Pasta La Vista: Handmade Serenade
It’s a shy creature, Pasta La Vista; tucked into a nondescript street right off Ghazi Road, you find yourself wondering how you really got here in the first place. But the sign is edgy, and you stumble in anyway. And as you walk in, something smells right. Welcome to Pasta La Vista, the newest pasta joint in Lahore.
With handmade pasta, funky art (also pasta art), and a nostalgic playlist humming through the walls, it’s hard not to like Pasta La Vista in Lahore. It’s quaint but grand, dim but loud, and that’s a winning combination. The food, too, is nothing short of wholesome. When I heard it was run by some NCA alums, it all made sense.
I’m glad they didn’t throw the kitchen sink at the menu here. The starters at Pasta La Vista are limited, and there’s only a handful of entrees on offer. In their own way, they’re all specials. It’s a one-page affair, and it’s easy on the eyes. Check and check.
The Perry Bites and Sauteed Mushrooms are spicy, and not in a Nandos way. The Chinese green chilies are coated with breadcrumbs and egg wash and then deep fried: hot and crispy on the outside, and filled with cream cheese and cheddar cheese on the inside. Thin batter and fresh peppers make all the difference here.
The Steak Taco is genius, and yes I’ve had the ones at Hoagies. Ample quantities of tender, marinated beef incubated in a soft taco with crispy edges. Throw some sour cream up in there with some raw tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Toasty. Fresh. Warm. I f**ks with that. Though it’s just an appetizer, it’s easily my favorite thing on the menu. More people need to start doing tacos in Lahore. It’s a damn shame that I have to make my own. A damn shame.
The Lamb Shank with Basil Fettuccine is a masterstroke if you’re in the mood for something out of the box. It’s a small serving of fettuccine, topped with a barbecued lamb shank, and glazed with a smoky BBQ sauce. The plating is very insta worthy. Don’t sue me, but I taste some spinach in there too. It’s accompanied by sauteed vegetables, and ordering this will instantly make you the most interesting person on the table.
The Pesto Linguine, as described on the menu, is incredibly rich. The pesto is overpowering, but if you’re a basil and pine nuts kinda person, you won’t want to miss this. It comes with soft, seasoned chicken, and broccoli on the side, making it very, very green. Overall, a welcome addition to any dinner spread.
The Gnocchi in White Sauce is for the heavy hitters in your party. It’s incredibly heavy, as gnocchi can often be, but the bechamel and cheese sauce takes it to a whole new level. Add mushrooms to that mix and it’ll be the only meal you’ll be eating that day. The gnocchi is served with a rolled up cube of cross-sectioned chicken, garnished in parsley, and looks as good as it tastes.
The plating, if I may say so again, is intensely beautiful here. It’s that extra TLC that takes something ordinary and makes it extraordinary. The colors in and of the entrees are brushstrokes that drive the ‘artist-run’ point right home. The staff is well mannered, attentive, and full of enthusiasm – all smiles here.
I don’t know about you, but the next time someone asks me what new eatery they should try, I’ll bid them Pasta La Vista.