Matchbook cover from Mama Toni's Italian Restaurant at 24523 Newhall Ave., 1970s-1980s.
Mama Toni's was truly a mom & pop restaurant, owned and operated by Famiglia Rosati (the Rosati family) — "Mama" Toni, "Papa" Joe and their children and siblings.
The 3,100-square-foot restaurant building, set back from the northwest corner of Newhall Avenue and Lyons Avenue, was erected in 1969 (per L.A. County Assessor).
As of 2015 the business is Dario's Mexican Restaurant, which kept Mama Toni's distinctive red upholstered seating.
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Lady Chef Takes Charge in Kitchen.
Van Nuys News | March 27, 1973.
Mama Toni Rosati, Queen Bee of the restaurant that bears her name in the community of Newhall, appears to be a diminutive 4'11" while greeting customers at the door; but the moment that she steps into the kitchen, Mama Toni becomes a "giant."
The largest menu at Mama Toni's is filled with all the customary Italian dishes, as well as a number of specialties that she has created over the years.
One item that Mama Toni is especially proud of is her egg spaghetti, which she makes from start to finish in her own kitchen. "If you've only tasted spaghetti from a package," says Mama Toni, "I wish you would try my home made egg spaghetti and taste the difference for yourself."
Other menu items include numerous pasta dishes, lobster, scampi, veal, steaks, pizza and sandwiches. An extensive wine list rounds out the three-page menu.
Mama Toni's husband, Joe, an extremely creative chef in his own right, lends his hand in the kitchen as well as running the restaurant's business affairs. In fact, five members of the family pitch in to give the room a true family atmosphere.
Asked the reason for her obvious popularity, Mama Toni's answer is straightforward. "Everything in our kitchen is made with loving care and everything is priced for the family customers."
Mama Toni's restaurant has become somewhat of a Newhall landmark over the years and it is nearly impossible to find a local resident who isn't aware of the little lade with the charming accent.
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Ravioli is Homemade by Mama Toni.
Van Nuys News | April 13, 1973.
In today's world of prepared food, one can find innumerable brands of canned or frozen ravioli. Of course, all of these are as tasty as they can possibly be; but even the best of them would have difficulty in comparison to ravioli that is homemade with tender loving care by a master of the Italian kitchen.
Mama Toni of Newhall is one of those rare individuals who still makes her own ravioli from the pasta; through the meat filling; and right up to the sauce, said a spokesman.
"If you've never tasted ravioli that was made by hand, instead of in a machine," said Mama Toni, "it is worth driving to Newhall to taste the difference for yourself."
Ravioli is but one of the many Italian specialties made completely by hand in Mama Toni's kitchen.