Considering the staffs at so many fine French establishments on the Strip are dominated by Mexican-Americans, should it really come as a surprise that a Martinez can cook classic Italian? That’s what chef Armando Martinez, a Piero’s kitchen alum, is doing at Pasta Mia West, a longstanding Italian eatery tucked into the back corner of a strip mall on Flamingo west of Arville.
Although I’ve passed the space hundreds of times over the years, it took the insistence of an Italian friend to finally prompt me to check it out. I’m glad I’m finally in on the secret.
During one visit I tried the veal parmigiana ($24), which came layered with a generous helping of perfectly browned mozzarella and housemade marinara sauce. You should, too, unless calf isn’t your thing, in which case order it with either chicken or eggplant. As a dinner entrée, the dish is served with standard penne pomodoro and a surprising salad with tangy housemade Italian vinaigrette and marinated tomatoes.
Another dish worth trying is the chicken marsala ($11). The sauce itself is slightly sweeter, with a bit more alcohol present than other versions I’ve had, but that didn’t stop us from sopping it up with complimentary garlic bread.
- Pasta Mia West
- 4455 W. Flamingo Road, 251-8871.
- Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-10 p.m.
Don’t pass on vegetables. Pasta Mia has a great sautéed spinach ($8), prepared with olive oil, garlic and a touch of cracked red pepper. The dish’s slightly crunchy texture and simple yet successful taste are perfection. If you’d like something heartier, you can even order it as a pasta presentation ($11) and make a meal of it, though I think the spinach works better on its own.
Dinner specials—with prices (thank you)—are listed on a chalkboard, which stays tableside until you’ve ordered, a nice touch. And keep the outdoor patio in mind for spring’s warmer weather.
Pasta Mia: approachable Italian fare in a welcoming setting. I know I won’t go another 100 drive-bys before stopping in again.