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Autumn Treasures

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We don't get much autumn in LA. Mostly, things get hot and then the Halloween stuff comes out. Everyone gets a little worn out on the notion of endless summer. But there are delights to be had. More apples appear on the scene (and in desserts), there's the county fair, and some of the better Italian restaurants start serving truffles. Granted, it's not cheap, but shared with the table, one dish can be a delectable treat.

When I think of Beverly Hills, I mostly think how it's a place I really don't want to be. Crowded, expensive, full of tourists and chain stores, it's difficult to navigate and hard to find cheap parking. But I occasionally make an exception for Il Pastaio, Giacomino Drago's Canon Drive outpost, which, if you sit outside and squint a little, makes you feel like you're in Italy.

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You can't go wrong with the menu. Favorites include pasta with rabbit ragu, green risotto (with spinach and fresh peas) and the tortelloni di zucca. A great reward for weathering the hazzards of the possible wait (the restaurant is often crowded), the noise and the ladies with faces so tight that they only grimace when their plates arrive.

Round about October, sometimes there will be a pasta or risotto, usually made with cream and mild cheese with black, or occasionally even white truffles shaved over the top. Expect this to be the most expensive starch-based dish you have ever ordered, by a good two or three times over. But, it will be amazing. Or you can just order the beet risotto with goat cheese sauce. Not quite a revelation, but still my favorite dish.


Il Pastaio Restaurant, 400 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA

Photos by Jacy for LAist