Dear Mr. Gold:

I’ve been looking for a good spaghetti aglio e olio, a seemingly simple dish that is almost always overblown when you get it here. I want the real thing: spaghetti with enough garlic to strip the chrome off a trailer hitch and almost nothing else. Please advise.

—Andrea, Santa Monica

Dear Andrea:

The clove that dare not speak its name makes a bold and uncensored appearance in the version of aglio e olio at Angeli Caffé on Melrose, a powerful, pungent pasta tossed with caramelized garlic, hot chile flakes and a little parsley, nothing else, and the sticky, powerful garlic essence is so powerful that you probably have to use industrial abrasives to get it off your teeth. In other words, it’s the real thing, compatible with a glass of professional-grade Chianti and rendering the tempering umami of Parmesan cheese almost useless — eat it plain. This is the stuff of late-night sustenance as found in every seedy joint in Rome. 7274 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 936-9086.

LA Weekly