Updated: Monday, December 21, 2015 – 2:21 PM
With its innovative chef, regional Italian cuisine that delights all the senses, a new happy hour and a second-floor banquet room, DOMA restaurant is a holiday haven; and is quickly becoming the place to go for “modern Italian food with global influences.”
For holiday parties and gatherings DOMA offers two sophisticated settings. The second-story loft—with views of Beverly Hills and three French-door windows—can accommodate groups of 30-100 (equipped with a projector it’s also perfect for meetings.) The private wine room is an intimate space for 15-40 guests; and the three event menus can easily be customized to include favorite dishes.
Chef Dustin Trani is prepared special five-course Christmas and New Year’s menus. The New Year’s Eve menu, $65 per person, will start with Hamachi Tartare with green apple, mint, soy consume and sesame tuile; it will be followed by Roasted Spanish Octopus with toasted quinoa, maple, baby oregano and Italian lentils; next will be Mascarpone Agnolotti with butter Parmesan, sage and toasted bread crumb in a veal reduction; the main course will be an American Wagyu Flat Iron with six-hour fontina soft polenta, port demi glaze and brown butter. The finale will Pumpkin Cheese Cake with walnut praline, “gram” cracker and egg nog gelato.
Specialty cocktails and great deals on “bites” make up the new happy hour from 4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday. “The Peppers” ($5), also on the lunch and dinner menu, are one of the most popular snacks—tempura battered shishito peppers (usually found in sushi houses) with sweet chili, beurre blanc, feta cheese and purple basil.
The libations have names like Brighton Way Refresher, Camden Crush the DOMAnhatten and the California Mule.
Guitarist Randy Coleman adds to the ambiance, providing live music Friday and Saturdays.
In 2012, restaurant owner Sonja Perencevic teamed with Trani to open DOMA. Together, Trani and Perencevic, who also owns the landmark Dan Tana’s in West Hollywood, have created an upscale, sophisticated Italian restaurant in the heart of Beverly Hills whose name means “home” in Croatian.
Trani brings three generations of Italian cooking experience to the restaurant. He grew up in his family’s 90-year-old San Pedro restaurant, starting at age 5 and with a full shift at age 11.
Trani went to culinary school, worked for Contessa Premium Foods, and then went to Thailand to study at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. The 135-year-old hotel was the first in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel chain.
He studied the art of pasta making in Belbo, in northern Italy; and has the delicate touch to create his hand-made, hand-cut linguini. “Some chefs put other things in, but our pasta is pure—just egg yoke and flour. “It’s the most difficult way to make pasta,” Trani says, “but you get the best result.”
A stickler for quality and consistency, it took Trani seven months to perfect his pizza recipe for Beverly Hills, “dealing with the amount of yeast in the air and the quality of the water,” says Trani. The dough gets a 24-hour proof.
He also insists on house-made ingredients like the mozzarella, prepared every two days. “We use it on our pizza and in other dishes and it makes all the difference,” Trani says.
Covering the details goes into the composition of every dish and even the garnishes, like Thai basil, are not mere decoration, but contribute to the dish.
With his traditional heritage mixed with his many culinary influences from around the world, Trani creates composed dishes with a mix of textures, salty and sweet components, to appeal to all the senses. Currently diners are loving and requesting appetizers including the King Salmon Carpaccio, paper-thin slices of fish that look like stained glass, with chilis and coconut cream; and the Fried Local Calamari, that gets a dry dusting and comes with a Thai aiolil. “It has a richness,” says Trani, “it’s bright and spicy.”