101 Best restaurants of Los Angeles
Every evening around 5 p.m., a short line begins to form at the north end of Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. It’s the standby crowd outside of Felix, pasta lovers angling for one of a handful of unreserved seats available at the bar. When the doors open at 5:30 p.m., a host cautiously ushers in customers like a security guard working the crowd at a sold-out rock concert. Within minutes, the bar is packed. If the idea of standing in line for pasta sounds wild to you, perhaps you haven’t tried chef Evan Funke’s pappardelle: thin, elastic noodles engineered to mop up every particle of meaty, drippy Bolognese ragù. Funke has a gift for pairing textures with sauces, and for letting simple flavors build to improbable proportions. Tomato sauce clings to springy, chewy orecchiette; scroll-like busiati are an ideal method of conveyance for olive oil and fresh basil. A three-ingredient plate of tonnarelli tossed with pecorino Romano and black pepper tastes impossibly nuanced and deep. Funke’s flavors are attuned to regionality but not bound by it, and his predilection for al dente noodles is influencing a new generation of pasta makers in Los Angeles and beyond.
Full bar. Valet parking. Credit cards accepted.