Fine European Foods

By Chefs Adrian and Lucia

Fine European Foods by Chefs Adrian and Lucia 25th Anniversary

The board of supervisors of the county of Los Angeles 2013

"You'll flip over Adrian's Trattoria" – Daily News, Larry Lipson

"Best Eating in the Valley" – L.A. Weekly, Eric Boardman

Presented to Adrian's Trattoria in Honor of Twentieth Anniversary of your opening as a restaurant of distinction in the San Fernando Valley.

The state of California commends you for being an inspiration to the people of the 27th senate district.

March 2013

A Story About A Century Old Tradition of Homemade European Cooking

Camarinos Voulgaris was born in 1868 on the island of Hydra, one of the thousands of Greek Isles. Hydra today is a famous tourist attraction, known for its simple beauty.

At the turn of the century, Camarinos moved his family from an island in Greece to Braila, Romania, a port city on the Danube river. Braila was at the crossroads of European trade by virtue of its location.

Traffic on the Black Sea, from Turkey, Armenia, Israel, and Greece, flowed into Braila, the furthest port of call for the largest maritime vessels of the day. Trade on the Danube came from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. The beautiful blue Danube is the largest river in Europe, immortalized in song by Johannes Strauss. The main export from Braila was food products. It is no wonder then, that grandfather Camarinos opened a restaurant in this exciting city.

The restaurant thrived, specializing in traditional Romanian cooking – stuffed cabbage and mamaliga (corn bread), matzo ball soup, and mititei (hamburgers of beef and lamb.) The locals, travelers, and sailors appreciated the home-style food and friendly service and helped Camarinos expand his business, by the 1920's, a coffee shop, much like the Starbucks of today, was opened.

The Voulgaris family lived in back of the restaurant. Camarinos had nine children, the youngest of whom was Hristos, Adrian's father. Young Hristos began his restaurant training as soon as he could walk. He brought water to the tables, cleaned up and entertained the customers. The brothers and sisters worked together in the restaurant, continuing the family tradition.

By the early 1950s, several cousins opened a restaurant in New Zealand. The specialty was traditional European and New Zealand foods.

Hristos' eldest son, Adrian, was introduced to the martial arts in 1958, and became the national judo champion of Romania in 1969. Adrian is a black belt 2 dan, and continues to practice the art. He currently teaches Judo at Randori, a Judo Dojo in Van Nuys.

Adrian continued in the family business, honing his skills in trattorias in Rome, Italy. He eventually brought his culinary expertise across the ocean to South Philly, rich in Italian Tradition. From there he moved to California, working in various restaurants, and saving his money with the dream of one day opening his own restaurant.

The dream came true in 1988 when Adrian opened his first restaurant, Adrian's Pizzeria in Van Nuys. The business outgrew the space, and in 1993. Adrian expanded to his present location in Reseda.

Adrian's warm and smiling wife Lucia brings to the trattoria her mother's family recipes. Her experience in the restaurants of Austria, Germany, and France completes the European style of cooking at Adrian's. To round out the family touch, Adrian's mother, Paraschiva, occasionally used to frequent the restaurant, bringing an old-fashioned touch to the cooking in the trattoria.

Adrian's Trattoria in Reseda, CA offers its clientele the same traditional recipes and homemade cooking that was begun a century ago by grandpa Camarinos. Why don't you join us, then, and experience the taste and warmth that comes from a tradition three generations in the making?