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) 939-1148.9. 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.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.