I like the concept of the fast casual pasta restaurant. The national chain Noodles and Company does a decent job, and The Mac Shack is the local equivalent. Pasta Fresh has much more potential because it’s a smaller, chef-driven concept that emphasizes quality ingredients and house-made pasta created from scratch each day. The down side is that the place needs more refinement.

On both visits I’ve gotten food to go. It may not be an ideal way to sample a restaurant’s abilities, so maybe dining in will yield better results. The House salad ($8) was composed nicely with arugula, radish, candied walnuts, and apple slices. However, it was already dressed with honey vinaigrette, making it a wet, soggy mess by the time I got home. My wife took a single bite and tossed it. Having the dressing on the side would have ben a huge improvement, but I don’t think my wife cared for the taste of it at all.

I opted for their monthly special — a roasted pork loin ($9) with a butternut squash puree, sauteed vegetables, ginger crumbs and scallion-ginger aioli. The pork was dried out and tough, but the flavors were good.

My second visit I tried The Pesto ($10) — rigatoni pasta with pesto, olives, garlic, tomatoes, pecorino and topped with steak (for an additional $1.75) The portion size was plentiful and the home-made pesto was enjoyable, although the pasta was drowning in it. The thick and gummy texture of the pasta didn’t help matters.

Pasta Fresh is locally owned, so I’d be happy to give them another shot, but they do need to step up their game.

2.5 Stars

4165 S Grand Canyon Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89147
(702) 445-6163

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