Uovo in Studio City Takes Authenticity to a New Level When it Comes to Italian Fare
Made in Italy—almost.
CategoryEat & Drink
Written byJoshua Lurie
For aficionados of Italian food in LA, the goal is often to find dishes that are as authentic as possible. That’s certainly the case at UOVO, the Santa Monica-born restaurant that flies in temperature-controlled pasta overnight from Bologna. Their sfogline (people who hand-craft pasta) make fresh pasta using farm-fresh Italian eggs (uovo) in that ancient city. Two of UOVO’s co-founders, Rome natives Lele Massimini and his brother Carlo, say that they simply couldn’t replicate the pasta they revere using California eggs and hands. They take that same approach at UOVO’s fourth and newest location, which debuted in March at The Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge.
UOVO sources their eggs exclusively from a purveyor outside Bologna. “They are of a much darker, deeper yellow/orange color. But far more importantly, they have a different density and viscosity, and the result is a pasta with a far superior texture and mouth feel that bonds with sauces in a whole different way,” co-founder Jerry Greenberg says.
Carlo also credits trusted sfogline for their superior pasta—specifically their remarkable skills that “simply come from a lifetime of repetition of making pasta in the old-school way.” UOVO’s pasta, Carlo adds, reminds him and his brother of the fresh pasta they grew up eating in Italy.
The UOVO menu divides pasta into three categories—La Pasta di Bologna, La Pasta di Roma and Pasta Classica—and details key ingredients and backstories for many of their dishes. For instance, UOVO sourced their ragù recipe from Bologna’s Antica Trattoria della Gigina. They collaborated with Rome’s Trattoria da Danilo on their cacio e pepe recipe.
Highlights include delectable ragù, featuring delicate tagliatelle, a generous pile of flat, medium-wide noodles topped with ground pork and grass-fed Wagyu beef from First Light Farms that coats the pasta beautifully after mixing. Their vongole (clam) pasta is also definitive, utilizing tonnarelli (spaghetti’s thicker, square-edged cousin), white wine sauce and chile flakes in a coveted Massimini family recipe.
The focused menu offers just 15 pasta preparations. At the higher end, tagliatelle tossed with white truffle butter sauce runs $25. Other pastas cost between $17 and $19, a relative bargain given the efforts involved.
UOVO’s most noteworthy menu addition since debuting in 2017 has been their three tasting menus—Classic, Cheese & Truffle, and Regional. Each serves for two people and includes a starter like yellowtail crudo or hand-cut beef tartare, three pastas, and unique tiramisu served in a glass inspired by Rome’s Felice a Testaccio restaurant. Lele considers these tasting menus the best way to experience UOVO.
Most of the menu is available for takeout, but a few dishes are excluded. “While some pastas after 20 or 30 minutes are still good enough for us to be comfortable serving, others are not, as they simply don’t travel well and really don’t meet our quality standards when served to go,” Carlo says. Pastas like cacio e pepe, tagliatelle al tartufo and carbonara are among those available for dine-in only.
LA has more interesting Italian restaurants now than ever before, but UOVO stands out from the pasta pack thanks to a consistently clear commitment to craft and sourcing.
UOVO | 12833 Ventura Blvd., Studio City | @uovopasta
Yeah, you heard us right.