There are few foods as beloved, yet as demonized, as pasta. It’s the ultimate comfort fare, but—owing to concerns over gluten sensitivity, empty carbs and the potential nutritional deficits of modern wheat—it’s also dietary enemy number one.
So we’re ecstatic that chef Bruce Kalman (the Chopped champion known for his seasonal Cal-Italian fare at Pasadena’s Union) is giving pasta a healthier makeover at the new Knead & Co. Pasta Bar in Grand Central Market. He’s doing so by hand-making fresh pastas from locally sourced, organic grains from Grist & Toll. While most industrial flour is made with a steel milling process that separates the grain’s germ from its bran, Grist & Toll grinds heritage grains in a stone mill—incorporating both the germ and bran and thereby preserving essential nutrients.
At Knead & Co., you’ll find pastas, such as charcoal wheat fusilli and rye rigate, made from these small-batch flours. Pick up some fresh pasta to cook at home ($12 to $18 per pound), or grab a seat at one of the stall’s stools to enjoy Kalman’s delectable creations like spelt cavatelli with spicy fennel sausage, chickpeas and rapini ($16). You can also try Grist & Toll’s whole grains in our favorite dish, the Tuscan grain bowl ($11)—a mix of purple barley, farro and rye topped with roasted carrots, carrot-top pesto, walnuts and fresh mozzarella.
All of the meats at Knead & Co. were raised with organic and humane practices, so feel free to indulge in the juicy porchetta panini ($14) or the Nonna’s meatballs with smoked guanciale ($11).
You’re going to want to pig out, but we trust you’ll use your noodle.
Knead & Co. Pasta Bar
Grand Central Market
317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles