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Ugo

It's quite easy to make a square plate of rigatoni into a diamond.
It’s quite easy to make a square plate of rigatoni into a diamond.

Downtown Culver City has a pretty nice selection of restaurants, but the best Italian it has to offer is Ugo, self-proclaimed as “an Italian cafe.”

I sat down with a friend at one of their indoor tables, which was kind of small, but luckily their menus were long and thin, possibly in an attempt to fit well on the table. I scanned the menu and it looked a lot different than I remembered from last time, because it had a lot less options. I thought this may have been my own memory that failed me until I looked at the website and saw that the menu there is also much larger than the one I got. I am quite curious how this happened.*

Despite the brevity of the menu, I found my perfect dish, Rigatoni Bolognese. Bolognese is a predominantly meat sauce that never fails to please me. When the pasta came, it looked just as I had expected from the menu, no frills or unnecessary chunks of tomato. I had the waiter pile parmesan cheese on it to make it look even better. Parmesan is just one of those cheeses that there never seems to be too much of. When I finally got around to eating, it tasted almost as good as it looked. The pasta was al dente, which means “to the tooth.” In fact, that was exactly where the pasta went when I bit it. I’m not sure why all chewable food isn’t called al dente, but those Italians must know something I don’t. Anyway, the sauce complimented the al dente pretty nicely. I was actually only able to eat half and had to save the rest for the next day.

Actually the real reason I didn’t eat it all was because of the gelato, Italy’s version of ice cream. I ordered a small limoncello, which turned out to be massive and far more than I was able to put down.

In the end, I was quite full and ready to eat some more rigatoni the next day. There are certainly better Italian restaurants out there, but if you are in Culver City and craving some meaty Italian food, you can’t go wrong with Ugo.

*Update: Apparently there are three different Ugos, right next to each other. I will not try to explain this, because it makes no sense.