The Story of Ospi

The Concept

Ospi is the sophomore restaurant of Jackson Kalb and Melissa Saka, focused on Southern Italy’s cooking and way of life. The name derives from ospitante (“host” in Italian), with the expectation that guests will feel as comfortable at Ospi as they would at a friend’s dinner party.

There are plenty of house-made pastas as well as an expanded offering of pizzas. The beverage program crafted by Kalb features mostly Californian and Southern Italian wines, and a full bar with a special negroni section.

At Ospi, the pizza is inspired by the techniques of Antico Forno Roscioli, which Kalb and Saka frequented while visiting Rome. Focusing on romana tonda-style crusts that are cracker-thin, Kalb is adapting a recipe that he feels will resonate with the LA diner. He believes that it’s extremely important to not take food too seriously. His favorite pizza on the menu is inspired by Melissa’s go-to custom pizza at Fresh Brothers — a tomato pie with pepperoni, pineapple, and jalapeno. Kalb’s version, the “Hapa,” is topped with slow-smoked pepperoni macinati, slow-roasted pineapple, and raw pickled jalapeno.
The menu also features a section devoted to fett’unta, thick slices of toasted country bread glossed with olive oil. Toppings range from a simple touch of garlic to chilled lobster with stracciatella, chili, lemon zest, and watermelon radish.
Located on a prominent corner near the Venice boardwalk, Ospi takes up residence in the former iconic Canal Club space. After a complete overhaul, the space is now bright and airy with touches of stone and wood throughout (with absolutely zero trendy plant walls!). The restaurant is set up to be a true neighborhood destination and a lure for those visiting the city’s most prominent beachside town.

The Team

Jimmy Ornelas

Jimmy Ornelas

Santos Navarro

Executive Sous Chef

Jackson Kalb

Founder

Melissa Saka

Founder