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George | Jun 30, 2006 05:46 AM

Your grandmother made it for you when you were a kid. It is your Proust and the madeleines. You go to Rome and order it there: It is better. You come back home and make it yourself: Not bad, but not the same. You blame the eggs (they seem to have orange yokes in Italy? Are you buying the wrong eggs?). You don't have the real guanciale. You never use bacon. It takes you months to perfect your technique, and you are only using garlic, oil, pancetta, eggs, pepper, salt, and pecorino. The smallest slip, and the alchemy slips away. You have carbonara cooking contests with your best friends. You go back home to New York and get a bowl at the bar at Lupa, and the big guys behind the bar start to guffaw when you say you can make it better at home. "Guy likes his own cooking," they start shouting out down the length of the room. You weren't saying you make it better than Batali, but just whoever he had on pasta duty in that franchise that day. You wish you could find a place that makes the best carbonara--no penne allowed, spaghetti or bucatini only--in all of Los Angeles. You would go to that place, right away.

You want to know: Not who makes a good carbonara. Who makes the BEST carbonara. Opinions?

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