Owner Oscar Morel toasts two popular dishes at Il Piccolo Verde in Brentwood, the seafood pasta and quinoa al rapini. Photo by Westside People
In the six months since Oscar Morel and Mike Schwartz owned Il Piccolo Verde in Brentwood Village, the restaurant’s been drawing big crowds. Morel brings his experience running Spumoni on Montana Avenue for 25 years combined with an expanded healthy foods menu.
“It’s the kind of place people stay for two hours,” Schwartz said on a recent visit. “It’s a really nice atmosphere.”
The kitchen boasts a wood-fired oven where they make bread to order in the old fashioned ways from Naples. Previously San Gennaro’s, the restaurant opened last year as a sister location to Il Piccolo Ritrovo in the Palisades Village. But after just a few months the owners sold it. The restaurants still share the same look and feel, but they are not affiliated.
Since taking over, the pair added about 15 pasta dishes similar to those Morel served at Spumoni. Schwartz influenced the health food section, with 13 dishes he calls the healthiest in Los Angeles.
“We use ingredients like gluten free grains, organic and fresh vegetables, raw unrefined organic oils, sea salt and raw apple cider vinegar,” Schwartz said. “In my opinion you will not find a quinoa dish that tastes as good as ours.”
Schwartz takes pride in buying the highest quality cheese and tomatoes, which they use to make homemade sauce daily. With fresh pasta made daily, along with two styles of traditional pizza, Il Piccolo Verde brings the neighborhood together.
“We’re high on quality,” Schwartz said. “That might eat into our margins a little, but it’s for the best.”