Trattoria La Siciliana 2993 College Ave./Ashby Ave., in Elmwood, (510) 704-1474. D daily; $$. Cash only. Reservations advised (taken for 3+).
Tables here are tucked into a narrow space with an upstairs area to help handle overflow. The menu is extensive, and all pastas are made from scratch on site. Meals are meant to be shared and begin with a tasty olive oil dip made with plenty of garlic and herbs and a hint of heat. Though it does seem difficult to order wrong, tried-and-true dishes include portobello mushroom ravioli, rollatini di Melenzane (eggplant rolls), pappardelle pasta with either a light mixture of sausage and kale or with a long-simmered pork ragu sauce, and sometimes lobster linguine.
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image ©2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers