Franco Mari, head chef and co-owner of Franco Trattoria was born in Rome and lived in Napoli, Italy for many years. Franco spent most of his childhood growing up in the kitchen with his mother learning how to cook. Franco's great grandfather started up his first restaurant back in 1947 and Franco is now carrying on his family's legacy. Over the last twenty years, Franco has focused his passions on creating some of the finest Italian dishes in Southern California with his lovely wife Melannie Colombo.
Franco learned that owning one of the best Italian restaurants in Los Angeles county along side his lovely wife is more than just business. Franco claims that it’s about love and passion for what they do, whether it’s cooking in the kitchen or watching their guests smiling and enjoying their food. Franco asserts that beyond their business together exist a deep love, passion and friendship for each other and their customers.
Melannie describes the relationship with her customers like family, she takes comfort in knowing that she is serving home cooked food, it’s what she and Franco would eat at home. Melannie tells us that her customers always tell her “that it feels just like home” at Franco Trattoria and concluded that after seeing their customers return time after time, they begin to develop friendships which she loves.
Franco and Melannie shop for their customers each and every morning and nothing is delivered. Franco Trattoria has no walk in coolers and freezers and only uses a two door commercial fridge. So, whatever they buy, they prep and cook, and that becomes Franco Trattoria’s menu-of-the day and every day is a different menu. Franco and Melannie only buy what they see and what is available to them, which determines what the menu of the day will be. Melannie does keep some of the traditional items on the menu like lasagna and sausage, but they love to create a variety of delicious authentic Italian dishes so that no one has to fly to Italy to find authentic Italian cuisine. Franco Trattoria serves up several mouth watering, jaw dropping dishes that are made fresh on the daily and if you love seafood, you will definitely not regret coming here.
Each night before they close, Franco checks his refrigerators to see what he needs or what’s missing for the next day, and he and his wife go shopping for it the following morning and only purchase the freshest ingredients and produce. Franco only buys for a day or two at the most and they are closed on Wednesdays, Franco’s motto is “If I don’t eat it, you won’t be served.” Franco and Melannie both support their mini markets and grocery stores by shopping locally in their neighborhood.
I enjoyed eating there, and so did my guest, the service was exceptional, and the restaurant was very clean which is a huge plus for me, and we’re not just talking about the restaurant area either, but the kitchen, storage lockers and refrigerators. Franco Trattoria is very charming indeed; it looks and feels like you’re in Italy, with the smell of fine food and classic Italian music playing in the background sure makes for a fabulous experience.
It was nice to see so much love shared between both Franco and Melannie, as a gentleman and loving husband, Franco ends his day by sitting down with his wife and enjoying a home cooked meal together. I give Franco Trattoria a five out five star review. You must stop by and give them a try!
Franco Trattoria (Uptown) Whittier, CA
6717 Greenleaf Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601
Closed on Wednesdays and Sunday Lunch.
Closed after lunch at 2:30pm and open for dinner at 5:00pm Daily.