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Updated: Mar 17, 2023


Uovo Italian Restaurant In Studio City Los Angeles Best Carbonara With Fresh Pasta In The Great Wide LA Travel Blog Thirsty Thursdays

Uovo Italian Restaurant in Studio City


Who wouldn’t want to eat pasta made in Italy, without needing to actually travel to Italy? Today we cover the unique concept restaurant, Uovo, here in our home city of Los Angeles!


CONTENTS



Where is Uovo?

There are four Uovo locations in Los Angeles: Mid-Wilshire (near LACMA), Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, and just recently opened, Studio City. We visited the Studio City location which is located inside the Shops at Sportsmen's Lodge, a newly renovated high-end strip mall that contains an upscale market, vegan ice cream shop, a few other restaurants, retail shops, and a gym.


The physical address for the Studio City location is: 12833 Ventura Blvd Unit 157, Studio City, CA 91604.



How to Get to Uovo Studio City

The Studio City location of Uovo is on the corner of Coldwater Canyon Ave and Ventura Ave, two major streets in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. As such, there are a number of buses that run through the area. For the LA Metro (which is the most prominent transit system in Los Angeles), the 240 bus and the 167 bus drop off right in front of the Shops at Sportsmen's Lodge. There is also the LADOT bus line Van Nuys/Studio City Clockwise that drops off in front of the Shops as well.


For those driving, there is a paid parking lot at the Shops with ample room for parking and allows your first 90 minutes of parking for free, with fees increasing every hour thereafter. If you’re lucky, there may also be street parking available, but I wouldn’t count on it.


Uovo Studio City Review Open Kitchen With Counter Seating Italian Restaurant With Fresh Pasta In The Great Wide Los Angeles Travel Blog By Locals

What Makes Uovo Special

Uovo not only serves fresh, handmade pasta, but the pasta is actually made in Italy. Their kitchen is in Bologna, where they use a specific type of egg that is produced for the sole purpose of pasta-making, which couldn’t be sourced to make the pasta here in Los Angeles. This egg gives the pasta a unique yellow color and is the founding concept of their restaurant, even giving it its name, Uovo, which is how you say egg in Italian.


Another thing that makes this pasta special is that none of it is extruded, meaning that it isn’t mashed through a pasta roller (like you see on some cooking shows). It is instead rolled into large sheets and cut by hand, which is obviously the much more traditional technique that Italians have been perfecting for centuries.


So the kitchen in Bologna makes the pasta fresh, by hand, every day, and then it is shipped overnight to Los Angeles in a temperature-controlled cabin during the resting period the pasta needs before it can be cooked and served. Every day. It’s crazy!


All this makes it sound like this restaurant would be way out of our price range, but it actually isn’t! Almost all of their individual plates of pasta are under $20, and they offer a few five-course tasting menus for $34-$37 per person. The portions aren’t as large as what you would see at many other Italian restaurants, but hey, we understand.


Uovo Studio City Italian Restaurant With Fresh Pasta Review In The Great Wide Los Angeles Travel Blog By Locals

Reservations at Uovo Studio City

Uovo Studio City does not take reservations, nor do any of their locations. It’s strictly first-come, first-serve, so expect to wait from 30-90 minutes, depending on the day of the week and time of day you come in. We went in on a Monday night and still had to wait, so we recommend going in the middle of the afternoon on a random weekday if you can.


This is a very small restaurant, with only 8 tables for 2 and approximately 20 bar stools at the counter surrounding their exhibition kitchen. The tables are all very close together, so it’s impossible to ignore the people sitting next to you, and the bar stools look incredibly uncomfortable, without backs to the chairs or anywhere to hang your coat. We saw many patrons with their coats folded on their laps and we saw a gentleman walk his and his date’s coats back out to the car, but asking specifically for a table will usually mean a drastically longer wait time. Many patrons will really enjoy the bar counter seating though, as you’re able to watch the kitchen in action, cooking all of that delicious pasta.


