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BEST Pesto Pasta in Los Angeles

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"Hounders,

I am looking to take my significant other for a wonderful italian dinner in the Los Angeles area. We have tried Madeo and La Dolce Vita amongst other Italian spots which are considered to be top notch. However, none seem to do a classic pesto - basil, parmesian, pine nuts, olive oil and parsley...Can anyone suggest another restaurant to try?

Money is no object, and location can be from the west side to the valley and/or hollywood/silver lake. I.E. will travel for food! :)

Thank you,

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  1. Yea, what's the deal with that? I'm a pesto fan and it seems almost impossible to get. My favorite used to be Theresa's in Huntington Beach. A little place in a strip mall with three tables. Fresh pasta daily and fresh pesto on Thursdays. It was perfect, but I haven't been in twenty years. I would be interested in what others have found too.

    1. Folks, not everyone is a cook, so "make it yourself" suggestions aren't necessarily helpful. We've removed a couple of tangents along those lines.

      If anyone knows restaurants where the pesto might be worth the trip for rjm, please suggest them.

      1. Pesto as a pasta topping seems to have jumped the shark menu-fad-wise, but It still love it.

        I have always been partial to the pesto at Marco's Trattoria on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. It's freshly made to order, not the food-processored paste you can get off the supermarket refrigerator shelves.

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        Marco's Trattoria
        8136 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

        2 Replies
        1. re: maxzook

          Isn't Marco's recently closed?
          My one and only experience there was lacking in every respect. I didn't have the pesto but it didn't seem they understood thing one about Italian food.

          1. re: cls

            A couple of years ago they moved across the street from the southeast corner of Havenhurst to the southwest, where the Buzz coffeehouse used to be. Haven't been there recently but their website is up and they have a Facebook page posting events as of yesterday.

            As far as the food, I'll be the first to admit they ain't Valentino, but I think it's simple, relatively inexpensive fare. Chacun à son goût.

            http://marcoswesthollywood.com/

        2. Valentino's will do the real thing for you if you call and ask beforehand...We had this for a private party and were asked if we wanted the Pesto Genovese (what you describe) or one of the many other varieties that exist!...their walnut spinach pesto was awesome!

          1. Capo in Santa Monica does a fantastic Basil Pesto.

            1. In Santa Monica (on Ocean Park Blvd. across from the Santa Monica Airport) Vitos does a very simple, classical Linguine al Pesto dish.

              http://www.vitorestaurant.com/

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              Vitos Italian Restaurant
              2807 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405