Review: At Venice Beach's New Pasta Palace Felix, Jonathan Gold Admires Noodly Views and Italian Cooking
You have managed to land a reservation at Felix Trattoria. You find a parking space on the crowded north end of Abbot Kinney. You ease your way through the clot of Negroni enthusiasts at the bar, check in at the hostess stand, and are led into the airy main dining room, the longtime bistro Joe’s given a smart face-lift and a vacation in Venice, Italy. Your line of sight, unless you are unlucky enough to face the wall, includes the pasta-fabricating room, a clean, glassed-in space devoted to the production of noodles.
“#@&!YOURPASTAMACHINE,” reads a sign affixed to a sheet of metal. Even if you have never been to the restaurant, this sign, spelled less euphemistically, probably haunts your Instagram feed.
Evan Funke will probably be in the pasta room for most of your visit, rolling out huge sheets of pasta with a long, wooden dowel, fluffing the edges, dusting them with flour, aiming big electric fans at them to help them dry. In another corner of the room, a cook presses dough around her thumb into Pugliese orecchiette. Funke flips his dough, redusts it, folds it into a plastic sheet. The other cook flicks out twisted Genoese-style trofie. Funke slashes deftly with a long, Damascene-etched blade. You notice a new pile of cavatelli on the opposite counter. You could probably watch this noodle ballet all night.