Chef Robbie Felice of Viaggio Ristorante and Osteria Crescendo is no stranger to critical acclaim. Still, when his “Wafu Italian” concept took on Miami this past winter, the praise was enough to surprise even Felice. One month of tasting menus in South Beach quickly turned into two when the locals begged Felice to stick around. Today, Felice along with his Pasta Ramen partner, Luck Sarabhayavanija of Ani Ramen, are preparing to take Pasta Ramen to the west coast for the very first time.
That’s right, the east coast restaurateurs are out to prove that it isn’t just the Atlantic food scene that they can dominate.
Pasta Ramen has been an evolving concept since late 2020 when Felice began dropping hints to guests that attended his Underground Tastings at Viaggio. The hints were never literal. Felice never said, “Oh, by the way, everything you just ate is part of a bigger picture.” Instead, he teased the concept by offering dishes that delicately combined Italian methods and Japanese flavors.
I dined with Felice during this period and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. In the two years since then, Pasta Ramen has grown in ways that are unfathomable. From professional athletes to supermodels, Pasta Ramen has served a plethora of guests looking for a night of luxurious eating. Fresh uni, A5 wagyu and pounds upon pounds of truffles shaved tableside are just some of what has kept Pasta Ramen so popular. As Felice and his crew prepare to take on the city of angels, it’s only a matter of time before Pasta Ramen is a nationwide name.
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Felice has long told me of his hopes to take his talents back to LA— where he spent time working early on in his career. Back in 2019, Felice said to me “I really want to make it out to Los Angeles.” When I responded that it wouldn’t be difficult considering his talent in the kitchen, he cut me off: “I need a real reason to go out there.” Three years later and Felice seems to have found his reason.
There’s a kicker, though. Pasta Ramen will be in LA for its longest continuously running stint since its inception: three months. You heard that right, from September through November, the Wafu Italian concept will be sticking around in Southern California— giving locals ample time to book their reservations.
It is a big test for Felice, who is confident that his talents have a rightful place in locations other than New Jersey. He has already proven this to be true with successful stretches in New York and Miami. For the two months Felice cooked in Miami, there wasn’t a Chef in town that was more talked about. When Robbie Felice steps foot in a city, he instantly becomes one of the best talents that the limits have to offer. He is that good.
As Felice has always done, the location is a secret. Diners will receive information upon booking and are asked not to share the details. Additionally, other guests and the menu remain a mystery— so, you never know what high-profile figure you may be dining next to or what you will be eating.
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Trust me when I say that if you love to enjoy the finer side of dining, this is a unique concept that you won’t want to miss. Unlike many other restaurants of this caliber, Felice and the Pasta Ramen crew offer a fun and lively experience. So, rather than sitting in silence at a white-cloth-covered table, dine in a sleek space with a cast of talent that is second-to-none.
For inquiries about making a reservation, click here.
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.