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Carbonara?!

It's cold and wintery and we're searching for the best traditional Spaghetti Carbonara around town! Creamy, smoky (pancetta or bacon) and if it's made tableside, then even better - but not required! We're in the South Bay, willing to drive to pretty much anywhere (but hopefully not all the way to S.F. or San Gabriel Valleys) in order to satisfy this particular craving. Any thoughts?

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  1. angelini osteria, lunch only

    long drive but worth it if you're looking for carbonara.

    1. La Buca has a great version, as does Enoteca Drago in BH.

      1. Angelini's is pretty amazing but no cream
        Enoteca Drago
        Il Grano's more casual sibling, Bottega on either Larchmont or Santa Monica Blvd. in WLA
        Vito's in Santa Monica
        Dominick's in WeHo near the Beverly Center
        And, believe it or not, if you're in a last minute shopping frenzy, Cafe Grand Luxe at the Beverly Center will due in a pinch

        3 Replies
        1. re: cvc

          I agree wholeheartedly on Angelini, but must strongly disagree on Bottega Marina--the last carbonara I had there was a sloppy mess with glutinous pasta resting in a separated, oily cheesy bath. Yuck!

          1. re: mnosyne

            Sorry to hear that. The WLA branch is near my office so I have it about twice a month and definitely recommend it.

            1. re: cvc

              This WAS at the West LA branch!

        2. Can you be more specific about what you want? Do you want a classic versio, in which case Angelini has a terrific version and Enoteca Drago is quite good as well.

          Carbonara does not traditionally include cream-- the richness comes from egg and cheese. So if *creamy* an important quality you want something Americanized. It is also tradiitonally made with guanciale, not bacon or pancetta, so it is not smoky but but instead porky.

          Are you looking for something more Americanized? Someone else might be able to make suggestions.

          1. Indeed, by "creamy" we meant the texture, not by the addition of cream, which is, of course, not traditional. My understanding was that Pancetta was traditionally used but if I'm wrong, no problem. Smoky or porky, it just has to have some pig in it! We're looking for the more traditional, rather than Americanized Carbonara.

            Being ex New Yorkers, we both remember the tableside made renditions found in a few restaurants in the city and have yet to find that here. Thanks for the suggestions so far!