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In the October 5 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Gold turned his delicate palate on Bucato, the new Italian restaurant in the Helms Complex of Culver City. Gold describes the vision of Bucato's chef Even Funke in this way:
Funke's mission, broadly defined, is to combine strong pungencies and seasonal vegetables with the suppleness of fresh, well-cooked pasta — mixed by hand, rolled out by hand and shaped by hand in the pasta kitchen upstairs....His aesthetic is basically...modest portions of noodles cooked to a point just past al dente, and sauces fortified with a bit of butter, a touch of sharp cheese and a healthy pinch of salt.
Gold concentrates much of his review of a dish called cacio e pepe, which he calls "nothing more than spaghetti tossed with sheep cheese and a lot of cracked pepper....Both the simplest and most difficult pasta in the Italian repertoire, and from it you can learn almost everything about a cook." Gold sums up cacio e pepe created by Even Funke by saying:
Funke's cacio e pepe breaks almost every rule....As cacio e pepe, Funke's version fails. But as dinner, it is rather glorious.
Bucato is a great place to stop in for a glass of Vermentino and a snack, perhaps fried squash blossoms stuffed with goat ricotta, or fried artichokes with lemon, or figs with burrata. And on the patio on a warm night, looking out onto the Helms plaza, nibbling on a plate of grilled octopus tentacles in a juicy puttanesca sauce or a bowl of Basilicata-style strascinati with braised duck, it is easy to imagine that you are on the terrace of a country restaurant in Italy, on the outskirts of a forgotten hill town, relaxed after a half-hour drive.
You can read the whole review HERE.