Uovo Bar Seating Facing Kitchen At High End Italian Restaurant In Los Angeles In The Great Wide LA Travel Blog By Locals

Our Experience and the Cheese & Truffle Tasting Menu


First Impressions

We found this place when looking for a nice restaurant to celebrate our five-year anniversary. We wanted to go somewhere a bit classier than our normal outings and we were, of course, impressed with Uovo’s concept of fresh Italian pasta served for us here in Los Angeles.


It turns out, the location we went to, in Studio City, was still in their soft opening phase. ‘Soft opening’ in the restaurant industry used to mean the new full staff would be serving selected guests to get into the groove of service while being able to wow critics with the quality of the food, before the grand opening for the general public. It’s now become more normal in the cutthroat restaurant industry to allow the general public in during a ‘soft opening’ as well, so mistakes might be more plentiful as everyone rushes to be the first of their friends to try the newest restaurant in town, but the restaurant gets the opportunity to start making money. Regardless, we were super stoked because having this kind of pasta here in California is a unique experience and we’re all about having unique experiences.



Upon arrival, we discovered that the restaurant is in the Shops at the Sportsmen's Lodge, a newly renovated ‘strip mall’ that also contains higher-end retail and restaurants like Erewhon, an even further upscale Whole Foods-type market, and Equinox, a members only gym that is very particular about their clientele. I used to live in the area and the renovations they’ve done are quite nice. There have been hotels at the Sportsmen's Lodge location since the 1880s, before the movie business even existed, and long before Studio City received its name. It’s now studded with water features and huge trees that may or may not be real, but make for a lovely courtyard regardless. Sadly, the original trout pond, where John Wayne taught his kids to fish, has long since dried up.


Uovo is nestled a few doors down from a vegan ice cream shop and a casual Mexican eatery, with dark windows that makes it a must-go place for those who want to be seen without being seen (a very Hollywood concept that continues the tradition of the Sportsmen's Lodge long history with Hollywood).


We came on a Monday night, after New Year’s Eve, during the soft opening, so we expected the place to be relatively empty, but we were very wrong. The restaurant was packed and since they don’t take reservations, it was going to be a wait. Usually we don’t mind sitting at the bar when we go out, but we asked for a table this time, as it was our anniversary and we wanted to be able to stare longingly into each other’s eyes. 😉 The host told us it would be at least a 90 minute wait if we specifically wanted a table, so we opted to go for whatever was first available. The stools at the counter looked really uncomfortable, so neither of us were particularly thrilled about that idea, but we went with it. However, after inputting our name for first available, the host failed to tell us the approximate wait time; the only way I knew it was going to be 30-60 minutes was because I spied the host punching a button on his computer. He asked for a phone number and told us once we receive the text, we have to confirm within 5 minutes or our seats would be given to whoever was behind us in the queue.



The place is so tiny, there are only two seats to wait to be called, so we wandered around the Sportsmen's Lodge area while we waited instead. It’s January in Los Angeles, which means cold and rain. Obviously not the kind of cold that most of the rest of the country has to deal with, but very chilly for us. We wished there was a bar or somewhere nice to sit and wait nearby, but there wasn’t, so we ended up just standing outside the restaurant in the cold. Usually, you’d be able to at least sit in the courtyard of the complex, but it had rained that afternoon, so all of the benches and well-designed outdoor seating areas were wet. 42 minutes later, we received the text that it was our turn, and upon entering, they pleasantly surprised us by giving us a table in a corner, allowing us to nestle in for our anniversary dinner.


They have 3 options for tasting menus, as explained by our very competent and pleasant server, Wyatt. We had looked at the menu online before we went, so we knew we were going to try the Cheese & Truffle tasting menu. It’s $37/person and serves two people. The other two options on the tasting menu are $34/person, making the Cheese & Truffle tasting menu the most expensive, but probably also the best deal. All of the tasting menus are 5 courses though, so they’re all priced very reasonably.


If you’re looking for a more customized experience, the restaurant also serves a number of other pasta dishes from Bologna and Rome, as well as some traditional pasta dishes, all a la carte, so there are plenty of options.


