(What qualifies as) The Los Angeles chill and corresponding grey skies have gotten me into a pasta mood. You may call them carbs with requisite detachment, but I have nothing but reverence for such sustenance. Fresh, handmade pasta is the stuff of comfort: It’s the thick, wool scarf on a windy day. It’s the down fill in your duvet.
So as I sat down at the bar at Bestia for a taste of the menu – a one-top during one of my reclusive holiday moods – I realized immediately that I’d have to come back. There were just too many things on the menu that sounded too good to pass up. But thanks to bartender Karen Grill, who was working that night, I had the inside on the menu highlights…of which there were many. So of course, the hard part was picking just one.
You guessed it – I went with pasta. Specifically, the Cavatelli alla Norcina, which is made with ricotta dumplings and peppered with crumbled house pork sausage. Shreds of black truffles speckled the grana padano sauce – the last of which would’ve been way more efficient to lick straight off the plate than the 30 swishes I made across it with my fork. The housemade pork sausage was bright as the pasta was perfectly al dente. The truffles and grana padano made for a savory, umami-packed flavors against the canvas of tightly wound pasta. After all, black truffles are so seasonal.
Sidebar: Somehow, I tend to favor these shapes in colder temps – cavatelli, fusilli, gnocchi, gigli (this is where the list ends because of my very limited pasta vocabulary). It’s like a metaphor for my subconscious, a recoiling from the pleasantly lower temps. …Not that I’d kick a noodle dish off the table.
When I return to Bestia, it’s going to be very hard not to order the cavatelli, again.
P.S. – I may be cheating here, but I must stress that you cannot skip dessert. If possible, order the Huckleberry Semifreddo, which comes with a brown sugar meringue and steeped in a Meyer lemon cream. Textures, tangy taste combinations and the like. And now, you’ve had the yin and yang of the superstar chef-pastry chef marriage that is Ori and Genevieve. You’re welcome.