Advertisement
Filters

Neighborhood

Filter

Restaurants

Price

Sort by

Showing  Places
Filters
Map
List
Cheese is grated over a plate of pasta
Pair handmade pastas with an Italian wine list of biblical proportions at Osteria Mozza.
(Shelby Moore / For The Times)

The top 10 Italian spots in L.A. from the 101 Best Restaurants guide

Share via

If the truest stereotype about Los Angeles maintains that traffic is hellacious, the least factual trope posits that millions of Angelenos stigmatize carbohydrates. Have you noticed how many Italian restaurants thrive in this city, and how many keep opening? The hunger for pasta is relentless.

Not all tagliatelle and ravioli are made equally, though. These 10 standouts from this year’s 101 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles guide highlight modern icons. They serve glossy strands of noodles alongside seasonally minded salads (and often timeless Caesars), meats roasted to crackly richness and balanced, rewarding desserts.

Restaurants mainly focused on pizza are another subject altogether, but I am slipping in Angelini Osteria from our 101 Hall of Fame roster. It’s worth scanning the whole list for enduringly excellent dining options across the region.

Showing  Places
A serving of lasagna from Angelini Osteria
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Angelini Osteria

Fairfax Italian $$$
2022 Hall of Fame

A Beverly Boulevard paragon for more than 20 years, Gino Angelini prepares sophisticated dishes — silky vitello tonnato pinged with fried capers, lamb chops over arugula, a purist’s tiramisu — served in a dining room full of clatter and cheer. His polished repertoire of pastas includes an impeccable lasagna verde and, as a study of subtle textures and layered richness, agnolotti filled with braised veal shank in a Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce. Breakfast is a lesser-known strength; try the eggs in purgatory. Angelini recently opened a second location in the Palisades, but it’s the long-running original that has our enduring devotion. Second location at 1038 N. Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, (424) 238-5870.
Route Details
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Ravioli di nonna at Antico Nuovo on Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. (Shelby Moore / For The Times)
(Shelby Moore / For The Times)

Antico Nuovo

Larchmont Italian $$$
Late last year Chad Colby slid in a new addition to the short list of pastas he serves at his restaurant on the edge of Koreatown. Ten or so ridged tortelli share a plate, some perched on their sides and others looking as if they’ve been playfully tumbling around. Scoop one up and some toasty pine nuts roll onto the fork’s tines. You taste them first, and notice the eggy dough’s silken yield, and then the filling’s dominant flavors pervade: ricotta and lemon, soft and bright. If meals were written in sheet music, these would elicit whole note rests. Appreciating them demands a silent beat.

Opened in 2019, Antico Nuovo has steadily found its footing and its audience among the crush of fine-dining Italian restaurants in Los Angeles. It might just be the best of them now. Bold or tenuous, each of the pastas stands out with such distinct personalities; they are the meal’s holy center. Begin by swiping crisp, lofty hunks of focaccia through roughly pureed green chickpeas rich in garlic and olive oil, or go lighter with impeccable amberjack crudo. Whether you’re nearly full after spinach and tomato cannelloni, or move on to crisp-skinned roast chicken, or share a massive tomahawk steak in Marsala jus that recalls Colby’s days as Chi Spacca’s founding chef, prioritize dessert. The seasonal ice creams deserve their renown, and the kitchen has lately been fashioning pistachio and chocolate cannolis that rival those I’ve had in Sicily.
Route Details
Tomatoes and Cherries from Bestia
(Yasara Gunawardena / For The Times)

Bestia

Downtown L.A. Italian $$$
After 11 years of essentially nonstop business, one could wonder if Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’ Arts District flagship might be situated over some sort of magnetic energy vortex. Nearby restaurants of equal caliber never seem quite as busy, or close outright from lack of interest. Show up to Bestia on any night and the brick walls of its rehabbed-warehouse dining room will be rattling from the din. What’s the secret to its staying power? Menashe’s take on Italian cuisine is the culinary equivalent of screaming into a pillow. Devouring pastas and pizzas raging with garlic, intense herbs, pungent sausage and salty blasts of cheese is both cathartic and therapeutic. The kitchen also knows exactly how far to push — grilling branzino over open flames, for example, and then smearing on Fresno chile and potent pesto full of whole pine nuts. Underneath the barrage of seasonings, the fish still tastes remarkably sweet and mild. Gergis’ dream lineup of custardy, creamy desserts, always offset with the season’s best fruits, brings down the fever and sends you into the night feeling calmed.
Route Details
The whole branzino alla piastra at Chi Spacca
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Chi Spacca