Insalata Arugula And Mizuna Salad At Uovo Italian Restaurant In Studio City With Fresh Pasta Review In The Great Wide LA Travel Blog By Locals

First Course

The Cheese & Truffle tasting menu starts with an antipasti: Yellowtail Crudo. This is a Japanese Yellowtail with red Fresno chili pepper and micro-arugula dressed with olive oil, lemon, and blood orange, but we overheard our server telling another party while we were being seated that they were out of the Crudo. Disappointing, but it’s a soft opening and we were just on the other side of a holiday, so no fear, as there were two other antipasti options: Insalata arugula & mizuna, which is a salad, or Battuta di carne, a beef tartare, which was our preference, as the Cheese & Truffle tasting menu does not feature any proteins.


Unfortunately, they were also out of the Battuta di carne, which left us with the Insalata as our only option. The Insalata is not included on any of the tasting menus, with the ‘The Classic’ tasting menu including the Yellowtail Crudo and ‘The Regional’ tasting menu featuring the tartare, so that was extra disappointing. We chalked this up to the fact that it's still a soft opening and the restaurant certainly seemed like it was much busier than they anticipated right off the bat. Regardless, we were excited to try the Tagliatelle with Truffle Sauce, as good truffle dishes are hard to find, so we stuck with the tasting menu anyway.


Pro Tip: Head to the Update section of this article to hear about the yellowtail crudo.



What we weren't expecting was for them to try and serve the truffle pasta before we received our antipasti course. This was troubling, as the server, when we ordered, said that we’d likely gotten the last portion of the Tagliatelle in Truffle Sauce for the night, so we got pretty worried seeing the pasta in the runner’s hands and having to turn it away. We just hoped that it wouldn’t get thrown out without a replacement for us.


A few minutes later, the insalata arrived in a large single dish with no serving utensils, but they brought us some individual plates and we dug in. The insalata was tasty with arugula, hearts of palm, and slivered almonds, all with an incredible dressing. Unfortunately, the insalata was not tossed very well, as all of the extra goodies were pooled at the bottom of the plate. We would have preferred the crudo or tartare, but the salad was still very tasty.


Cheese And Truffle Tasting Menu At Uovo Review Restaurant With Fresh Pasta Made In Italy In LA In The Great Wide Los Angeles Travel Blog By Locals

Second Course

Thankfully, within a few minutes after our salad, our fears of missing out on the truffle pasta (the entire reason why we ordered this tasting menu) subsided when they brought the Tagliatelle in Truffle Sauce back out. Truffle is terribly overused by a lot of chefs and it can easily overpower anything else, but in this dish, the flavor was subtle and beautiful, allowing you to still taste the aged parmesan.


This dish only appears in this tasting menu on the printed menu, but our server told us we could order it separately for $25 a plate, the most expensive individual dish on the menu. This means that for just $12 more, you can get 4 more courses with the tasting menu. Worth it!


Restaurant With Fresh Pasta Amazing Ravioli Di Ricotta At Uovo In Studio City Review In The Great Wide LA Travel Blog By Locals

Third Course

The third course was Ravioli di Ricotta, in a pomodoro sauce. The tasting menu listed just a Pomodoro, which is a separate dish on their menu using a different type of noodle, so we were confused when they brought us raviolis, unsure if it was a kitchen miscommunication or substitution, or if that’s what the dish was actually supposed to be. The ravioli is served in the pomodoro sauce, after all. We couldn’t complain though, as the sauce was absolutely delicious against the delicate raviolis. The portion was pretty small, but they were perhaps the best raviolis we’ve ever eaten! The menu has since been updated to reflect that the tasting menu does, in fact, come with these ravioli, so that answers that.


