Osteria La Buca has a special place in our culinary hearts. Nestled just east of Paramount Studios, it seats about 30 people and serves what owner Graham Snyder calls "grassroots Italian" cooking. It's so delicious, even our picky foodinista friends rhapsodically recall dinners of egg-topped carbonara weeks after they've left the place.
Now we can all take Osteria's pleasures home via a new collection of packaged goods. Made on-site, offerings range from artisanal pastas ($10) to bacon fat-roasted almonds ($5) cooked in the restaurant's pizza oven. Olives ($6) are smoked in-house and packed with citrus rind, rosemary, garlic or chiles; bread and butter pickles ($6) are made with seasonal zucchini instead of cucumber.
Handiest of all, the versatile Mother Sauce ($13) is made with San Marzano tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil and smoked paprika, then slow-cooked for 24 hours. A basket with a taste of everything costs $45.
All items are sold exclusively at the restaurant, so we're stopping by to load up. To miss out would just be stunod.
Osteria La Buca, 5210 Melrose Ave.; 323-462-1900 or osterialabuca.com