La Bella Vita — Offering Casual Family Friendly Dining

Michelle Mears-Gerst

Special to the Valley News

The Italian neighborhood bistro La Bella Vita is under new management, introducing a more casual, family friendly, come-as-you-are atmosphere.   

You do not need to dress up or have a special occasion to enjoy quality homemade pasta, pizza and seafood. California casual is a perfectly acceptable attire to enjoy a Rigatoni and Cheese sprinkled with bacon dish, or a fresh from coastal waters Calamari with Marinara.

The Temecula Valley is conveniently located near locally producing farms, wineries and craft breweries, so every day can be a celebration in the quality of life. The folks at La Bella Vita think the quality of life is what matters most.

“Come as you are,” said new General Manager Neda Alikhani. Alikhani is a young, vibrant manager who has traveled the world working in public relations and the restaurant industry. Her father is also one of the owners of La Bella Vita.  

“We truly are a family here and we want people to feel at home whether they are here for dinner or just dessert, an appetizer or to sit in the lounge to socialize with friends and meet new people,” she added.

The chefs try to offer many homemade items. The goal is to offer made-to-order with locally foraged food just like in Italy. The prices remain affordable because they order locally and make extra efforts to cut out the intermediary when they can.

The head chef Louis Lepe, who has worked with 5 star resorts, continues to live in Orange County so he can pick up fresh fish from the seafood markets daily on his way to work.

Alikhani has also set up daily specials so there is something for everyone at La Bella Vita. On Mondays, stop in after work with the family and enjoy Pasta Festival Night where your favorite homemade pasta is only $8 a dish.

On Tuesdays, the serving industry receives 30 percent off specials on food and drinks. Guests are also encouraged to sing along with friends on open mic night.

Chef Lepe goes all out on Wednesdays, creating delicious samplings of desserts and appetizers to pair with wine and craft beers.  

“We have an amazing Sunday Brunch, with bottomless mimosas and a carving station with a never ending table of our best dishes to choose from,” said Alikhani.

La Bella Vita is a great place for students, teachers, and school staff to come in after school for a pizza and soda special to-go.  

“We see so many students after school just hanging around outside and we welcome them to stop in and order our pizza specials,” said Alikhani. “I really want the families and schools in the Valley to know we support and welcome them to be part of our family.”

La Bella Vita is located at 39738 Winchester Rd., Temecula and can be reached at (951) 699-5999. They can also be found online at




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