Hancock Park Italian $$$
Among Nancy Silverton’s long-running power trio that rules the southwestern corner of Highland and Melrose, I realized that I recommend Chi Spacca most often. At nearly 11 years old the place still bounces with a wild-child personality that’s less predictable than older siblings Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza. Silverton’s pastry-god stature manifests most strongly here pre-dessert. I will always order the focaccia di Recco, a crackery, stretchy-cheesy flatbread with Ligurian origins that she obsessed over for years to perfect. Savory pies — chicken pot pie, lamb shepherd’s pie, and a hearty marrow-laced variation featuring beef cheek and mushrooms — dip into British traditions, most of them flaunting bronzed, flaky dream crusts.

Meat cookery remains the menu’s nucleus. Beyond massive, ever-excellent steaks, consider the slightly more manageable pork loin: It’s roasted in milk and covered, as if spring never ends, in a fine dusting of fennel pollen. Burgers (and variations on Silverton’s famous grilled cheese sandwich) are available on Mondays and Tuesdays for customers who specifically reserve at Chi Spacca’s chef’s counter. Among several options, all of them honestly first-rate and assembled with detail, start by trying the opulent take on a smashburger fashioned from dry-aged beef.
Route Details
Advertisement
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: Tagliatelle bolognese from Crossroads Kitchen on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Crossroads Kitchen

Beverly Grove Vegan $$
Crossroads is the arguable cheat of this collection: I wouldn’t technically call it an Italian restaurant. It is a seat of upscale cooking (a genre that’s inexplicably rare in Los Angeles) that centers pastas on its menu. Its signature take on carbonara centers around a wobbling modernist “yolk” fashioned from vegan yellow tomato Béarnaise. It pops and runs, melding with house-made spaghetti or fettuccine into a creamy tangle. Lasagna made with plant-based Bolognese is also persuasive. Tal Ronnen and Scot Jones are equally adept at turning the season’s harvest into visual stunners. An Italian-leaning broccoli dish combines dairy-free Parmesan with Calabrian chiles and pine nuts. And yes, they craft a very respectful Ceasar as well. It all pairs nicely with sipping a dry martini while casually studying the patio crowd — surely you’ll spy at least one entertainment industry heavy.
Route Details
Limone dish from Felix Trattoria
(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Felix

Venice Italian $$$
Evan Funke and Janet Zuccarini’s 6-year-old pasta laboratory may never quite be considered a neighborhood restaurant. It’s pricey, even by Venice standards, and reservations usually book up too far in advance to accommodate a spontaneous outing for a nice corner table and a bowl of tonnarelli cacio e pepe. The place, though, has definitely settled into the community, more dependable than buzzy. Funke is occupied elsewhere these days, opening blockbusters: this year’s multistory Funke in Beverly Hills, last year’s palatial Mother Wolf in Hollywood. Felix, under the leadership of general manager Luciano Mastromarino, has mastered its formula. We keep coming for cocktails resounding with citrus and amaro; the billowing Sicilian focaccia called sfincione; linguine so delicately scented with lemon it’s always the first empty plate; and roasted meats scattered with arugula. Little surprises still enthrall here and there, as when watermelon granita revealed a faint, mysterious spice. “Is that mace?” we asked our server. He shot us a dubious look but then strode toward the kitchen to ask and came back nodding. I’ll steal the idea for my own dessert-making next summer.
Route Details
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Sfincione Palermitano from Funke on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023 in Beverly Hills, CA. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Funke

Beverly Hills Italian $$$
Pasta-loving Angelenos have caught on that the best Evan Funke restaurant in his quickly growing empire is whichever one currently has the majority of Funke’s attention. This year that would be his self-named palazzo of excess in Beverly Hills, a multilevel affair with a swank rooftop bar, an indoor mezzanine bar area to score unreserved seating (good luck) and a main dining room cast in a pearly sort of 1980s glamour; I expect Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis to be bickering in a scene from “Moonlighting” in the next booth over.

