Timeless is a word that’s bandied about a lot these days.
You may call the silhouette of a peacoat timeless, or perhaps it’s a good descriptor for a classic novel.
How about for cuisine? If you ask us, Italian food is one of the most timeless cuisines on Earth.
From rustic Valpolicella reds, to hand rolled pasta, to freshly pressed olive oils, to basil pesto ground with mortar and pestle, the way the Italians eat is just different.
When you find yourself lucky enough to be seated at one of Felix’s coveted booths in LA, you’ll experience this for yourself. Let’s put it this way: while pasta is a rare treat for us, time stops when you take the first bites of any Felix handmade pasta dish.
Evan Funke is the pasta maker of America, bar none. His first restaurant, Bucato, established his name, but if you look at his famous materello, it tells the whole story. A Materello is an extra long rolling pin, with a notch at only one end, allowing its master to roll out swaths of dough at once without the help of a traditional rolling machine. Gifted to him by a master pasta maker (also an Italian grandmother), it bears the regular imprints of his bear-sized hands.
Pasta making is a meditative process, made up of the same movements over and over and over again. The goal isn’t perfection, but simply to feed. Albeit to feed the best possible with what’s around, which is less the pursuit of something unflawed rather than an expression of love.
Pasta is the constant. A ravioli’s filling, or the sauce of the orrechiete, is what changes with the seasons.
All of this is to say that Felix is an effusion of Funke’s materello. The meal starts with an absolute bang, with a zesty punchy arugula salad with incredible balance of flavor and visual green delight.
As your palate salivates and warms up, with wine most assuredly flowing, you might taste a few other glories, like the pristine Polpetto (meatballs), the crunchy artichokes, or the delicious green peas.
But, you must make room for pasta. It’s where you can taste the most love. After all, in the center of the restaurant you’ll find – not a wine cellar, or a display case of dry-aging meat – but a glass “pasta room,” where Funke and his disciples roll out enough sheets of pasta to cover the Earth and the Moon (all in plain view of the entire dining room).
There are hardly any innovations from the perspective of ingredients, or “spins” on the classics; the Amatriciana is made with guanciale, tomato, and red pepper, the pesto with basil and pine nuts, and everything with copious olive oil. What you go to Felix for is the occasion, the occasion to be transported to a place where Italians have been going for thousands of years – culinary heaven.
If you’re in Los Angeles, make the trip. And don’t forget to book your table in advance; they go faster than every course you’ll have there.