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As I have been doing for the past few articles, I’m reviewing places that are close to the Rio where the World Series of Poker is going on thru mid-July.  

The WSOP brings so many poker players to Las Vegas and when there are thousands of players in a tournament and everyone gets their dinner break at the same time it’s tough for everyone to get in and out for dinner with just a 60- or 75-minute break. 

For me, the easiest thing to do is to leave the property and one of the spots I like to go to is Pasta Mia located at 4455 W. Flamingo Road just up the street from the Rio. I’ll give you a little tip: call ahead and place your order and your meal will be ready when you arrive, so you get a great meal and have plenty of time to get back to the tournament. 

If you have the time and live on the east side of Las Vegas, Pasta Mia has a second location located at 1955 E Tropicana Ave. It is open for both lunch and dinner and if you love traditional old school Italian dishes, you are going to love the menu at Pasta Mia. 

I have had so many dishes here over the years but some of my favorite dishes are the Chicken Parmigiana, Fettuccine Shrimp, Gnocchi alla Romana and often times they have Rack of Lamb as one of the daily specials. 

The Chicken Parmigiana is one of the most basic Italian dishes but Pasta Mia’s is so good. I hate when there is too much breading on the chicken as I want the breading to compliment the chicken, not overpower it, and Pasta Mia’s is perfect. 

One of my favorite pastas is Gnocchi if it’s cooked right. Don’t give me over-cooked mushy gnocchi as I like my pasta al dente and that’s the way it’s served. I highly recommend getting their meat sauce. 

As you know from my previous reviews, when it comes to the sauce or gravy, I’m extremely picky because everyone’s sauce will be compared to my mom’s and Chef and Owner Armando Martinez nails it with his meat sauce. Trust me, my mom would love his sauce.    

All guests get a hot basket of bread when they sit down. No big deal, right? Everyone serves hot bread. But at Pasta Mia, it’s a basket of fresh hot garlic bread and it’s so good. But don’t fill up on bread because you will want to save room for Pasta Mia’s own Cheesecake or Tiramisu for dessert. 

The service at Pasta Mia is excellent as the staff is very friendly and attentive and great with menu suggestions. Bring a big appetite as the portions are huge and even though I don’t leave food on my plate that often, I’m usually taking a doggie bag home which makes for a great lunch the next day. I give Pasta Mia a rating of 3.75 Forks.  

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