STOP 1: All the Pasta @ Pasta Sisters
Upon entering Pasta Sisters the simplicity of the décor and the complexity of the smells greet you almost as kindly as the Irish looking gentleman behind the counter. This is Francesco. He is in fact from Podova, Italy and the man who will take you on this fresh pasta adventure. Hand made ten feet behind the prosciutto filled deli fridge the pasta and gnocchi recipes are several generations old. Everything is highly recommended. The beautifully made Italian focaccia taste even better after a clean wipe of the plate, complete with a palette washing of their lemonade meant for a Roman summer afternoon. A farewell ciao is in order for Francesco as you exit to a bench down the street with your name on it.
Alternative: Check out Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken on the corner from Mateo’s. They have some great fixings straight from the South. Complete with beer and wine.
DATE IT RIGHT:
The best seats are the ones left of the counter looking into the kitchen.
Definitely order a 1/4 lb. of prosciutto freshly sliced nice and thin right in front of you.
If a sweet Italian woman is bringing out the food strike up a conversation with her. She will send you straight to Italy.
Take home some of the arrabiata sauce. You'll regret it the second you don't.
STOP 2: Classic Ice Cream Bars @ Mateo’s
Post drive (or walk) to this spot the busy ladies behind the counter patiently watch as you scour the bizarre and outright unknown ice cream selections. When you ask for your 4th taster don’t feel bad, this is common practice for the tender footed newbie pressing their nose firmly against the glass. Tamarindo? I know that. Sapote Negro? No idea. Wait, what’s a Vampiro? Even the dairy free bars are approvingly gleaming at you in the other end of the freezer. The ice cream adventure may distract you from keeping your eyes on the bench out front. Don’t let it. When you’ve squared up the bill and have your creamy bounty in hand take a load off to enjoy the few moments left in the day. Napkins are highly recommended.
DATE IT RIGHT:
The parking lot is usually packed. There should be space on Victoria Ave. on the other side of Pico.
Try a flavor you don't recognize. You'll either be pleasantly surprised or have a solid laugh.
The key is to plan the ice cream eating with the sunset. The Magic Hour app is perfect for helping you time your pre-sunset moves.