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Ten Pasta Dishes Worth a Drive in LA: Gnocchi Pomodoro at 1212 Santa Monica, Beef Pappardelle at Nerano Beverly Hills and more.

Vodka Pasta Gratinee at Harlowe Hollywood, Crema di Parmigiano at UOVO Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, Mid-Wilshire, Studio City, and Pasadena

Cozy up this holiday season, dining solo or with family and friends, to indulge in a comforting bowl of pasta. These restaurants are worth the drive for a carb overload to satiate your cravings. Here are some of the most memorable bowls of noods we've devoured recently in Los Angeles.

Gnocchi Pomodoro at 1212 Santa Monica

A brand-new elevated menu arrives with Italian finesse thanks to new Chef Oliver Malmsten, a Roman born to Swedish parents, known for his culinary prowess as a competitor on the Italian Hell's Kitchen show and several Michelin-star restaurants in Milan and London. Dine outside on the lounge terrace on Third Street Promenade, featuring an array of fresh handmade pastas with Gnocchi Pomodoro being the star of the list with basil and Parmigiano. These little pillow bites with rich, savory sauce may have you licking the plate clean.

Beef Pappardelle at Nerano Beverly Hills

This elegant and sophisticated venue, nestled a block from the Peninsula Hotel, has been dishing out modern Southern Italian favorites since 2016. Courtesy of Chef Michele Lisi from Puglia, Nerano is known for sourcing the finest ingredients and creating seasonal favorites based on produce that excels at different times of the year. A regular haunt for the entertainment industry, this intimate white tablecloth restaurant is where you will find an array of traditional-style handmade pastas. While Spaghetti ala Nerano – made with sautéed Italian zucchini, squash blossoms, provolone, and basil – is their signature dish, the homemade Pappardelle Pasta from Napoli with onion beef Genovese sauce topped and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano is a winter (or anytime) must.

Vodka Pasta Gratinee at Harlowe Hollywood

Find the fountain of youth at this hip Hollywood spot that has been going strong for over a decade. The same sexy venue with its wooden circular cocktail bar and outdoor terrace expanded with a covered side patio and a new menu with an Italian bent thanks to an Italophile culinary consultant leading the direction of the new fantastic menu selections. Share the $13 oozy oven-baked Vodka Pasta Gratinée, creamy pink vodka tomato sauce baked with pecorino, romano, mozzarella, and breadcrumbs, big enough for two. Come for a plethora of Happy Hour options, Gelato Festival desserts, and Harlowe's new completely revamped top-notch bar menu - just a few more reasons to visit.

Crema di Parmigiano at UOVO Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, Mid-Wilshire, Studio City, and Pasadena

Come for pasta made with love from Bologna, Italy, at many locations across LA, including the newest location in Pasadena. UOVO pasta feels lighter on the gut than American pasta as the specially sourced eggs, not available in the US, are combined with the age-old technique of sheeting and cutting pasta by a sfoglina in a Bologna kitchen, which results in a noodle with superior texture and a deep yellow noodle that perfectly bonds with the sauces. No matter how many different pastas we've sampled here, the Tortellini Crema di Parmigiano, handmade meat tortellini floating in cream of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, is the go-to favorite. Order pasta to-go or dine in for a full-fledged pasta extravaganza. Choose one of the 5-course Tasting Menus for two, including Roman, Bologna, or classic pasta dishes with three pasta options, a crudo or beef tartare starter, and dessert.

Lasagne Verde at Angelini Ristorante & Bar in Pacific Palisades and Beverly Grove

Since 2001, Angelenos have flocked to Angelini Osteria in Beverly Grove. But a new expansion to the swanky Palisades Village in 2022 allows west siders closer access to legendary Chef Gio Angelini's pasta-making skills. Savor the ambiance outside on their classy open-air patio and bar with Angelini's signature Lasagne Verde made with homemade spinach pasta, beef-and-pork ragu, béchamel and Parmigiano. Other star pasta dishes include Tagliolini al Limone, Bolognese, and Linguine with Santa Barbara sea urchin.

Lobster alla Catalana Pasta at Mon Ami Santa Monica

While this westside hotspot on Ocean Ave may turn into the hippest late-night place for young, gorgeous Angelenos, dinner at this secret spot (in the old 41 Ocean space) features a Mediterranean fusion menu. Dine on the romantic twinkly lit terrace after a beach sunset and share one of their best dishes, a heaping portion of Tagliolini Pasta served with Lobster meat in a creamy, spicy tomato-saffron sauce topped with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, basil, and lemon zest. You'll be thinking about this one long after the last lick.

Check out Santa Monica Observer's Restaurant Review of Mon Ami here:

Dumplings at Lou'Mar in Beverly Hills

Upstairs above Nerano Beverly Hills is a new concept from two chefs merging their experience and roots by fusing Korean and Venezuelan dishes. This may be one of the most exciting culinary journeys of the year as Chef Marcos Spaziani and Chef Louis Huh create uber-flavorful combinations like Borracha Brisket Dumplings. Maybe not technically pasta, but it's impossible to refuse another bowl of these chopped meat-filled light dough triangles floating in miso parmesan broth with crispy shallots that come with a little crunch.

Bolognese Cavatelli at The Victorian in Santa Monica

Just a block from the beach, savor the golden light here on the patio under a canopy of trees in front of the two-story old Victorian, where a new menu brings crowd pleasing shareables to the forefront and perfectly executed Bolognese Cavatelli that you won't want to share. The pasta dish incorporates broccolini, pecorino, and bread crumbs. Those who don't eat meat will love the Vegan Pappardelle made with Cremini Mushroom Bolognese.

An's Famous Garlic Noodles at Crustacean Beverly Hills

For 20 years, women-owned Crustacean has been serving loyal patrons their famous garlic noodles and tuna cigars that arrive smoking in a cigar box. Heralded as the "Mother of Fusion" cuisine, the restaurant's sexy remodel in 2023 includes the new Anna May Bar honoring the first Asian American actress to receive a Walk of Fame star. Score a heaping plate of An's Famous Garlic Noodles with roasted garlic and their secret sauce at their 3 course $49 brunch menu. Vegans can add a vegetable medley, but we prefer enhancing the dish with beef satay.

Lobster Pasta at Avra Beverly Hills

Pick out your fish or shellfish selection displayed on ice at the fabulous fresh fish marketplace in the stunningly designed 11,000-square-foot restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. To satiate your pasta craving at this indulgent Greek-inspired Mediterranean restaurant, order the lobster linguini pasta loaded with chunks of Maine lobster in a light tomato sauce and presented between the whole lobster shell halved.

Melisa Curtin is a freelance travel and food writer published in Lonely Planet, Fodor's, USA Today, MSN, many Southern California print magazines, and more. Follow her adventures at @lalascoop and ( )


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