When I see Funke standing at the kitchen pass in his signature denims, I know the varied rolled and extracted pasta forms will be presented fastidiously: ridged agnolotti with the green chard filling nearly seeping through the translucent dough; tagliatelle so light and fine its texture almost tickles; and rasccatieddi di miscchieddu, an oval rarity made by hand with semolina and fava bean flours that Funke learned while filming his show “The Shape of Pasta,” sauced in lamb ragù and scattered with rustling dried chiles. Funke, per its neighborhood and clientele, is expensive, but with his presence the cooking is so on-point. I’m forever glad that Shannon Swindle, one of L.A.’s finest pastry chefs, has become part of Funke’s inner culinary circle: Trust that whatever crostatas and pastries and ice creams feature the season’s fruits will be spectacular.
Route Details
LOS ANGELES , CA - OCTOBER 10: Nancy's Favorite Trio from Osteria Mozza on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 in Los Angeles , CA. (Shelby Moore / For The Times)
(Shelby Moore / For The Times)

Osteria Mozza

Hancock Park Italian $$$
The arrival of Nancy Silverton’s flagship restaurant in 2007 heralded the decade when Los Angeles became one of the world’s most exciting dining cities. Given her rise as empire builder and global food ambassador, Silverton entrusts culinary director Liz Hong with her institution’s day-to-day excellence. Sublime variations on mozzarella — some local, some flown in weekly from Italy — continue to seemingly defy nature’s laws in their suspension between cream and cheese. Rediscover how special burrata can be, whether matched with bacon and caramelized shallots, or peaches and prosciutto, or asparagus doubly gilded with brown butter. Some things here are rightly eternal: The trembling raviolo will forever bleed its heart of runny yolk, and the appearance of cappellacci filled with sweet corn and dotted with chanterelles announces high summer. I always consider ordering duck confit or the day’s fish presentation but I remain devoted to the grilled lamb chops sauced with spiced tahini when they’re available. Two other mainstays round out the restaurant’s all-around finesse: a front-of-house staff of consummate professionals and an Italian wine list of biblical proportions.
Route Details
Advertisement
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 14, 2022: A Wiseguy and a Rosa pizza and an Antipasto plate at Pizzeria Bianco (Ron De Angelis / For The Times)
(Ron De Angelis / For The Times)

Pizzeria Bianco

Downtown L.A. Pizza $$
Innumerable food writers, me included, have written for decades about Chris Bianco, the godfather of America’s modern pizza frenzy and its most revered pizzaiolo. His first stand-alone location outside Arizona, in downtown’s Row DTLA complex, was long awaited when it arrived last year. What hasn’t been said as often is that the kitchen, overseen by head chef Marco Angeles, excels at so much more than pizza. The antipasto platter of salumi, cheeses and roasted vegetables makes a superb solo meal. Chicken Francese, a frequent special, flaunts a sauce made from rich chicken stock infused with Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds, pan drippings, butter, lemon and chives. It is one of the city’s most magnificent Italian American indulgences. Ask about pastas; there might be kerchiefs of paccheri tossed with beef ragù or fusilli alla gricia, a peppery take on the Roman classic pungent with smoked guanciale. A seemingly simple summertime combination of roasted Andy’s Orchard peaches with homemade vanilla ice cream, bourbon cream, a crumble of streusel and a glug of olive oil proved one of the year’s best desserts. Don’t be surprised if the restaurant eventually, and rightly, renames itself Trattoria Bianco.
Route Details
Ilario's Grigliata from Rossoblu
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Rossoblu

Downtown L.A. Italian $$$
Rossoblu’s pasta maestro Francesco Allegro is originally from Puglia, but his hands know the secrets to rolling, filling and shaping tortellini, a specialty of Emilia-Romagna where chef and co-owner Steve Samson has ancestry. Allegro stuffs the tiny dumplings with a blend of ground pork loin, chicken breast, mortadella, prosciutto, Parmigiano-Reggiano and nutmeg, presented in a simple cream sauce (with more parm) to let the tightly spooled flavors unravel on the tongue. Tortellini appear again in soup paired with a recipe from Samson’s mother: minestra nel sacco, spongy Parmigiano-Reggiano drop dumplings cooked in a cloth bag, as is tradition, and served in chicken-and-beef broth. Regional specificities like these give Rossoblu its underlying character. Which is to say, make pastas the persuasive center of a meal, fortified by fritto misto, a lemony salad and, to share with an omnivorous group, the grigliata — a platter of grilled pork chop and sausage, perfumed by sage and wood fire from the kitchen’s hearth. With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, keep the restaurant in mind for when you need a last-minute reservation downtown.
Route Details
Advertisement
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news