>> Padua Pasta Makers | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday, 1 January 2021

Padua Pasta Makers

ITALY 🇮🇹

COVID-19 UPDATE: The shop is still open and customers are limited by staff when necessary, with waiting taking place outside.

The origin story of Padua Pasta Makers is that of multiple generations of an Italian-descended family making a name for themselves in their new country, adapting recipes and ingredients for their customers in California. One of its owners worked in her family's San Gabriel Valley Italian deli in her late teens and met the other when she came to work there as well.
 
The two women, their lifelong friendship, and a passion for the foods of Italy has culminated in this shop opening in the early part of 2015. You could not be blamed for approaching a place like this skeptically after plenty of severely "Americanized" experiences with Italian foods prepared by those not born in the country, but the shop retains an important European flare.
 

A purist might hold their nose, and certainly the shop is a joining of Italy and its home in Upland, but if you want to skip over Italian American favorites and focus, there is a lot to appreciate here. If you are open to everything, step up to the sandwich board and take a look at their offerings, all made on their fresh Italian-style breads.

There is also a rotating list of daily specials, so their regular customers must all have their favorite days to come in and grab lunch.

Padua is of course a specific place in northern Italy to reference, and the birthplace of Aperol, but the offerings here at the shop are all over the boot. Give yourself some time to browse if possible and see what strikes a fancy.

On one end of the store you can find all of their homemade pastas, as well as packaged imported goods to purchase, but make sure to take a look at the prepared foods in the case near the sandwich counter. The frittata ($8.95, below) here is made with a soft and thin bread wrapping, and exquisite.


Tomato & basil frittata.

The eggs within are far from overcooked, still soft and ready for a warmup at home. Tomatoes and basil each feel like they have been picked just before cooking.

You can also order lasagna ($12.95/lb, below) by weight, ready to throw in the oven at home. The blocks they have pre-cut are almost a pound and a half, so plan accordingly. Having been made in house, you know the pasta will excel, but all the other meat and cheese components are really good.

They will include a cup of bright red sauce with your orders, which is worth its weight in gold. Its monotone, primary color quality might raise an eyebrow but rest assured it is dynamic and complex.

If you have given in to your Italian American curiosities, grab one of their ricotta-stuffed manicotti ($3.50 each, below) for another excuse to use the sauce. As with the lasagna, the cheese is as if it is fresh from the dairy, smooth and creamy, and full of herbs and garlic.


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