photo by Alan Gastelum
Felix Trattoria is on the lonely west end of Abbot Kinney, the toniest boulevard in Venice Beach, in the storefront that once housed Venice Beach’s most iconic restaurant, Joe’s. It has preserved the same bustling anteroom bar and two small dining rooms decorated like an Italian summer pied à terre—except that a glassed-in pasta-prep kitchen now juts with a hive of activity into the dining space. Handmade pasta is the draw here: After significant stints at Spago and Rustic Canyon, chef Evan Funke mastered pasta-making in Bologna with Alessandro Spisni at La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese. Funke and his assistants churn out thousands of pasta pezzi each day; the eight-dish pasta menu is then arranged by region. Sicily gets a nod with spaghetti della isole tossed in breadcrumbs and bottarga; the north represents by way of tortelli di zuca with black truffles. Matthew Logan organizes his nearly all-Italian wine list in a similar fashion, with an admirable selection of wines from the Mezzogiorno, like Marisa Cuomo’s ripoli blend Fiorduva or Cherchi’s grippy Sardinian cannonau.