All photos by Emma Swanson, courtesy of Gucci Osteria Beverly Hills

Dish By DishLos Angeles

Five Must-Order Dishes at Gucci Osteria in Beverly Hills


Mattia Agazzi, head chef of Gucci Osteria Beverly Hills, cut his chops in the kitchens of Alain Ducasse and Norbert Niederkofler, among others, before joining world-renowned Osteria Francescana under the guidance of chef Massimo Bottura. Recognizing Agazzi’s potential, Massimo sent him to Florence to establish the Gucci Osteria brand alongside head chef Karime López. Agazzi fondly describes Massimo as a “father, friend, chef, and mentor,” but, despite their close relationship, Agazzi was confused by one conversation he had with the famous Italian chef a few years back.

“When Massimo called me about the Gucci Beverly Hills project, he told me I was coming over to open a pizzeria,” Agazzi explains. (It’s worth noting here that the Beverly Hills rooftop restaurant is decidedly not a pizzeria.) Agazzi questioned why Bottura, a very intelligent chef with a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Modena, wouldn’t opt for a pizza chef to handle a pizzeria. “I thought: Maybe he didn’t review my resume properly? Maybe he assumed I had experience in a pizzeria before?”

After a few weeks, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri contacted Agazzi regarding the Beverly Hills project. Agazzi opened with, “I know I’m going to love California,” before delving into the burning question: “But why a pizzeria?” Bizzarri’s response was one of bewilderment, then knowing laughter. “There was never a pizzeria,” explains Agazzi. “It was hilarious. You know Massimo, he loves to joke. So, that’s why I put the dish  ‘risotto disguised as pizza’ on the Osteria menu.”

It’s this playful sensibility, combined with an openness to unexpected ideas — not to mention an awe-inspiring meticulousness — that comes through in every dish and detail at Gucci Osteria Beverly Hills.

If you walk into the bathroom, there’s one drawer that’s inexplicably (and fabulously) filled with dried rose petals. The porcelain plates, covered in butterflies, cherry blossom branches, and flowers, are handmade outside of Florence at the famed Ginori porcelain factory. Select cocktails come with gold leaf and “Gucci”-engraved ice cubes, and your meal starts with bread service complete with Normandy butter shaped like a bee and sprinkled with bee pollen.

Local ingredients are another essential piece of the Gucci Osteria Beverly Hills puzzle. Originally from Bergamo, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, Agazzi is endlessly curious about and inspired by the bounty he’s found in his new home. “My passion is very local. At one point, we’ll start to use only balsamic and Parmigiano from Italy — and then, everything else we use will be from California, even the olive oil,” explains the chef. 

Here, Agazzi walks us through the inspiration behind five of his most beloved dishes at Gucci Osteria Beverly Hills. 

Parmigiano Wafer Amuse-Bouche

Although the menu changes often, this is a staple. Massimo teaches everyone he works with about sustainability and the importance of using ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away. To make the wafer, we boil the rind of the Parmigiano, boil rice with a bit of water, and then we make a dough. We roll out the dough and cook it in the microwave so it puffs up like a Thai shrimp chip. Another great thing to do with Parmigiano rind is boil it for 30 minutes, make a broth, and use that to make risotto and pasta.

“When it was apricot season, I went to the farmers market and got second-choice apricots. Maybe they’re a bit too ripe, or not perfectly orange. We take them, or whatever fruit is in season, and make jam to pipe onto the wafer. In Italy, my grandma never threw out fruit when it was overripe. Using this second-choice fruit is a way to respect the farmers and their hard work. Some people would say that it’s spoiled. But it’s not, it’s actually sweeter.” 

Insalata Di Mare

“In Italy, you have insalata di mare almost everywhere. The ingredients are more or less the same wherever you go — octopus, sepia, calamari, prawns — but I wanted to do a local version of the dish. Most of the ingredients are from California, because I try to use local products as much as I can. The seaweed is from Monterey Bay, the spot prawns and calamari are from California, and the razor clams and scallop are from the East Coast. We finish with smoked roe from San Francisco. 

“In Italy, we cook the octopus and sepia for almost two hours, but what I learned when traveling through Southeast Asia is that the octopus they serve is basically raw. It was a great way to respect the product when it was fresh and had just come out of the sea. With our insalata di mare, we poach the seafood for a couple of seconds to give some temperature to it, but it’s still basically raw. So in this way, we’re respecting whatever the land is giving to us and highlighting the taste.”

Risotto Camouflaged As Pizza 

“We’re living in tomato land here in Southern California. When people come to the restaurant from Italy or France and are like, You know, in our country these are better, I don’t say anything, just because I don’t want to be rude. But I believe it’s hard to find tomatoes that are as sweet as the ones we have here in California. It’s all about meeting the right vendors and finding the best products.

“We cook the risotto with tomato water. We let the tomatoes ripen in the kitchen so they get sweeter and sweeter. Then we let them rest overnight in cheese cloth so we get a consommé of tomato. We finish the risotto with the classic pizza toppings: tomato, basil, stracciatella, and a little bit of burnt caper ash that tastes like the crust of the pizza when it’s cooked in a wood-fire oven.”

Spiny Lobster Carpaccio

“We are lucky that Santa Barbara can offer us so many good ingredients like big, sweet uni, and spiny lobster. As I said, when I cook fish, I like to cook it very lightly, if at all. We keep the spiny lobster completely raw, we just marinate it in a little lemon or Meyer lemon at the end. It’s finished with a bit of Massimo’s olive oil from Villa Manodori, to highlight Italian excellence. We also make bottarga in-house by dry-aging fish eggs in our fridge, then grate a bit of that on top.” 

Gelato But Make It Gucci

“How can you be a good Italian restaurant without having good gelato? Our pastry chef, Tamara Rigo, does these candied kumquats that are amazing, and then these sesame crisps that complete the umami taste. You get the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream, the acidity of the kumquat, and a little bit of bitterness from the sesame crisp. She spent time finding the very best vanilla beans for the ice cream. She’s meticulous, like all good chefs.

“Tamara is one of the most talented pastry chefs that I’ve ever worked with, hands down. We opened Gucci Osteria Florence together, and she worked for Heston Blumenthal at Dinner in London, for Brent Savage at The Bentley Hotel in Sydney, and for Norbert Kostner at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. We met nine and a half years ago and we started to travel together. Along with Vanessa Chiu, my sous chef, we are a family.”

Erin Mosbaugh is a food and travel writer who has worked in kitchens in New York and L.A. and co-created the James Beard Award-winning food site First We Feast. Follow her on Instagram and TikTok; follow Resy, too.