It used to be served with meatballs. These days, just about anything goes on this most famous of pastas.
* Il Pastaio: Spelt (farro) is an ancient cousin of modern durum wheat. It makes a flavorful, pleasurably chewy pale brown spaghetti. To showcase its virtues, this unusual pasta is dressed simply with fresh ricotta, lemon juice and lemon zest. (Spelt spaghetti, $11.50.) Il Pastaio, 400 N. Can~on Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 205-5443.
* Cicada: At lunch, try spaghetti all'Emiliana con lenticchie, rucola e gamberi: spaghetti with Italian lentils, arugula and rock shrimp, plus a bit of olive oil and garlic. At dinner, fresh spaghetti is topped with salmon and broccoflower in a light caviar cream sauce--surely this humble pasta has never had it so good. (Spaghetti, $15 to $18.) Cicada, 617 S. Olive St., Los Angeles; (323) 655-5559.
* Tanino: Spaghetti al nero di seppie e seppioline is spaghetti with a black sauce of baby squid and squid ink, flavored with a touch of curry. It's a surprise hit at this new Westwood Italian restaurant. (Spaghetti, $14.50.) Tanino, 1043 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 208-0444.