If you and your family love Italian food, Radici is amazing for super fresh pasta and some of the best gnocchi in the South Bay. Read more to learn about the authentic food and history of this fine restaurant.
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Tell us about Radici:
“Radici is a family-owned business that specializes in offering authentic Italian food in an upscale, modern setting. Owner Laura Francisco partnered with Lucia Gasbarri, her mother and our Executive Chef to create Radici. Lucia grew up in Pacentro, Italy while watching her mom prepare home-made pastas and Italian dishes from family recipes that were carried down through generations. Pacentro is a tiny village in the Abruzzo region of Italy known for simple and delicious cooking techniques. At Radici, we produce home-made pastas made from fresh ingredients from the local farmers market and select only the best quality seafood and meats from local suppliers. Being a family-run business, I am in the restaurant daily ensuring that guests are receiving the best possible experience in Italian cooking.”
What inspired you to launch Radici?
“My parents were restaurateurs. They owned several restaurants over the years, but the one they are most known for was a place called Massimo Ristorante in Palm Springs. Massimo’s was the “it” place to go for fine Italian dining in the desert during the 90’s. That restaurant has since closed, and my father, Bruno, is no longer with us. Radici means “roots” in Italian and it’s the perfect name to frame the legacy of our family – great, authentic food created from time-honored recipes. An incredible element within our restaurant is a screen-printed feature wall, which serves as a kind of porthole to Pacentro, Italy. It’s an actual photo of our family home, and it’s a reminder to our family to be true to our “roots.” The village of Pacentro has a population of 1200 people and is 650 feet above sea-level. It’s a very well-preserved historical town featuring the architecture of Medieval, Baroque and Renaissance times. A fun fact about the village – Madonna’s grandparents and relatives still live there!
I grew up in the restaurant business. After raising my kids, I decided to open a small restaurant to bring back our family recipes to share with the people within the South Bay. The restaurant is much bigger than I originally envisioned, but the space felt like a great home for Radici. I love to host friends and family for meals, and I wanted a space that felt good and made people feel comfortable. When guests enter the restaurant, I wanted them to feel as though they were guests at my home. Our name, Radici, “roots” defines it all…faith, sense of nurture, origins, union, experiences from where one lived, anchorage, strength…and it summarizes all the reasons I created Radici.“
What is one of your proudest moments?
“My proudest moments as a restaurant owner are when our guests leave happy, full and they share memories of trips to Italy or their own personal experiences from the past. And, it’s so great to see repeat guests come back to share the Radici experience with their friends, family and colleagues!“
What can one expect when working with you or visiting your location?
“Customers can expect to have a wonderful meal! We have an extensive wine list and have a unique menu of hand-crafted cocktails. We’re known for a few of my mother’s signature dishes – the gnocchi are amazing. They are unlike any gnocchi in the South Bay. My mom makes them with potato and spinach, and tops them with a gorgonzola cream sauce. (Or, you can have them with our tomato sugo.) Another dish that customers rave about is our Involtini, featuring baked eggplant, housemade ricotta, and tomato sugo. People who don’t like eggplant don’t even realize they are eating eggplant. It’s wonderful!
We have lots of options for everyone on the menu – lamb chops, chicken, seafood, filet mignon, and even gluten-free and vegan dishes. And, we are a peanut-free restaurant because my son has a very dangerous allergy, so we take these issues very seriously. I personally go the Farmers Market in Santa Monica every Wednesday. All of our produce is farm fresh! Oh, and my mom’s desserts are to die for! Her Tiramisu and Panna Cotta are legendary.“
Tell us a little more about you!
“I was born in New Jersey and my parents Italian immigrants. As a family, we moved to California when I was 13 years old. My parents started a new restaurant/pizzeria with my uncle. I graduated from Agoura High School and went to San Diego State for college, which I paid for myself. I was then a buyer for a small boutique in Agoura right out college then for 4 years I worked for Nordstrom’s in management then lastly custom brokerage…both high level customer service based positions, which you will see in our restaurant. We are highly focused on making our customers happy! I met my husband, Karl, and we married had two children. We raised our kids in Palos Verdes, and then moved to Manhattan Beach when both kids graduated high school.“
What do you enjoy doing in the South Bay when you are not working?
“I love spending time with our kids and my husband. We are fortunate to live in this beautiful community that offers so much to do outdoors. If we’re not on the beach, we’re usually not far from it enjoying other activities. We also enjoy supporting local businesses by shopping and dining in the South Bay. When we were younger, we used to drive to the westside often to dine or shop. We realized long after that we have everything in the South Bay and you don’t have to drive to far to have what you want. The South Bay continues to attract many business and there’s a certain charm about the keeps bringing people back.”
Do you give back to the community?
“Yes, frequently! Yes…many donations to charitable events. We love being an active part of the South Bay community and giving back via donations and gift certificates. We recently participated in Walk with Sally’s White Nights White Lights event. And, as a family, we’ve been actively involved with the Rescue Mission downtown.”
934 Hermosa AveHermosa Beach, CA 90254