Live-action crudo and house-made pastas from a Modern Italian kitchen

By Leila Najafi

Tucked away inside the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Culina—“kitchen” in the mother of mother tongues, Latin—is a modern, upscale Italian restaurant that also happens to be home to the city’s only live-action crudo bar. If you like your crustaceans raw, you’ve come to the right place, but first you must pass through Vinoteca, their wine and espresso bar, before grabbing a front row seat to see the finest raw fish being sliced and plated.

Whether you’ve come for the crudo bar or prefer to dine alfresco on the warmly lit patio, replete with string lights and outdoor fire pit, you’ll want to start by taking a good look at the extensive wine, unsurprisingly dominated by Italian and Californian options. Culina’s seasonal menu showcases California’s freshest ingredients with rotating daily specials —look out for the tagliatelle with short ribs—and a selection of classic Italian dishes with a modern twist, and fresh, house-made pasta.

Ricotta and yellowtail may not be an expected pairing, but in the ricciola crudo it makes for a delicate and well-balanced combination, accompanied by a tiny sliver of bright persimmon to add a hint of sweetness and texture. For the main entrée, the branzino is a beautifully prepared Mediterranean sea bass with sliced citrus—an excellent choice if you’re looking for a lighter alternative to pasta.

Don’t forget to save room–at least a little bit of room, because the dessert menu here might be as impressive as the wine list. There’s something on it to satisfy every sweet tooth, including a variety of sorbet and gelato flavors, from coconut to dulce de leche, and almost every kind of Italian dessert you can imagine. Tiramisu? Obviously. Affogato? Check. Butterscotch budino? Yep. But the one that was calling our name was the warm dark chocolate liquid tart with mint chip gelato. Oozing rich chocolate from every corner, it comes with a dollop of creamy yet subtle mint chip gelato that will take you straight to the streets of Italy. Saluti!


Dinner: Sun–Wed 6 PM–10:30 PM; Thu–Sat 6 PM¬–11 PM
Breakfast: Mon–Sat 6:30 AM–11 AM; Sun 10 AM–2 PM
Lunch: Mon–Sat 11:30 AM–2:30 PM

price range

$13 (cappesante crudo) to $57 (bistecca)