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are bucato, factory kitchen, tasting kitchen and osteria mozza doing the most interesting pasta dishes? and how would you rank/compare them?

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Curious as to how ppl would rank/compare these 4 places. And if there are other innovative pasta places that fit along side these?

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  1. You should probably have Bestia on that list.

    While I am not a fan, there are many that are, and the place does do some interesting stuff with pasta. The problem is that it doesn't always hit its notes, and when it misses it makes you wish you were deaf.

    1. Can't imagine Angelini is still not close to the top of any pasta list.

      1. I like different pasta dishes at all of the above mentioned resties. And each restaurant's best pasta is different and unique for its own reason. Hard to rank.

        We like most, if not all, the pastas at Bucato and it's unique because all their pasta is hand cut. Yes, there's not even a hand cranked machine. Just rolling pins and knives as depicted in their decor.

        While the pastas at Factory Kitchen are mostly unmemorable for us, the mandilli rocks our world.

        Last week at Tasting Kitchen we had an outstanding pappardelle with lobster and smoked trout roe and a mind blowing picci with lemon and basil, but the spaghetti with calabrian chiles and bottarga was unbalanced.

        Osteria Mozza has compendium of pastas we love and pastas we never want to meet again. Faves include (when they have them) the calves brain ravioli, the egg raviolo, and the squid ink chitarra.

        As for pasta at Angelini, whatever Gino serves us for Friday lunch is what we eat and love.

        1. gusto - their pastas are on par with the best in the city imo

          3 Replies
          1. re: cdub

            The place looks so good... why do they have zero press? Too cheap to hire a PR person or something?

            1. re: BacoMan

              Evidently they think that good food news will travel by word of mouth...

              1. re: Servorg

                Doesn't seem to be working out too well?

            1. To me, Bucato's pastas are light years ahead of the other three on that list.

              I am not even entirely sure what the point of ordering pasta anywhere else is anymore.

              2 Replies
                1. re: set0312

                  Not really. It was certainly the front-runner before Bucato came along. But I just prefer how Bucato does it. I guess I need to go back to Bestia, but I haven't been able to remember any flavors, or spot anything on the menu that really makes me want to.

              1. I would add Superba Snack Bar.

                3 Replies
                1. re: wienermobile

                  I would like a description of the first pic, as it has very limited eye appeal - pasta, I get, but uninviting looking nonetheless.
                  And as to the ravioli?

                  1. re: carter

                    The first dish is their wonderful smoked bucatini carbonara, poached egg, pancetta, pepper, parm.

                    1. re: wienermobile

                      I don't recall what the ravolio was but here is a second photo of the smoked carbonara.

                2. I was going to start a new - but at this stage pretty unnecessary - thread about Tasting Kitchen, but will just put my comments here. Went last night for my b'day dinner. We had 4 pasta dishes among the 4 of us, and all 4 were winners. I can't compare them to the other 3 restaurants, but they all were worth ordering again. My dish was the gigli with luciana (a very fennelly sausage) and rapini pesto. The sauce was very light, enabling the perfect pasta to shine, and the sausage was tremendous. I also really liked my friend's cresta di gallo pasta with a spicy Calabrian sausage. Before the pastas, we had, among other things, the salad of artichoke hearts and some type of shoots that were not identified on the menu, with a green goddess and bottarga dressing; I wanted to lick the plate. After we finished the pastas, but before the plates were taken away, we ordered the bread & butter ($3.50), largely to sop up the little sauces remaining on the plates. We thought the bread was really good, and learned it's a special bake by La Brea made for TK. I know that La Brea bread is despised on this board (see, e.g., the thread re sucky baguettes), but this version tasted wonderful (nicely warmed, with Plugra butter). As usual a very fun vibe and atmosphere, and warm, friendly service from a handsome Frenchman. I point that out only because my SO/lady friend commented, about the male and female wait staff: "clearly you have to be pretty to work here."

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Wayno

                    If the Frenchman was slim, well-dressed and sporting a goatie, that is Francois Renaud, one of the most coveted front of house/GM operators in the business. In addition to having impeccable taste for the design and look of the restaurant, he's practically psychic. He's a pro's pro.

                    1. re: revets2

                      Nope, not him. This was a young pretty boy who was simply performing waiter services.

                      1. re: Wayno

                        Agree with your points about both the pastas and the bread and butter at Tasting Kitchen.

                    2. re: Wayno

                      I think the pastas at Tasting Kitchen are first rate also. Excellent textures, very well made and the sauces are exquisite. I've always thought that is some of the best food in LA. We always have a terrific meal there, including the VDay one we had, courtesy of you! I thoroughly enjoy Chef Lane's style.

                      1. re: Wayno

                        <and learned it's a special bake by La Brea made for TK>

                        I only like La Brea bread when 'it's a special bake' for a restaurant I'm having it in and then it seems really delicious.
                        That's the thing…
                        Why can't they make their bread for the public the way they do those 'special bakes'?

                        1. re: Wayno

                          One of my favorite things to do in this world is to meet my wife at TK after cutting out of work a little early. Grab a seat at the bar, drink a few of the exceptional cocktails, then order pasta after pasta to share while sobering up for the drive home.

                          I love what they do at TK.

                          And that bread is fucking ridiculous. Should remind everyone that La Brea bakery *used* to make outrageous bread when Nancy Silverton sill owned it and before every grocery store in LA started carrying it.

                          1. re: cacio e pepe

                            You're right about the "exceptional cocktails," which I neglected to mention in my comment above. Before switching to wine when the food came, my b'day dinner began with a few of the creative house cocktails.

                            1. re: Wayno

                              Oh their cocktails are freaking sublime......

                        2. thanks for all the responses. I wish i had the funds to hit each of the 4 main restaurants again (actually, i've never been to osteria mozza--i included bc of what i've read about it.)

                          I didn't like gusto the time i tried it. overly salty dishes.

                          i'm with ipsedixit on bestia based on my one time there, but i would like to try it again.

                          i have loved the pasta dishes at tasting kitchen, bucato and factory kitchen.

                          I'll have to head back to each of them, whenever i can, and try the recommended dishes that you all have referred to. thanks a bunch.