Where To Get Some Pasta And A Glass Of Wine By Yourself

Eating carbohydrates by yourself is a beautiful thing. Here’s where to do it.
Where To Get Some Pasta And A Glass Of Wine By Yourself image

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Apart from serious gluten and grape allergies, there’s really no reason not to eat pasta and drink wine by yourself every now and then. It’s one of life’s great combinations, one that you don’t need to come up with an excuse to do. But you also can’t have this kind of legendary solo meal just anywhere. There are a couple of things your pasta place should have: a relaxed atmosphere, hopefully a bar (or at least a cozy corner) to sit in, plus excellent pasta and wine by the glass. When you’re looking for a place for the best kind of me-time, stick to the spots on this guide.


photo credit: Jakob Layman



$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDinner with the Parents


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Between the warm lighting, wood furnishings, and olive trees towering above the dining room, Antico Nuovo is the perfect place to take yourself on a date. This Koreatown Italian spot is laid-back enough for you to sit at the bar and finally read that think piece about the end of skinny jeans you’ve had bookmarked for weeks. They’ve got a menu of simple, yet extraordinary housemade pastas and delicious Italian wines that’ll remind you to notice pleasure in the small things, not unlike Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. Order the meat-stuffed agnolotti, which involves glossy tubes filled to the brim with ground beef cheeks, pancetta, and a bit of rabbit. And end with a cup (or two) of their freshly-spun ice cream, which comes in flavors like pistachio crunch or honeycomb, and tastes more like soft, silky gelato.

Sometimes you want to be left alone, but you also want to be surrounded by other people having a good time. That’s when you should check out Jon & Vinny’s Slauson— another buzzy location of the Italian-American chain where you can smell vodka sauce and testosterone from the parking lot. Seated at the long wooden bar near the entrance, you’ll be surrounded by couples sporting matching tracksuits, fitness influencers huddled around their cheat day salads, and the friendly staff serving them. The space is small and borderline chaotic on weekends, but still reliable for a plate of pasta and some orange wine. We usually stick to Jon & Vinny’s greatest hits, which means a plate of spicy fusilli with a side of meatballs and garlic bread.

Securing a reservation at Mother Wolf can feel like chasing the end of a double rainbow. So our advice would be to show up at this Hollywood hot spot alone, grab a seat at the bar, and brag to your friends about it later. Mother Wolf’s space alone is worth all the hassle, with its ballroom-level glamor and over-the-top clubbish energy. Their rigatoni all’amatriciana is a menu standout, but they also make some exceptional classics like tonnarelli cacio e pepe and carbonara with rigatoni. Other diners might start lingering behind you in pursuit of the next open bar seat, but don’t fret—take the time you need to live out your “mysterious solo diner at a party restaurant” fantasy.

After another long week of meetings that could have been emails, we just need a glass of wine, a plate of pasta, and to be left alone. If you ever find yourself in this mood, head to La Poubelle, an easy-to-get-into, loosely French bistro in Hollywood. They’ve got a pleasant sidewalk patio that’s perfect for clearing your head while people-watching and if you stick around till sunset, the whole restaurant flips into a rowdy block party that inches further and further into the street as the night progresses. Their pasta options are pretty limited, but they usually have a couple of handmade options like pappardelle with truffles or gnocchi with mushrooms that will be good enough to help you decompress after that merciless, two-hour slideshow presentation.

A solo dinner at Cento in West Adams feels like sitting front row at a pasta-making demo. You’ll suppress the urge to clap as you watch beet spaghetti take shape behind the marble bar, and you might even shed a tear while watching conch-shaped noodles being topped with a dollop of creamy ricotta and basil puree. Servers will chat with you like they’ve known you for years, and chances are, you’ll end up sticking around much longer than you originally planned. Cento accepts walk-ins, but you might have to wait for a bar seat if you’re not standing in front of the host stand around 5pm. Either way, the extra effort is worth it considering you’ll get to eat some of the most inventive pasta in town.

Did you just lose your phone in the back of an Uber on the way home from LAX? Are you now in need of a place to land face first into a pile of spaghetti and meatballs? Sunday Gravy in Inglewood has you covered. The environment at this counter-service Italian spot is casual, the comfort foods here feel familiar, and considering the massive portions, Sunday Gravy isn't too pricey—most pastas cost less than $20, and with leftovers could technically count as both lunch and dinner. 

