The Best Pasta Dishes in Los Angeles, 2017 Edition
It's been a great year for pasta in Los Angeles, so we asked some of LA's best food writers and bloggers to pick their favorites.
Pasta, a simple word. One that brings to mind different ingredients and flavors: from the simple tomatoes and basil, or butter and parmigiano, to a more complex dish like cannolicchi [kanno-lee-kee] with bottarga, razor clams and potatoes, perfect for a more refined palate. Flavors joining together to create a unique experience for your tongue—a universal goal among those who love food.
But we all have our favorites, the pasta dishes that we crave and would eat over and over. That is why Foodiamo called upon food critics, bloggers, foodies and experts to nominate LA’s best pasta dishes of 2017. If you want to know our own favorites here at Foodiamo, just scroll down or click here.
The 2017 Best Pasta Dishes in Los Angeles, by Local Food Bloggers and Writers
Andy Wang: Tonnarelli all’Amatriciana from Uovo, Santa Monica
Andy Wang is a food writer with an impressive spread (of more than just food). Among the other publications, he has written for Taste (an online food magazine that has recipes from all over the world), LA Magazine (Los Angeles lifestyle and culture), and Food & Wine (self-explanatory).
RELATED: Taste-Testing Supermarket Fresh Pasta
“The tonnarelli all’Amatriciana at Uovo just slayed me. The crispy guanciale [pork cheeks] is such a difference-maker. This pasta is the most Italian dish I’ve eaten outside of Italy, which makes sense, of course: The founders of Uovo are crazy enough to have a pasta kitchen in Bologna. Man, I hope they open many more Uovos around L.A.”
Tinger Hseih: Tagliolini Rossi con Ragù di Quaglia in Fonduta di Taleggio from Barrique, Venice
Tinger Hseih is a certified health coach who knows the ins-and-outs of eating healthy, and is well aware of how sad those words can make someone. Her goal is to share her healthy but incredibly delicious dishes with those who may believe the only “healthy” option is raw lettuce and tomato juice.
“The Tagliolini Rossi con Ragù di Quaglia in Fonduta di Taleggio [red beet tagliolini with quail ragu and taleggio fondue] from Barrique has been my favorite pasta this year. I usually keep a low carb diet, but this dish is worth breaking my usual eating habits. Two words: carbicide worthy.”
Joshua Lurie: Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese from Rossoblu, Downtown LA
Joshua Lurie writes for Eater LA and is the founder of Food GPS, a website that hosts his dining experiences and showcases his recommended restaurants. Having grown up in suburban New Jersey, Lurie is well-acquainted with Italian and Italian-American food.
“L.A. has seen an Italian food Renaissance in the past year, with many restaurants making pasta in-house. I enjoyed plenty of great house-made pastas from Felix Trattoria, but my absolute favorite plate came from Rossoblu, a highly personal restaurant inspired by Bologna, the hometown of chef Steve Samson’s mother and nonna. Ragù Bolognese is a comforting signature dish from the capital of Emilia-Romagna, and Samson certainly does it justice. Savory, well-balanced sauce crafted with beef, pork, “not too much” tomato sauce and some Samson-specific flourishes coats beautifully delicate tagliatelle.”
Tagliatelle al Ragu Bolognese from Rossoblu (Photo: Joshua Lurie)
Lara Rabinovitch, Spaghetti Alla Bolognese from Madeo, West Hollywood
Lara Rabinovitch is a veteran of the food business, specializing in food culture and immigrant history (two things that often go hand-in-hand), working as the food editor for GOOD magazine, finding new restaurants around LA for Zagat, and writing regularly for the LA Times.
“I would have to say Spaghetti Alla Bolognese at Madeo. I know it’s old school but it’s perfect! And the waiters speaking Italian doesn’t hurt either. I don’t normally go out for pasta because I do like to make it at home, and because I have been ruined by perfect pasta in Italy. That said I love the new places like Rossoblu. But for a recent birthday I wanted to go old school so we tried Madeo (bucket list!).”
Carole Dixon: Trofie al Pesto from Felix, Venice
Carole Dixon is the editor for West Hollywood Lifestyle, familiar with the area, its culture, and many hidden delicacies.There’s more to this area than its stellar reputation for visual art and design.
