10463 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles 310.441.4706



Opened in 1972, the original Carmine’s was founded by its namesake Carmine Competelli on the Old World traditions and recipes of his family. With its intimate dining style and personal touch, the restaurant quickly grew to be a favorite among celebrities, royalty, and neighbors alike. One evening, performing at the Sands, Dean Martin concluded a set by introducing Carmine: “This is my good friend Carmine Competelli. He’s got a restaurant in Los Angeles that’s second to none. Do yourself a favor and go there sometime.”

Carmine’s eldest son, Carmine Jr., recalls another memory from that era: “One morning I opened the restaurant door to the scene of an all-night poker party – this wasn’t uncommon. Through a cloud of cigarette smoke, I saw a stack of money and a handgun on the bar. The exit sign leading to the kitchen was riddled with bullet holes. “What’s the gun about?” I asked. Sammy Davis Jr. looked at Peter Lawford. Peter Lawford looked at Dean Martin. Dean Martin looked at Frank Sinatra. Frank shrugged. “Target practice.”

Today, Carmine’s and its traditions live on under Carmine Jr.’s leadership. And while the restaurant may feature updated lighting and decor (and a new exit sign), the spirit remains the same. It’s about food, family, and friends — or, as the late Carmine Sr. called it, a place where guests can “come home to Carmine’s.”