“Have you been here before?” asked the affable Aron Celnik as I walked into Andre’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. Shyly, I replied, “No,” even when I lived near Third St. and Poinsettia years ago. Andre’s is tucked in the back of a courtyard between the newer Whole Foods market and K-Mart shopping center.
“We’ve been here 50 years,” Celnik said. “We were one of the first tenants in this shopping center in 1963. Andre’s has outlived all of them in this center.” Andre’s is the only original business remaining after all these years. “
Chef Domenic Andreone (Andre) was raised in Northern Italy and trained at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris, France. After graduating, Andre worked in hotel restaurants in Italy, France, and Switzerland.
He was ahead of the curve in Italian cooking when he arrived in Los Angeles and opened his first restaurant, Andre’s in Beverly Hills on Wilshire Blvd. His pasta and spaghetti became the “talk of the town.”
Andre has owned three restaurants in his lifetime. After opening his upscale Andre’s in Beverly Hills, he opened Andre’s on Third St. and one in Westchester, near LAX. He closed the Beverly Hills and Westchester restaurants years ago, yet he still owns his building in Beverly Hills.
About 80 percent of their business is repeat diners who live within a five-mile radius. On the weekends, loyal patrons line up before 11 a.m. to be one of the first to eat freshly made Italian food at reasonable prices. Guests pull out a tray and walk along the counter to choose their selected dishes, cafeteria-style.
The day I visited Andre’s, I selected a plate of green salad with Andre’s famous creamy Italian dressing and spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread. One can easily enjoy a meal here for under $10.
To read the rest of my review, click on this link, courtesy of the Beverly Press and Park La Brea News. Published on Jan. 28, 2013.