Uovo Italian Restaurant With Fresh Pasta In Los Angeles Review In The Great Wide LA Travel Blog By Locals

Fourth Course

The fourth course was Cacio e Pepe, a cheese and pepper combination sauce which seems simple, but is very hard to master. Theirs was quite nice, with Wyatt telling us to make sure to mix in the grated parmesan on top to ensure that our first bites weren’t too salty. Our table neighbors were not big fans of this dish and Phoebe overheard them saying that they must not have sophisticated enough palates, but they were too nice to send it back and asked for boxes instead.


My main issue with the dish, which is delicious, was that the pepper could have been ground finer. Once in a while, I would crack a large peppercorn between my teeth and feel that immediate punch of pepper, which can turn some people off and obliterate your palate.


Tiramisu Al Cucchiaio Dessert At Uovo Italian Restaurant Review In Studio City In The Great Wide Los Angeles Travel Blog By Locals

Dessert Course

The tasting menu finished with a Tiramisu al cucchiaio, which roughly translates to spoon tiramisu. It comes in a glass, as one to share between the two of you, and was very tasty with cream, house-made cookies like there ladyfinger-like, and espresso. Although it was pretty to look at and tasted good, it was constructed rather poorly. The ladyfinger cookies were kind of smashed up against one side, so Phoebe was getting a lot of that while all I was getting was the cream, and we didn’t get to the espresso at the bottom until we were essentially finished with the dessert. We didn’t even know it was down there!


Something else worth noting is that we heard the ladies at the table next to us ask the server if there was any alcohol in it, to which he said no. We were surprised by that because we have always seen tiramisu made by soaking the ladyfingers in rum, but we have since learned that Uovo’s way of making it is more traditional. Perhaps it’s just a case of us being used to the Americanized version of a food.


Beer And Wine At Uovo Italian Restaurant In Studio City Review In The Great Wide Los Angeles Travel Blog By Locals

Drinks

The bar at Uovo is beer and wine only, with a small but decent selection of wines by the glass or bottle and three beers to choose from: Peroni, Angelo Poretti, and Angelo Poretti Red. We opted for the Peroni and Angelo Poretti Red, getting two rounds for each of us. We rarely drink wine when we go out because it’s usually horribly overpriced compared to drinking it at home. All of their wine and beer are sourced from Italy though, so it’s in line with the authentic Italian feeling of the food.



Atmosphere

Speaking of alcohol, this leads us into a not-so-great aspect of the evening: two tables away from us, a couple were getting absolutely hammered on red wine. When we arrived, we saw our server briefly sit down with them, making a joke about it. It seemed obvious he knew them, so we ignored them for the most part, but again, the tables are super close together so it’s practically impossible. We watched the man randomly try to start conversations with the women at the table between us and we were just thankful for the buffer as we tried to simply enjoy our anniversary.


After the young ladies at the table between us left, the man also tried talking to us about the dessert when it came out, showing his enthusiasm about how good it is. We smiled and thanked him and went back to minding our own business, but then the man tried to balance his wine glass on top of his partner’s wine glass, which inevitably caused him to spill almost all of the red wine all over their table. It was all just annoying to have to be around on our anniversary and it made us rather uncomfortable during what was supposed to be a romantic evening.


What was even worse, is that shortly after that, the man made a comment to our server after being asked if he could drive home, that he would just curl up in a corner and wake up for his shift tomorrow, and so it became apparent to us that this man evidently works at the restaurant. We realize this is a soft opening, but there’s no excuse for getting drunk at your workplace. It’s incredibly unprofessional and made us really uncomfortable.


The antics of this man who we presumed worked there turned us off to Uovo, which is a shame, as the food is quite good and our server was amazing. Perhaps we’ll try one of the other locations that has the flow of their business figured out so we can count on getting to try the antipasti that we want and not have a drunk person ruin our experience. But at the same time, we also may not, because none of the other locations accept reservations either, and the tasting menu, while it is relatively a great deal, is too expensive for us to order on a random night out, so it would have to be a special occasion. No reservations for a special occasion? That’s not for us, thanks.


