10 Of L.A.'s Tastiest Pasta Dishes — Make Those Carbs Count!

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on February 8.]
Now that we've all concluded our obligatory New Year's juice cleanse, it's time to power up with some serious refueling! And, is there any better way to tackle a major hankering for carbs than with a heaping bowl of fresh pasta, dripping with extra sauce? We didn't think so.
While there's no shortage of noodles on the majority of L.A. menus, there are definitely some dishes that stand prouder — and more delicious — than the rest. Which is why we're delivering you this lineup of 10 perfect pasta plates, found at some of Lala's finest establishments. From the classic spaghetti-and-meatball platter to the fancier egg-topped ravioli or the (gasp!) vegan mac and cheese, this caloric Candy Land is irresistible. Just mangia your way through our mouthwatering roundup and get ready to request those extra napkins.
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1 of 10
Linguine And Clams at Son Of A Gun, $19
Swoon! You had us at uni. You also had us with the dapper seaward décor and delicious cocktails. Sure, we have all had linguine and clams at one time or another, but this particular plate will blast you off to the next level of luxury with a decadent uni-infused garlic sauce and keep intrigue with unique textural playfulness. It’s hearty, it’s handsome, and it’s ready to satisfy that carb crave within. Get on this one, pronto.
Son Of A Gun, 8370 West 3rd Street (between South Orlando Avenue and South Kings Road); 323-782-9033.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
2 of 10
Spaghetti & Meatballs at Little Doms, $15
Sometimes you just need to indulge in a classic staple. Spaghetti is like the LBD of pasta, and this particular plate is anything but bland. The sauce is chunky and applied with a heavy hand. And the meatballs? Fuhgeddaboudit. Make that order a double, and watch out for flying marinara.
Little Doms, 2128 Hillhurst Avenue (at Acocado Street); 323-661-0055.

Photo: Courtesy of Alex Berliner/Bread & Butter PR
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3 of 10
Toasted Grain Fusilli Corti (Devil's Gulch Rabbit Ragu Bianco With Porcini & Thyme) at Sotto, $19
If you're searching for comfort in a bowl, look no further. We might live in sunny SoCal, but this dish will instantly transport you to a rugged winter cabin bursting with herbaceous winter-time flavors. After tackling this bad boy, you will feel no need to apologize over the fact that you just used your finger to scoop up the last bit of sauce.
Sotto, 9575 West Pico Boulevard (at Edris Drive); 310-277-0210.

Photo: Courtesy of Cathy Chaplin
4 of 10
Vegan Mac & Cheese at Sun Café, $14
There are some naysayers that believe “vegan” and “cheese” should never be used in the same sentence. We doubt they’ve stabbed a fork into this gooey mac and cheese. It's so decadent and rich, you’ll forget that it’s not the dairy real deal. Bonus points for ordering it with a side of soyrizo or tempeh bacon.
Sun Café, 3711 Cahuenga Boulevard (near Regal Place); 818-308-7420.

Photographed by Kristin Guy
5 of 10
Smoked Bucatini Carbonara at Superba Snack Bar, $18
The next episode of Portlandia needs to address something: It's time to move over birds, it's all about putting an egg on it! Poached beauties are making their way onto more dinner plates, and this trend is definitely not something we want disappearing any time soon. Get ready for a Carbonara that will lure you in with its smoky al dente perfection and then blow your mind with perfect, oozing, delicious yolk. It’s going to be intense.
Superba Snack Bar, 533 Rose Avenue (at Dimmick Avenue); 310-399-6400.

Photo: Courtesy of Pascal Shirley/Wagstaff Worldwide
6 of 10
Ricotta & Egg Raviolo In Brown Butter at Osteria Mozza, $20
Why order a plate of mini raviolis when you can eat one massively handsome raviolo, stuffed with savory ricotta and drenched in brown butter? Our thoughts exactly. This dish is a super stunner and will have you ordering extra bread for the table just so you can mop up all of its saucy goodness.
Osteria Mozza, 6602 Melrose Avenue (at Highland Avenue); 323-297-0100.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
7 of 10
Tagliarini Nero at The Tasting Kitchen, $22
Squid-ink pasta just might be the number one sultry rock star when it comes to the carb game. These ebony noodles are gorgeous; the flavors in this dish feel like they’ve been extracted straight out of a Malibu sea breeze mist, and visions of Bond Girls emerging from the ocean may or may not flash through your mind while taking it all in. It’s the complete package. Just be sure to check your teeth for any natural stain-action before leaving the table. It happens.
The Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard (near Venice Boulevard); 310-392-6644.

Photo: Courtesy of Longrada Lor/Wagstaff Worldwide
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8 of 10
Braised Lamb Neck & Fresh Pasta at Bäco Mercat, $15
Bäco Mercat might be most famous for its sandwiches, but the same attention to detail and surprise flavor notes come into play with other menu items, including this beautiful pasta dish. The richness of slow-cooked lamb is cut with the surprising tartness of pickled lemons and sumac. It’s a confetti cannon of flavor, perfectly balanced and will have you fighting with your dinner-mate over who gets the last bite.
Bäco Mercat, 408 South Main Street (between East 4th and East 5th streets); 213-687-8808.

Photo: Courtesy of Dylan + Jeni
9 of 10
Le Pappardelle Al Fagiano at Drago Centro, $20
Pappardelle was born to cradle sauce and Drago Centro has improved this noodle’s game by making its custom carb-strands extra wide. While they might be intimidating in size, they're actually quite silky and the ideal companion to an extremely satisfying roasted pheasant and morel-mushroom ragout. Register for your frequent flyer miles now, this one will become a regular.
Drago Centro, 525 South Flower Street (between West 5th and West 6th streets); 213-228-8998.

Photo: Courtesy of Meredith Carlson/Bread & Butter PR
10 of 10
Cavatelli alla Norcina at Bestia LA, $25
We’re pretty sure that homemade pork sausage and black truffles would make any pasta masterpiece rocket to the top of our list, but these noodles are no backup talent for this grub show. Bestia’s Cavatelli alla Norcina is one of those dishes that is so intoxicating, you will find yourself slumped over an empty bowl begging the kitchen to bring you out just one more bite. Maybe try pleading, 'pretty please'?
Bestia LA, 2121 7th Place (near South Santa Fe Avenue); 213-514-5724.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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