Felix Trattoria

3386, 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA

Never has a restaurant name captured the emotions of its guests quite like Felix, which means “happy” in Latin. It also means “lucky,” which is what you’ll feel when you score a table. Enjoying an evening of impeccable Italian creations by chef Evan Funke—a former James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year semifinalist—requires careful timing. Patrons wait outside before the door is unlocked at 5:30 p.m. in hopes of getting a walk-in spot or a bar stool, or else they try to snag an online booking exactly four weeks out at 12:01 a.m. To celebrate victory, start with a pick from the restaurant’s extensive champagne list, or the tequila, pisco, and limoncello Hey Nineteen cocktail. Ask for a seat in Nonna’s dining room; its vintage lighting and Fornasetti wall coverings set an atmosphere that’s elegant yet without pretense (ask for a round booth if you’re with a group). Funke’s comprehensive menu is organized by Italian regions, and the pasta is made daily in the glassed-off, temperature-controlled laboratorio at the restaurant’s center. Go hungry or bring friends, to sample as many of the pastas as possible. If you only pick one entrée, order the Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe, but only after trying the cloud-like Sfincione focaccia, Fiori di Zucca, and a Margherita pizza.

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