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Downtown Pasta Pop-Up Cento Scores its First Real Restaurant in West Adams

Some of LA’s best pasta gets a place of its own

An old plate with gilded detailing showing a fresh pasta dish inside.
Pasta from Cento
Farley Elliott

West Adams is getting another new restaurant of note soon. The South LA dining neighborhood has been quite busy over the past couple of years as places like Alta Adams, HomeState, Johnny’s, and Mizlala have all shown up in the neighborhood. Now it’s time for Cento Pasta Bar to join the party.

Fans will know Cento as the tiny bar pasta restaurant from do-it-all chef Avner Lavi, who previously worked at Bestia. He’s been making his own plates of pasta inside Mignon wine bar (and at pop-ups around town) for several years during lunch hours and has long been rumored to be looking for a formal restaurant to call his own in the West Adams area. Now the deal is done at 4921 W. Adams Blvd., just east of La Brea and not far from Highly Likely Cafe and Taqueria Los Anaya. A license for alcohol has been posted at the address in Lavi’s name, though it’s not clear yet when the restaurant will actually open its doors.

The impending arrival of Cento comes at an interesting moment for West Adams, a historic and largely Black community that has underground rapid gentrification and change in the past half-decade. Jefferson and West Adams, the area’s two main drags, have both seen the rise of new developments and the introduction of big outside money to their retail sectors, often driving out longstanding businesses and raising rents for residents and retail owners. And there’s still more change to come, as places like spicy noodle superstar Mian consider moving into the area as well, joining others in the broader South LA region like Jon & Vinny, who will be opening in the View Park/Windsor Hills area later this year.

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