Shopper’s Diary: Il Buco Vita in Los Angeles

If you’ve had the good fortune to have a meal at one of Il Buco‘s restaurants, you likely left feeling the warm afterglow of a good meal and good conversation. The experience is less like dining in a restaurant and more like attending a cozy candle-lit dinner party.

It makes sense then that the motto of Il Buco Vita, the tableware and home decor store that sprang from the original restaurant, is: “Every Table, A Story.” The stories here, though, belong to the ceramic plates, hand-blown glasses, woven tablecloths, and other artisan-made Italian housewares curated by its founding team—Donna Lennard (the owner and founder of the restaurants), architect Lorenzo Radi, and artist Antonello Radi. The shop is a place for the three friends to share their handmade finds, much of it from the Old World.

Last month, Il Buco Vita opened its first West Coast outpost, in an open-air shopping center in Culver City, CA. Unlike their small shops in NYC’s East Village and Amangansett, NY, their LA location is large and airy, with an industrial vibe: “Previously it was a Japanese-inspired fish restaurant opened by a group from Australia,” says Donna. “We softened the space with our signature palette of soft whites, incandescent lighting, and warm antique rugs and furnishings.”

Below, she shares the details on Il Buco Vita’s new digs at at 8820 Washington Blvd, Suite 101.

Photography by Ingalls Photography, courtesy of Il Buco Vita.

“the vibe is very relaxed and friendly during the day, but at night 12
Above: “The vibe is very relaxed and friendly during the day, but at night becomes more energized as local restaurants [including Roberta’s, another NYC transplant] fill their tables,” says Donna.

exclusive to the la location are the antique quilts from donna’s pe 13
Above: Exclusive to the LA location are the antique quilts from Donna’s personal collection. “I collected them over several decades, many are over a century old, crafted in Mennonite communities across Pennsylvania and in exceptional condition.”