I love visiting the Helms Bakery District in Culver City – with Father’s Office, Lukshon, and the hopeful promise of chefs Sherry Yard’s and Sang Yoon’s forthcoming bakery, it satisfies such a wide range of my foodie cravings! I just recently discovered how absolutely delightful dining at the complex’s Italian mecca of fresh pasta, Buccato, truly is. Though the restaurant’s chef and co-owner, Evan Funke, recently departed from Bucato this past May, the Bologna, Italy-based study he underwent with master pasta maker Alessandra Spisni remains a prominent influence in Bucato’s approach to Bolognese cuisine. There are certain dishes in particular on the restaurant’s menu that are hard to pass up – for example, the Sicilian sfincione (“sponge”) recipe utilized for Bucato’s focaccia with rosemary, olive oil, and sea salt creates the most incredibly soft, warm, spectacularly doughy pillow of bread that I fought the urge to inhale on the spot. The “fresh” fattoria portion of the menu focuses on seasonal vegetable dishes, the likes of sautéed sprouting broccoli served with garlic, pickled chilies, pecorino romano, and breadcrumbs. But the star of the restaurant’s menu is clearly the Pasta Fatta a Mano, or “pasta made by hand,” without the aid of pasta machines or electric mixers. In my book, the buttery, curly take on Cacio e pepe -- perfectly highlighting the handmade pasta, black pepper, and Pecorino Romano cheese – is one of the best I’ve ever eaten and now leaves me dreaming of the beautiful simplicity of this delicious dish on a daily basis!