DTLA: Cento Pasta Bar Takes Up Residency at Mignon Wine
Cento Pasta Bar has taken up lunch residency at Mignon Wine Bar. Don’t call it a pop-up because it’s an indefinite residency until they find their brick and mortar space. Chef Avner Lavi (formerly Sotto, Bestia) heads up the pasta bar.
Cento is open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check out their Instagram for the latest menu.
I was invited to check out the housemade pastas, antipasti and dessert. We started with the crostino which was chicken liver that day.
It took me a few years before I ever ate chicken liver. I’m very picky with offal and when I finally try something and instantly love it, I wonder what took me so long. It’s easy to love Cento’s chicken liver though. It’s slightly chunky, very creamy and was a great starter.
Cento has a good deal for lunch. Pick a pasta and two items for $18. This could mean the crostino, a salad and pasta. Or maybe you want a salad, pasta and dessert.
I also tried the fennel salad flavored with little more than citrus and a bit of salt. The red onions provided another layer of flavor.
With five pastas to try that day, it was pretty hard to pick a favorite. Ultimately, my favorite was the ricotta gnocchi (pictured above) but I also really enjoyed the spaghetti with uni and crab.
The gnocchi was so tender, so soft and I liked the tomato sauce a lot. It was light and you wouldn’t feel weighed down by a pasta lunch. Cento means 100 and in Italy, the servings of pasta hover around 100 grams of pasta (about 3.5 ounces).
Most of the pastas are handmade but occasionally some dried pastas are used. The al faretto is entirely vegan and a bit spicy. It’s great on a cold LA winter day.
On the other hand, for something definitely not vegan (but vegetarian), you can taste the rich butter in the agnolotti. I could not stop eating the little pillows of butternut squash agnolotti.
I thought all the plates at Cento were very pretty. The owner, Santos Uy, told us the plates came from replacements.com. Certainly the blue plate presented a dramatic plating for the ravioli which when cut open oozed almost pornographic egg yolk.
For dessert we had a wonderful panna cotta with charred strawberries. I loved how delicate it was, usually I don’t eat all my dessert but I practically licked the little jar clean.
I’m looking forward to going back to try the bolognese pasta and getting more chicken liver toast!