Though it hasn’t quite been a year since the first opening of Cento Pasta Bar inside Downtown’s Mignon Wine Bar, chef/owner Avner Lavi is already looking towards the future. That’s why as of yesterday, Lavi began popping up for lunch inside Birch in Hollywood, under the title Andare — but make no mistake, this is as Cento as it gets.
Brendan Collin’s popular Cahuenga restaurant Birch flirted with their own lunch program when first opening, but more recently have decided to give the reigns over to Lavi and his small but nimble crew, which includes sous chef Miguel Sanchez De Sima Carboney (Bestia). They’re already putting the place to good use, working a slightly expanded menu that includes hits from the first iteration of Cento as well as some new options.
Among them is a butter lettuce salad, avocado crostino, and porchetta sandwich. You’ll still obviously find lots of pasta to enjoy, including a beet spaghetti with goat cheese and chives, and one seriously strong fagiolini, served with truffle, sausage, and hen of the woods mushrooms. The full opening menu is below.
For now, Lavi is planning to run this Cento offshoot every weekday at Birch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For this week only, the Downtown location is closed while the crew gets up and running in Hollywood, but next week will also resume weekday lunch-only service.
Better still: since Birch is closed on Mondays anyway, rumor has it he’ll soon be expanding offerings on Monday nights to own the whole evening. What’s to come on that front is still anyone’s guest, but for now Hollywood workers and anyone passing by should stop in to get a taste of lunch from Lavi and the crew. After all, it’s got to be one of the best deals for handmade pasta anywhere in the city.