Fulfill your red-sauce cravings in Beverly Hills
To step inside the newly opened Pici is to be transported from Beverly Hills to the heart of Italian-American New York.
The details are all there: the pressed-tin ceiling, the subway tiles, and the affable guy with the Brooklyn accent who shakes hands with every customer.
That Brooklynite would be Jason Harley, Pici's chef and owner. Though he and his staff roll out masses of the traditional Tuscan pasta from which the restaurant takes its name, that's where fidelity to the motherland ends; the tender, curling tubes are heavily sauced with bolognese (pictured; $12), vodka cream ($11) or puttanesca ($12).
The meat sauce will either make you miss your Italian grandmother or wish you had one in the first place. After cooking for three days, the ground beef, pork and veal achieve a beautiful, umami-laden union with the tomatoes. But if forced to pick a favorite, ours would be the puttanesca: The tart and spicy amalgam of capers, olives and chiles does a delectable number on the taste buds.
Harley's pizzas don't fit neatly into a New York- or Neapolitan-style box. Rather, they're in a flaky, crisp-crusted class of their own. The Mediterranean--topped with paprika oil, feta and olives--was our top choice.
Pici, 212 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; 310-274-7424 or pici.co
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