Affordable handmade pasta became a reality with the likes of Pasta Sisters, Uovo, Colapasta and even Eataly’s La Pasta Fresca station opening in LA in recent years. Angelenos might say they fear the carb, but they secretly love the carb, especially delicious noodles, be they of the Asian or the Italian variety. Uovo, which uses pasta hand-sheeted, cut, and prepared in Bologna, Italy, changed the game with its elemental, ingredient-driven dishes served at modest prices.
They thought it was worth the expense of shipping the fresh pasta to the U.S. just because of the unique qualities of a certain egg you can only find in Italy (hence the moniker uovo, which means egg in Italian). That means $16 pasta servings with varieties like tonnarelli all’amatriciana, tagliatelle al ragú, and tortellini in brodo that model some of the best recipes from Italy.
Uovo’s second location opens in Mid-Wilshire on the corner of Wilshire and Crescent Heights today, alongside sister restaurant Kazunori, a casual sushi handroll restaurant from the Sugarfish family. And nestled in between the two new restaurants is HiHo Cheeseburger, which should open its second LA location within the next week or so. The trio comprises the ground floor of a large new high-rise residential building called Vision, and thankfully comes with about 100 available visitor parking spots in the subterranean parking garage, making it easier for Mid-City/Mid-Wilshire dwellers to get to these three restaurants.
Uovo’s Lele Massimini, who also co-founded Sugarfish, brings much of the same original Santa Monica recipe that first opened back in August 2017. The kitchen looks the same, with two big pasta stations and a half wrap-around bar with 24 seats that allows cooks to plate pasta dishes right in front of diners. There’s a few scattered tables for those that don’t want or need a view of the action. The restaurant received high praise from the late LA Times critic Jonathan Gold, though not everyone thought the place was special.
Carlo Massimini, Jerry Greenberg, and Lowell Sharon continue to partner with Uovo, with Marmol Radziner designing the modern wood-paneled space. Uovo serves daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with delivery via Postmates.
Meanwhile, Kazunori also opens its next sushi handroll location after debuting everywhere from Westwood, Santa Monica, and Downtown LA to New York City. With new sushi hand roll counters opening everywhere from Century City to Las Vegas’s Cosmopolitan resort, Kazunori continues to call itself the originator of the style. Think set menus of lobster, scallop, and tuna-filled hand rolls served while the rice is still warm right to diners at the 24-seat bar. Kazunori opens today as well with service from 11:30 am to 11 p.m., Monday to Thursday, until midnight on weekends, and until 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Kazunori, Uovo, and HiHo share some of the same ownership and operators, with the stems all coming off of the Sugarfish empire. Placing the three distinct restaurants next to one another at the foot of a new development seems like like a smart idea considering their relative affordability and high quality. Mid-Wilshire always seems to beg for more in the way of restaurants, and with this trio hitting the block at around the same time, locals should have plenty to eat whether it be a runny cheeseburger with crispy fries to a plate of truffle butter tagliatelle.
Uovo and Kazunori. 6245 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.