Classic, old-school spaghetti and meatballs

Ok, humor me for a minute.

Any favorite places for old-school spaghetti and meatballs?

You know, the kind with regular spaghetti noodles (hand made not required, though welcomed obviously), red sauce, and big baseball-sized meatballs?

I think my favorite is probably at Jones of Hollywood. Maybe because the dish comes served in a cast-iron skillet, who knows.

Used to enjoy the version served at [Little Dom’s] (, but I think I like the red, checkered table cloths at Jones.

Ridiculous, yes. So humor me.

I had a hankering for tomato sauce last night, and went to Fabiolus. Oddly I got the owner and he recommended the Penne ala Siclilana. I told him I wanted a tomatoey pasta and I got it. I thoroughly enjoyed the dish. I took it to go, and when I got home; they packed it with bread and dip for the bread, along with the normal freshly grated Parmesan I would expect.

It’s not spaghetti and meatballs. But it’s a sauce I like.

Any place other than Rao’s. I haven’t hit up the Hollywood location (thankfully)–but my cousins from Boston insisted we go to Rao’s when I met them in Vegas. Uggggh. The meatball may be baseball size, but totally tasteless. Sauce—not good, too sweet. Pasta—eh.

When I’m craving old school red sauce stuff I usually just make it @ home—veal or chicken parma, spaghetti/meatballs or meatball sub. I bet Dan Tana’s probably does a decent version (@ $$ more than it should be).

(and as a side note—I still can’t figure out why the cousins needed a red sauce place in Vegas when there is a whole world of MUCH better red sauce places in Boston!!!)

Good quality dried pasta is really preferable for spaghetti and meatballs, at least in this 1/2 Italian’s opinion.
I too, always make it at home.


House of Meatballs, in Westwood Village.

You can picks your balls. (Sorry, no Schweddy balls…)


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For the lols…Vince’s Spaghetti

if you’d specified tennis ball sized, i’d have asked how they had to be served.

When this was DOTM on the other site, I recommended the same as I will now: Vito in Santa Monica. The best spaghetti and meatballs around. Two tennis ball sized veal meatballs served on old fashioned spaghetti and marinara that many would call “gravy”.

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Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock.

Cheap neighborhood old-school red-sauce italian.

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The meatballs are smaller than requested, but La Vecchia on Main Street in Santa Monica.

I Definitely endorse Taste of Hoboken, the informal tratorria next to Matteo’s on Westwood…it is a real, old school red sauce joint!

Personally a fan of little Toni’s in noho. Plus, now you can get a good drink there as well.

Thank you for the tip. I have cravings now and then for spaghetti & meatballs and forgot about Casa Bianca.

Pinocchio’s / Monte Carlo in Burbank serves a fine version.

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I haven’t been in years, but used to be fond of Pinocchio’s…far from the best, but good value for the money. And as I’m recently working in the BUR again, may have to go see if it’s still good.

have they changed the bar or something?

Palermo’s in Los Feliz?

They completely changed the bar and now serves some very solid cocktails.

It was years ago, but I remember being impressed by the spaghetti and meatballs at Musso and Frank.

Vince’s Spaghetti at 1206 W Holt Blvd, Ontario between Mountain and Central is 100% old school. The food, the building, the setting, much of the staff. This is the real thing. It is evocative of another era, specifically the 1940s
You wont find arugula in your salad. My wife says it reminds her of her Italian Catholic grandparents basement in Pittsburgh, Pa where their 6 kids, spouses and grandkids gathered for huge family meals on holidays. The spaghetti is great and is pretty much all they serve.