MARINA DEL REY -Be it handmade pasta straight out of Italy, hand rolls prepared with the freshest fish, or a good old comforting cheeseburger, there’s something for everyone at the new Boardwalk Marina restaurants.
The trio of restaurants-UOVO, HiHo Cheeseburger and KazuNori-come from the same extended family of owners and each opened doors this month at the dining and retail complex by Pier 44 on the 4600 block of Admiralty Way.
UOVO made a name for itself when it opened in Santa Monica in 2017 with a claim to be the only place outside of Italy that serves fresh pasta made in Italy. Four years later, the company is still holding true to its promise and serves pasta handmade in Bologna and shipped overnight to Los Angeles.
In addition to the waterfront views, guests also have the options to watch their pasta being made at the indoor pasta bar. The chef prepares each dish separately and serves it directly to diners.
“Whether it’s a part of one of our five course tasting menus or a single plate of pasta, we make each dish individually, literally one at a time,” said co-founder Carlo Massimini, adding that this is nearly unheard of at any restaurant.
Lele Massimini and fellow co-founder Jerry Greenberg first had the idea to ship pasta from Italy after coming to the conclusion that it never tastes quite as good when it’s made in the US. From their perspective the traditional Italian pasta making methods, such as sheeting and cutting, and the Italian ingredients, such as red egg yolks, will always make for a superior product.
KazuNori also places an emphasis on traditional cooking methods and ingredients, but applies this to sushi and not spaghetti. The restaurant specializes in hand rolls and is named after the celebrated sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa who introduced the cylindrical-style hand roll to the United States over 40 years ago.
In the new Marina location guests can sit at the counter and watch the rolls being prepared in front of them. KazuNori comes from the team behind SUGARFISH, and brings the same authentic Japanese style and simplicity at a more affordable price point.
“Marina del Rey is home to the first SUGARFISH that opened in 2008, so for us it’s exciting to bring KazuNori to our same audience who has been so great to us over the years,” said co-founder Lele Massimini. “We look forward to seeing our guests enjoying Nozawa style hand rolls with a great view of the water.”
The final restaurant opening at the Boardwalk offers food from a little closer to home, but shares a similar commitment to honing in top quality ingredients.
HiHo, which like UOVO previously launched in Santa Monica, is now open on the Marina Boardwalk. HiHo specializes in cheeseburgers and makes each patty with 100 percent grass-fed Wagyu beef imported from a farming cooperative in New Zealand. The beef is sustainably raised, certified humane and both antibiotic and GMO free.
There is also a vegetarian burger on the menu, a fried chicken sandwich, and a series of classic American desserts including banana cream pie, key lime pie and cheesecake.
“We’re excited to open the doors of our new waterfront location,” said HiHo co-founder Matt Levin. “We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from our guests on the Westside since opening HiHo in Santa Monica and we look forward to serving the Marina community at Pier 44.”