Ideally, taking yourself out for dinner should require minimal effort, which means not spending precious mental energy choosing between 15 different shapes of noodle. Alimento’s short and sweet list of housemade pasta is exactly what you need in that case—their saucy radiatori with braised pork sugo is an easy go-to for nights when you just want to zone out over some warm carbs. The laidback Silver Lake spot also gets pretty dark once the sun sets, meaning you can easily blend into the background at one of the corner tables or sit at the kitchen-facing bar for some added anonymity with your glass of Merlot. 

This Indian sports bar in Silver Lake famously has a lot going on—thin-crust pizzas smeared with green chile chutney, Lakers games streaming on dozens of TVs, Drake blasting in the bathroom—but it’s also a pretty nice place to twirl spaghetti and sip on a fruity Gamay. There’s a long bar at the back of the restaurant with your name on it, where it’s easy to grab a seat and dine leisurely on cream-heavy malai rigatoni or pasta shells smothered in a thick parmesan/saffron sauce. If you need something to keep your eyes busy, just watch whatever’s on the TV. If you need to journal out every single person who’s ever wronged you, no one will bat an eye. Also, get the cookies and cardamom soft serve just because. It’s not pasta or wine, but it’s one of our favorite things here.

Our goal in life isn’t to fly to the moon or become a millionaire. It’s to become a regular at a cool neighborhood restaurant. A good candidate is Hippo, which seems like every other place that serves crudo, pasta, and salmon entrees, but all of those things turn out to be way more interesting than renditions at other places. Come eat cappellacci by yourself at the bar every week and you’ll be on first name basis with the bartender in no time.

This spot is Permanently Closed.

It’s possible that San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood has the highest concentration of Italian restaurants outside of Italy. We’re not entirely sure how they all survive, but we are extremely sure that Vincenti is the best of the bunch. It’s the kind of place where you don’t need to bring any kind of entertainment—who needs Twitter when you end up chatting with the ladies in their seventies having a boozy dinner at the bar next to you? Eating here with other people can end up being pretty expensive, so sitting at the bar with a bowl of wild boar pappardelle and a glass of Sangiovese on your own is the economically responsible thing to do.

Your roommate is great. They sweep, don’t complain when you have friends over, and also likes to watch Meg Ryan movies at 2am. It’s just that he does not ever stop talking. When you would just like to eat in silence, go eat at Ellie’s. This Southern Italian spot is in a quiet residential part of Long Beach, and they have a nice front patio, friendly staff, and excellent handmade pasta, especially the tagliatelle with shrimp and ’nduja. And if you’re wondering if the grilled bread with pork butter is weird or good, we’re here to tell you there’s nothing weird about it.

Build-your-own-bowl situations usually end in disaster. Inevitably, you get overexcited with the toppings and end up with a giant serving of things you like to eat but don’t go together at all. You do get to build-your-own pasta bowl at Pasta Sisters, but it’s impossible to mess it up. Mostly because you only get to choose two things—pasta shape and sauce—and also because if they think you’re doing it wrong, they’ll tell you. That means you can’t get your clam pasta with anything other than spaghetti, because that’s just the correct way to do it. This Culver City location is much bigger than the Pico-Arlington original, and while it doesn’t quite have the charm of that first one, it does have wine.

Uovo is a casual pasta bar run by the people behind Sugarish with multiple locations across the city, including Santa Monica, Mid-Wilshire, Marina Del Rey, and Studio City. And yet, despite all that growth, it hasn’t fallen prey to the pitfalls of mini-chains. Service is prompt and efficient, and you can pop in for some well-executed, consistent pasta (the cacio e pepe and tortellini en brodo are standouts) and a glass of wine without it feeling like a big deal or costing too much. We especially love their counter/pasta bar seating, which is perfect for a solo meal watching cooks dunk fettucine into hot water while you ponder that second glass of Chianti.

Jones is the kind of restaurant we would like to have an affair with. We’ll tell our significant other we have to work late again, only to find ourselves sitting at the bar in a dark room, eating spaghetti and meatballs out of our own personal skillet. And sure, gin doesn’t go as well with pasta as red wine, but we somehow can’t sit down here without ordering one in martini form. We’re not sure why we feel like we have to keep dinner here a secret, but it just feels like the right thing to do.

We know this is a pasta and a glass of wine guide, but sometimes you need more than just those two things. Like a salad, for instance. Jame Enoteca (in a strip mall in El Segundo), has extremely good pasta (like the handkerchief-shaped mandilli with pesto), nice wine, and a kale salad that might overshadow the other two. While the room is a bit unoriginal, the owners are very friendly - and once they realize you’re on your own, will probably spend half the night talking with you.

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