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10 Great Restaurants for Pasta in Los Angeles

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Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge Corzetti in the pasta lab at Bucato - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Corzetti in the pasta lab at Bucato
Oh, pasta, how do we love thee? Especially right now, as the air gets cooler in the evening, all we want is a big bowl of hearty yet delicate carbs, a pert pesto or swarthy ragu -- or maybe some sweetbread ravioli, squid ink fusilli with pistachios, smoked bucatini carbonara, fiorentini with guanciale and pickled peppers, or gnocchetti in uni butter. One could go on, but maybe just head out to dinner instead. In Los Angeles, we're blessed to have many fine pasta practitioners, and it's only getting better. Some are old standbys, some are brand new, but at each of these places pasta is taken very seriously.

10. Cube Cafe & Marketplace

If you're the sort of person who dreams of pasta, as some of us do, then Cube Cafe & Marketplace, a very pretty, cozy little Hollywood restaurant and market, is not only a place you'll want to spend a great deal of time but maybe buy stock in as well. Pastas can include plates of nettle-and-ricotta ravioli, Mangalitsa pork belly raviolini, and kabocha squash and Italian sausage lasagna -- and Divine Pasta Co., the Burbank company that also owns the restaurant, sells the stuff on-site. 615 N. La Brea Ave., Fairfax District; (323) 939-1148.

click to enlarge Agnolotti with sweet corn and Dungeness crab at Superba Snack Bar - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Agnolotti with sweet corn and Dungeness crab at Superba Snack Bar
9. Superba Snack Bar

At Superba, Jason Neroni's handmade pastas are brimming with flavor, and ingredients are combined in ways that are unexpected without being gimmicky. Your spaghettini might come with uni, Dungeness crab, miso butter and pickled jalapeños. The smoked bucatini is made with flour that has actually been smoked, so the dusky flavor permeates the carbonara it becomes, ramping up the effect of all that egg and cream and pancetta. Crispy sardines on the plate of casarecce pasta are of the variety that might convert sardine naysayers; sweet and bracing, they leave an aftertaste on the tongue that flavors the whole bowl of pasta long after they're gone. 533 Rose Ave., Venice; (310) 399-6400.

See also: 10 Fantastic Classic and Creative Egg Dishes in Los Angeles

click to enlarge Linguine with rapini and lemon at Maximiliano - FREDERICK GUERRERO/MAXIMILIANO
  • Frederick Guerrero/Maximiliano
  • Linguine with rapini and lemon at Maximiliano
8. Maximiliano's

Maximiliano's Andre Guerrero is not a staunch traditionalist by any stretch, and he likes to add jalapeño to his pasta sauces. If chomping down on them is too much for you, they're easy to avoid, but they add an extra layer of flavor and a kick of heat that plays like the eccentric cousin of the red chili flakes usually found in Italian cooking. There's jalapeño in the orecchietti sauce as well, along with fennel sausage, kale, and enough heirloom cherry tomatoes to give the dish a sweet red-sauce base. Neighborhood pasta joints often struggle with imbuing their dishes with the layers of flavor that make them worth going out and paying for, but here they're complex and comforting. 5930 York Blvd., Highland Park; 323-739-6125.

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