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Comfort Food in Comfort 

Taking the squeeze off Osteria La Buca

Wednesday, Nov 28 2007

The smell of paint was still heavy in the air last week, the grand entrance still resembled a construction site, and work guys in overalls clambered up and down the façade. But years after the announced expansion, years of squeezing in like drupelets for a taste of “Mamma’s” homemade gnocchi, burrata with vegetables, and trenette al pesto, the dining room at La Buca, the beloved pasta-intensive commissary down the street from Paramount, is at last bigger than the inside of a minivan — a soaring, wood-paneled space with wine-bottle chandeliers, picture windows looking out onto Melrose, and a peculiar glassed-in aerie above the bar that may eventually function either as a VIP room or as the observatory of a CAA panopticon. The menu is still a bastion of new-generation Italian comfort food: smoky pappardelle flavored with scamorza cheese, spinach-stuffed ravioli with butter and sage, and tiramisù for dessert. 5210½ Melrose Ave., Hlywd. (323) 462-1900.


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