Uovo Italian Restaurant In Studio City Los Angeles Yellowtail Crudo Sashimi In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Thirsty Thursdays

Update: Our Lunch Experience

After posting this review, Uovo management reached out to us for a conversation about our experience. They reviewed our critique thoroughly and said they have made adjustments accordingly, however after reviewing their in-house camera footage, they said that the drunk man we encountered is not and never was an employee of theirs. After much consideration on how we should handle updating this review, we have decided to keep our original review up because that was our honest experience, but we also want to be fair to the team at Uovo by sharing that the drunk couple we saw does not work for them and must have been making weird jokes. We greatly appreciate the attention to detail that Uovo management gave to this review; their passion for what they do is obvious and we are happy to give them a second chance.


Uovo invited us to return to their restaurant for what would hopefully be a much better experience, so we chose to go for lunch and see what the restaurant is like during the day. We got to try the crudo along with their lasagna, carbonara, and sauteed mushroom side dish, and we had a glass of vermentino and a beer. Our tab for lunch came out to a total of $77.


Uovo Italian Restaurant In Studio City Los Angeles Handmade Lasagna With Fresh Pasta In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Thirsty Thursdays

The crudo was light and delicate; it is a simple dish that lets the quality of the ingredients shine. The Lasagna was surprisingly light yet filling at the same time, made with guanciale (pork cheek) and a bechamel sauce layered between delicate green pasta that’s made with spinach. The carbonara was probably the best we’ve ever had, also made with guanciale instead of the Americanized version with pancetta. The mushrooms were simple but delicious.


Here, you can watch our video about our lunch experience, which was far superior to our first experience:



Our Verdict

The concept is unique and we can now say that we’ve had pasta from Italy, even though we haven’t been there yet. The food is spectacular with a unique twist. After having gone there for a weekday lunch, we can confidently say that Uovo is worth trying out, but temper your expectations if you’re looking for a romantic night out with your partner. We don’t recommend Uovo for a romantic dinner as the place is very busy and with no reservations, you’ll be standing around waiting for a table for quite a while.


However, the prices are very reasonable considering the story behind their pasta being made in Italy and overnight shipped every day, but it’s still a bit too pricey for us to go on any old Friday night, so we recommend going to Uovo for a special weekday lunch, when you can walk right in and get a table. Take out-of-town guests, as the dining experience is extremely unique. It’d be great for a weekday birthday lunch, or a long, delicious business lunch.


Overall, the concept is brilliant, the food is extremely tasty, and the service is top-notch. If anything, we recommend trying Uovo at least once, so you can tell everyone that you have had pasta from Italy, without actually having gone there.


Uovo Review Italian Restaurant With Fresh Pasta In Studio City Los Angeles Review In The Great Wide LA Travel Blog By Locals

Quick Reference Guide

What

Where

How to Get There

LA Metro: 167 and 240 lines drop off in front of the Shops at Sportsmen's Lodge, as well as the LADOT bus Van Nuys/Studio City Clockwise.

There is a paid parking lot at the Shops with the first 90 minutes free.


Time Commitment

Dinner: 42 minutes waiting for a table and about 90 minutes for the 5 course tasting menu.

Weekday Lunch: Sat at a table immediately and had lunch at a leisurely pace that took just over an hour.


Cost

Tasting menus range from $34/person to $37/person Individual pasta dishes range from $17 - $25 Wines range from $10 - $16 per glass and Beers are $6 - $7

Reservation Info

No reservations are taken at any Uovo location, so expect to wait from 30-90 minutes for dinner and weekend lunches. Weekday lunches are much less busy, so you’ll likely be able to be seated immediately.

Our Verdict

Great food and service, but very different experiences between dinner and lunch. Highly recommend trying a weekday lunch to enjoy the natural light and a quieter atmosphere. Dinners are much more of a gamble, and unfortunately, it’s a little out of our price range for a non-special occasion dinner, but since they don’t offer reservations, it doesn’t really work for special occasion dinners either because you’ll potentially have to wait far too long to get a table. A special occasion lunch on a weekday, however, would be perfect!


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Los Angeles Travel Writer Adam Neubauer For In The Great Wide LA Travel Blog By Locals


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