RELATED: The 7 Dishes You Should Get at Felix, Venice
“My best pasta dish of the year would have to be the trofie with pesto at Felix. I thought long and hard about this because they don’t need any more accolades, or longer wait time for a reservation, but damn, it was so simple and delicious!”
Jo Stougaard: Uni Bucatini from The Ponte, Beverly Hills
Jo Stougaard is the creator of MyLastBite, a food and travel blog where she is the writer, photographer, and author, providing perspective on places with amazing food and drinks.
“The Uni Bucatini by Chef Freddy Vargas at The Ponte was pretty awesome! And if you happen to go to Italy, the best pasta I’ve had this year was the Ricotta Tortelli with fresh (raw) Gallipoli red shrimp and Moscato di Trani bisque at Quintessenza in Trani. The beauty and flavors of Apulia (Puglia) in one dish!”
Tara Redfield: Creste di Gallo from Prince of Venice Food Truck
Tara Redfield is the chief host, photographer, and blogger of The Food Pervert, where she features recipes, interviews with various chefs, and her own perspective on cuisine. Her passion for cooking is obvious in her list of accomplishments, including (but not limited to) making her Cocoa Tangerine Pancakes on NBC’s Today Show, being an active member of the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Organization, and being an editor of Vision’s “Newsletter for Food Stylists.”
“The best pasta I had in LA this year was the Creste di Gallo with butternut squash, sage, and cream sauce at the Prince of Venice Food Truck. The flavors came together so well and the pasta was fresh and cooked perfectly—the right amount of al dente! I love when a chef can incorporate seasonal flavors into a dish and thought this was a delicious way to do it.”
Christina Champlin: Pasta al Pomodoro from The Ponte, Beverly Hills
Christina Champlin is the co-founder of We Like LA, a website dedicated to the best things to do, see, and most importantly, eat in LA. Their “Food and Drink” category boasts a variety of dishes sure to satisfy even the most picky eater
“The Pasta al Pomodoro from The Ponte was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in LA this year. Sometimes simple is best and the proof of that is in Scott Conant’s famous spaghetti recipe. The pasta sauce is made with fresh tomatoes, parmesan and butter, all swirled together with perfectly al dente pasta. What could be better?”
RELATED: What’s Special about Scott Conant’s Spaghetti?
The 2017 Best Pasta Dishes in Los Angeles, by Foodiamo Team
Raffaele Asquer is the founder of Foodiamo, bringing an authentic Italian voice to cement the quality of pastas most like the ones from home.
“It’s been such a great year for Italian restaurants in Los Angeles, which makes it harder than usual to pick a favorite. That said, I’d recommend the Testaroli al Pesto from Primo Italia for two reasons. It’s the first, and so far only time, that I’ve had this type of pasta outside of Italy. It’s basically a dough, crepe-like disk that’s cooked on a cast-iron skillet, then cut into small diamond shapes. You boil the pieces into hot, salted water, and toss with homemade pesto sauce. Kudos to Primo Italia and Chef Michelangelo Aliaga for bringing this Tuscan specialty to Los Angeles!
Also, the restaurant is in Torrance, on the way to Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills. Not where you would expect this right? It’s great to see this type of regional Italian cuisine outside of Santa Monica, Hollywood, Downtown etc.”
Roberto Croci is the editor-in-chief here at Foodiamo, and being from Italy as well, is always looking for new, delicious sensations that food—and especially carbs—can create. His personal favorite of 2017? “Mandilli di seta (or fazzoletti, meaning handkerchiefs) with Ligurian-style PESTO, by Chef Angelo Auriana at Factory Kitchen!”
RELATED: Check out Chef Auriana’s Specialties at Officine BRERA
The greatest thing about the United States has always been that it’s a diverse place where people from anywhere in the world meet and share their culture, cuisine being at the forefront of this exchange. For us Italians, finding great pasta here in California is a blessing and a mission at the same time.
Now go out, eat, and in the comments tell us your favorite pasta dishes in Los Angeles, or wherever you live!
Cover photo by Joshua Lurie of FoodGPS. A huge GRAZIE to all those who contributed. We owe you a big bowl of pasta. Seriously.