THE BLOG
09/10/2013 01:00 pm ET Updated Nov 10, 2013

When a Chef Is in Love with His Tomatoes

by Sophie Gayot

If you head to the Italian restaurant Il Grano in West Los Angeles, and chat with chef Sal(vatore) Marino, you will have no doubt that he is in love with the tomatoes he grows at the restaurant and at his home garden. With the more than 20 varieties that he planted this year, he has so many different fruits at his disposal to create delicate dishes all around "pomodoro" that his inspiration is endless.

Since he started it in 2007, Marino has asked me to come to his "Tomato Wednesday" summer series. I finally made the trip, and I can assure you that it was worth it; I just hope my schedule permits me to return. Marino's caprese, prepared with 13 different tomatoes, home-grown arugula, basil and mozzarella from Naples, will be very tough for other chefs to beat. I will savor the tastes for a long, long time.

Discover Sal Marino and Il Grano with my exclusive video interview above. I strongly suggest you head there before tomato season ends.

Il Grano Restaurant is one of GAYOT's 2013:
Top 10 LA Best Restaurants
Top 10 LA Italian Restaurants
Top 10 LA Power Lunch Restaurants
Top 10 LA Seafood Restaurants
Complete restaurant review of Il Grano