My coworkers and I enjoyed not one but two amazing meals at Maccheroni Republic in downtown LA across from Grand Central Market on Broadway. Both times (in June and this week), I was struck by the quality of the food and hospitality of the servers and co-owner (gentleman wearing a hat). I tried the gnocchi which my boss said that it’s better than his grandmother’s version and also ordered their bigoli della nonna (Venetian style spaghetti noodles w/a meat ragu sauce) which was heavenly. I also recommend trying their soups. My second visit, I had their creamy heirloom tomato soup with French lentils and was very impressed (soups are deceivingly simply but complex).
I’ve gushed about this restaurant and mentioned it to many friends to go try it. They don’t take reservations but during our first visit, we arrived when they opened for lunch and we were able to sit inside together (a party of nine). The second time, we sat in the patio area with heat lamps. Also, they recommend ordering family-style (a la Buca di Beppo) for large groups but guests can also order individually (which we did). They don’t have an alcohol license (so no wine menu) but they don’t have a corkage fee so feel free to bring a bottle of wine (like chianti or cabernet) to enjoy with your pasta. Yelpers were mentioning that there’s a good wine store, BUZZ wine beer shop in short walking distance from the restaurant. Another reason to love this place is all their dishes are under $20 which is very affordable for the quality and quantity of their pastas. Hope you check out this eatery and enjoy it as much as I do. Btw, check out my friend, Julie’s blog post on this downtown gem. LA Times acclaimed food writer raves about this place too in a recent glowing review. Mangia!