Cento Pasta Bar
Chef Avner Lavi landed in his first brick-and-mortar last winter after hosting a successful pasta pop-up by the same name in Downtown LA. You’ll find some of the Italian-meets-Middle Eastern-inspired dishes that first turned diners’ heads, like naturally dyed beet spaghetti with ricotta and brown butter, and a creamy uni spaghetti with burrata. The intimate, string-lit patio is perfect for date night, with a view into the open chef kitchen through floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also a cozy, L-shaped bar on the interior if you prefer a front-row seat to the pasta-preparing action. A lengthy wine list is also available to choose from.
After attracting a cult following for his lunchtime pasta pop-up in downtown, chef Avner Levi has finally opened his first brick-and-mortar restaurant in West Adams. Levi—who cut his teeth at Sotto, Superba Snack Bar, and Bestia—whips up regional Italian fare with unexpected (yet highly welcome) Middle Eastern touches: chicken liver smeared on grilled bread with aged balsamic; a fistful of perfectly al dente spaghetti crowned with buttery uni, burrata, and Persian saffron; rich, earthy, beet-dyed spaghetti with ricotta and brown butter; and tender, cedar-smoked salmon with pickled cabbage. Although the spot sits on a lively stretch that includes several restaurants and a new boutique hotel, there’s a sense of privacy when you step into Cento Pasta Bar’s idyllic outdoor dining patio, partially screened by a row of trees with 360-degree views of an open chef kitchen.