Great Pasta in Koreatown: All'Angolog
Koreatown is a great place to live, culinarily speaking. We've got hundreds of Korean choices, dozens of Central American restaurants, a good handful of Oaxacan spots, and we're just a short jaunt from Thaitown and Little Armenia. What we don't have, though, is great Italian. There's La Buca a bit to the north, but it's gotten pretty expensive since the old days when it was a cramped, hole in the wall. Now, I'm happy to report, we have another choice.
All'Angolo Pizza and Pasta is a small restaurant squeezed into a Third Street strip mall between a Baskin Robbins and a liquor store.
Despite its primacy in the name, ignore the pizza, it's served on a soft, sort of pita bread like crust that's not at all crispy. The thing to get here is the pasta.
The pasta at All'Angolo is all made to order, fresh, perfectly cook and tastes handmade (I don't know if they actually make it in-house or not); I've tried a variety since the spot opened last fall, and they've all been great. The highlight for me is the strozzapreti alla trentina. Strozzapreti is a short, twisted pasta; it's served in a cream sauce with prosciutto and radicchio. The combination of the meat, the slightly bitter lettuce and the cream in every bite of toothsome, hand rolled pasta is one of those perfectly balanced bites.
I also enjoyed the special of tortellini with sage and butter sauce which featured a rich, ground veal stuffing. Even the spaghetti with meatballs, which I order for my daughter is impressive, featuring a somewhat thicker than usual spaghetti, cooked to a perfect al dente, and a rich, tomato-cream sauce...it's all I can do not to eat it right off of her plate.
Desserts are also quite good. The panna cotta was silky smooth without being overly gelatinous and the custard tart, infused with just a touch of booze (maybe marsala) is rich and creamy.
I love my neighborhood's great Asian and Latin American options, but now Koreatown has great pasta too!
All'Angolo Pizza and Pasta
4050 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020
I live around the corner from All'Angolo and have eaten there a couple of times. I haven't tried any of the pasta dishes yet, but have tried the pizza, salads and a calzone.
I actually like the pizza---I wouldn't say it is a destination pizza, but it's the best pizza in Ktown. Yes, the crust is on the thin, softer side and gets soggy in the middle, but the flavor of the crust, sauce and quality of the toppings are very good. I wouldn't call it a pita crust, but more like a thin NY style crust where you can fold the slice in half.
Ask them to cook the pizza a bit longer and make sure to eat it there because the steam in the take out box only adds to the soggy middle (and if you happen to tilt the take out box while carrying it, all of the toppings will slide off into the corner of the box).
Avoid the calzone. It's the same pizza crust folded over in half. But because the crust is thin and the calzone ingredients wet (especially the spinach & mushrooms) the entire thing gets soggy and falls apart. They need to use thicker dough on the calzone.
I agree w/ the other posters that they have really good food for the price and I was thrilled when they opened up last year!
Nope. Only went for the first time last night. Had the arugula/tomato/shaved parmesan salad that was really nice. Sort of a no-brainer dish. They kept it simple, which is the way to go.
Funny re: your comment about the pasta, as I found the pizza to be heavier than I expected. IMHO, they put on nearly twice as much cheese as they should.
Yes, I've had that salad as well and I really appreciate getting a good, simple salad like that around here. I've also had the caprese, but since it wasn't prime tomato season at the time it was tasty but not as good as it would have been with a perfectly ripe summer tomato.
The last pizza i got was the one with ham, olives, artichoke & mushroom. I liked the combo of flavors but thought that it was a tad salty due to the cured ham/olive combo. I don't remember there being too much cheese but I thought the amount of topping seemed a bit heavy for the thin style of crust.
As far as pasta being heavier than pizza, thats just a personal thing (I haven't tried their pasta to compare the two). I can eat pizza any time of the year but I only enjoy eating pasta when the weather is cooler/cold. Go figure.
We just came back from all'Angolo and really enjoyed our meal, especially given the ultra-low price point. What really impressed was the depth of flavor - even the simplest of sauces had multiple things going on. The pasta was cooked perfectly and tasted fresh - not sure if it's made in house. We had various pastas with all'amatrciana, pesto genovese, and creamy pomodoro sauces. Oh, and we also had a lasagna bolognese al forno which tasted exactly like what we had in Rome a few years back.
Yes, the pizza was not crispy but it tasted very much like what you'd find at a neighborhood pizzeria in central or southern Italy.
Deserts were simple and very tasty - subtle and not overly sweet. The panna cotta was a hit.
Four of us split two salads, four pasta dishes, a medium pizza and two deserts and got out of there for $70 (total) plus tip!