Valley Eats: Pasta

Here’s the skinny on carb-conscious Valley areas: the pasta is plentiful. Take that, Keto diet. From traditional dishes to fresh pasta to the flavorful spooning of Italian classics with Southern California produce and protein, locals have no shortage of eating options when they’re in the mood for a little (or a lot of) Italian. Here are some of the best.

Conejo Valley


951 S Westlake Blvd, Suite 102, Westlake Village, CA 91361

For owner Jacopo Falleni, the cuisine isn’t merely about satisfying your appetite, it’s about rekindling memories of family. Among the dishes, the Florence-born Falleni counts as favorites are the Fiori di Zucca Ripieni (battered zucchini blossoms with ricotta cheese marinara) and the Ravioli Ricotta e Spinaci (ricotta with spinach, Parmigiano and butter sage sauce). Other standouts sure to leave good memories: the Strozzapreti (Italian sausage with ragu, tomatoes, onions and cream), the Cacio E Pepe (Spaghetti Gragnano with pecorino romano and hand-crushed black pepper) and the Tagliatelle Bolognese (beef and pork ragu with shaved parmesan).

Tramonto Bistro Malibu

22235 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

Think of this upscale Italian eatery as just like home – albeit with views of the Pacific, an inviting Tuscan-flavored atmosphere, delicious pasta and an impressive wine list. Start off with an appetizer such as the Burrata (honey-drizzled mozzarella stuffed with mascarpone cheese) or the Arancini (stuffed rice balls with beef, peas and mozzarella) before following with the Turkey Ragu or Pescatora Linguini (Manila clams, shrimps, black mussels and calamari). And be sure to leave room for one of their home-made desserts like the Ice Cream Extravaganza.

Spruzzo Restaurant & Bar

29575 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265

 Spruzzo may be known primarily for their traditional pizza (which they make in a wood-fired brick oven), they have a variety of pasta options, including the Linguine Seafood, comprised of shrimp, clams, mussels, and calamari served in a white wine tomato herb sauce. In addition to the traditional Italian food, Spruzzo offers a view of the Pacific as well as an outdoor heated patio with a fire pit.

San Fernando Valley

Panzanella Ristorante

14928 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

This Sherman Oaks restaurant offers Italian and Sicilian food and wine, paying homage to the southern Italian heritage of the Drago family, which owns and operates it. To start, try the fried calamari, the baked eggplant with mozzarella or thin-sliced prosciutto. From there, move on to the handmade penne with sliced sausage, broccoli and pecorino cheese; the spaghetti with black pepper and pecorino cheese; or the pappardelle with wild boar ragu. The restaurant takes its name, not from pasta, but salad. Chef Giacomino Drago calls Panzanella “Italy in a bowl.”

Maggiano’s Little Italy

6100 Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

This family-friendly Woodland Hills restaurant has been serving up Italian-American fare from their scratch kitchen for more than 25 years. Dishes range from the Gnocchi and Italian Sausage (with basil and tomato vodka cream sauce) to the Braised Beef al Forno (with red peppers and spinach) to the Rigatoni Arrabbiata (with your choice of grilled chicken or Italian sausage). Their specialty, however, is the Rigatoni D, which is herb-roasted chicken and mushrooms, served with caramelized onions and marsala cream sauce.

MA’s Italian Kitchen

267 N Pass Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505

MA’s didn’t start out as a restaurant, but rather as a catering business, serving their Italian fare to nearby studios. The response they received on Hollywood sets inspired them to open this relaxed Burbank space, where Italian fare is served imported wines. Expect made-from-scratch dishes such as ravioli, rigatoni Bolognese and Margherita pizza.  If you’re in the mood for seafood, try the Clam Linguine with your choice of white wine or marinara, or the Shrimp Scampi with linguine, shrimp, white wine, butter, shallots, garlic and lemon.


Santa Clarita Valley

Bella Cucina Italian Restaurant

27911 Seco Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Serving authentic Italian cuisine in Santa Clarita, Bella Cucina’s signature fare includes the Penne alla Vodka and Chicken Tequila, as well as vegetarian and seafood options. And if you’re in the mood to dine outdoors, there is no better space than their expansive year-round patio.

Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant

26940 Theater Drive, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Complete with red-and-white tablecloths, this Italian restaurant offers a wide selection of dishes, including Italian pastas, entrees and pizzas. Portions are described as “family-style” so don’t expect to leave feeling hungry. Pastas include the Eggplant Parmigiana, topped with marinara sauce, Roma tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, and the Chicken Saltimbocca, with prosciutto and sage, served with artichoke hearts, lemon, capers and lemon butter sauce. 

Piccola Trattoria

18302 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA 91351

Located north of the Sierra Highway and Soledad intersection in Santa Clarita, Piccola Trattoria is minutes from Valencia, Canyon Country, Saugus and Newhall. Settle in for a meal in their dining room or outside on their patio. Pastas range from the Capellini al Pomodoro (angel hair pasta with tomato, garlic and basil) to the Spaghetti alla Pescatora (spaghetti pasta with shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and calamari) to the Risotto ai Funghi (creamy carnaroli rice made with wild mushrooms). The name Piccola Trattoria translates to “small restaurant” in Italian.

Los Angeles & Westside Eats: Pasta

Here’s the skinny on carb-conscious Los Angeles: the pasta is plentiful. Take that, Keto diet. From traditional dishes to fresh pasta to the flavorful spooning of Italian classics with Southern California produce and protein, locals have no shortage of eating options when they’re in the mood for a little (or a lot of) Italian. Here are some of the best.


City Market South, 1124 San Julian Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Chef Steve Samson celebrates the summers he spent growing up in Northern Italy’s Bologna region with this Fashion District destination. The place is even named after Bologna’s soccer team. Not surprisingly then, the menu is as hearty as it is heartfelt, as personal as it is plentiful. Favorites include the tortellini in brodo (pasta stuffed with pork, chicken, mortadella, prosciutto and parmigiano reggiano), the pappardelle (duck ragu, complemented by pistachio) and Mom’s minestra nel sacco, in which parmigiano reggiano dumplings in a bag are dropped into broth.

Union Restaurant

37 Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103

Located in the center of Old Town Pasadena, Union is an Italian restaurant and wine bar aiming for a menu that balances Italian country charm with Californian culinary elegance. It’s hard to argue with the results. After sampling an array of appetizers (from the pork meatballs to the charred octopus), dive into what you really came for: the pastas. The squid ink lumachel offers loads of Maine lobster, with fennel, lemon, and truffle butter, while the torchetti arrives with Calabrese pork ragu, ricotta, rosemary and a chili oil chef Chris Keyser calls “pizza grease.”


1710 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Zach Pollack’s Silver Lake restaurant doesn’t announce itself as one of the best places to dine in Los Angeles. Content to appear more like a neighborhood eatery than a high-end culinary destination, it’s nonetheless worth seeking out, regardless of whether you call Silver Lake home or not. As for what to order, two pastas are recurring standouts: the fusilli, splendid with clams and smoked butter; and the cheese-filled Tortellini In Brodo.

Viale dei Romani

623 N La Peer Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Located in West Hollywood’s Kimpton La Peer Hotel, Viale Dei Romani thinks big. That’s evident in the size of their pastas, the plentifulness of their meats. But it’s also there in print when their menu declares that their Pasta Alla Piastra features “the world’s best Bolognese.” Whether that’s accurate or not, you can decide for yourself, although it is probably unlike any Bolognese you’ve had before.

Angelini Osteria

7313 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Since its opening in 2001, this Italian restaurant in Beverly Grove has become a cornerstone of classic dining in Los Angeles. If you know it, you also know their most celebrated dish: Lasagna Verde. But there is also much more to Angelini Osteria than simply this (admittedly flavorful) lasagna. The Veal Shank Agnolotti with White Truffles, for one, is delicious, although whether it’s worth the $90 price, we will leave for you to decide. As well, be sure to try the Linguine with Sea Urchin if you have the chance.


1023 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291

For chef Evan Funke, pasta is a sacred experience. That’s apparent as soon as you step into this climate-controlled space, where diners at any table can watch their meals scrupulously toiled over. The spiraled trofie is a favorite among pastas, served with basil pesto and cheese. Don’t skimp on the Sfincione, some of the most delirious out-of-body bread you will ever bite into.