty food, coupled with exceptional service and the feeling of not wanting to leave your chair. This café is inviting, comfortable, and reeks of mom’s cooking. This café is called Fratelli.
Fratelli opened during the heart of the economic crisis in December of 2008 on the corner of Melrose and Formosa. Anyone in the hospitality business knows it is an enormous risk, at any time, to open a bar/restaurant/lounge/club. Despite a particularly precarious location and a painfully weak economy, Yaron Abraham, the owner, took on the courageous endeavor. The first year was a struggle, but eventually, Fratelli became the thriving and successful business it is today.
Fratelli means “brother” in Italian. A very fitting name for the place considering the majority of the customers are regulars and Yaron not only knows all their names, but makes a conscious effort to get to know them as well. His staff is comprised of beautiful blondes with the ability to provide great service with a personality- a rarity in this town. Hungry tourists, having just spent a few hours shopping on Melrose, will stop in for a latte or sandwich, but it is the returning neighborhood folk who make up the fantastic energy and vibe of the place. Many celebrities go unnoticed at this no sense of ego establishment. The outdoor seating is perfect for watching the bustle of Melrose. You are guaranteed to be entertained.
The food is fresh and vegan friendly with a pretty extensive menu that can almost seem daunting at times. There are so many choices, so if you are one to vacillate often, you are in serious trouble. There are frozen caffeinated beverages, fresh juices and smoothies galore. For breakfast, I recommend: the newly added french toast, waffles, crepes, or the wright’s breakfast burrito with eggwhites. Breakfast can be enjoyed all day long. If you’re in the mood for lunch, try Fratelli’s ever-popular Greek Salad or Chicken Avocado Sandwich. Yummy!
With the recently added beer and wine menu and later hours (Fratelli is now open till 11pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) this place is only gaining more acclaim and recognition. I highly suggest you stop on by and tell Yaron I sent you!