Maria’s Italian Kitchens is one of those grand American success stories. Maria’s Italian Kitchens often remind guests of the casual, sometimes boisterous, neighborhood eateries of another era. It began in the Italian quarter of Hoboken, New Jersey, where Madelyn’s mother, Maria, grew up learning the recipes for real Italian food of Naples from her mother, Luisa. This home-grown education in the fundamentals of Napolitano sauces, soups, dressings, ravioli, lasagna and other regional fare was put to delicious use in 1968 when the Alfano’s and their five young children moved to Los Angeles and bought a tiny grocery store called the “Village Mart” in L.A.’s prestigious Brentwood Village located at Barrington Street and Sunset Blvd. and converted the one car garage into the first Maria’s Italian Kitchen in 1975. She must have learned her lessons well because that first Maria’s Italian Kitchen was a huge success.