Osteria Mamma

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Pasta lovers mourned last year when Filippo Cortivo and his beloved “Mamma” left their longtime home at Melrose’s Osteria La Buca. Now they’re back, on the same street no less, with Osteria Mamma, a fast and furious celebration of the humble starch. Loredana “Mamma” Cecchinato makes all the pastas herself, from the musky squid ink fettuccine with bottarga to the fat tagliatelle lapping up a triple-meat bolognese. Mamma’s palate might be waning—most sauces could use a hit of salt, and the pizzas are painfully forgettable. Still, the lively spirit in the noisy space, and those blessed noodles, warrant the cult following. » 5732 Melrose Ave., L.A. (323-284-7060). L Mon.-Fri.; D Mon.-Sat. No alcohol. Italian $$$ 

Photograph by Jessica Boone