The legendary Spago. Quirky, expensive, and impeccably run.
Working on an expense account, I've had the pleasure of eating here, several times, free of charge. If you don't have the same connections, then bust out the cash.
The ambiance of the restaurant is dated, reflecting its "eighties" heyday, and the food can be great one day, and just "fine" the next. And, at these prices, you'll want "great".
That said, the service is excellent, and it is the quintessential "California Cuisine" experience.
It's no secret the prices are skyhigh to keep the bistro from becoming a tourist haunt. And it's worked.
Favorite Dish: The beet salad is excellent, and though the pizza is famous, I've never been blown away. How bout a black truffle omelette?
And how about sitting at the bar and having a salad and glass of champagne? The wine list is amazing, and you'll feel it less in the pocket.
If seeking a celeb sighting, this is not the best dining choice, as it's not the hippest spot in town...though I did wait at the valet stand next to Sean Connery.
And you can see the valet from the bar ;)
Spago is the flagship Wolfgang Puck eatery, located in the heart of Beverly Hills. For years it has been the place of power lunches, romantic dinners, and casual drinks.
The art of dining has been perfected here with great food, lovely dining area and patio, and a great staff.
Spago Beverly Hills was awarded the 2005 Outstanding Service Award by the James Beard Foundation. In November 2007, The Michelin Guide announced Spago received two stars in the 2008 Los Angeles edition, one of only three restaurants in the city to win this distinction.
Favorite Dish: For lunch:
*CHINO FARMS SWEET WHITE CORN SOUP (yum!)
*Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms, Louisiana Crawfish and Caramelized Corn
*ROASTED CHINO FARM’S BEET LAYER CAKE
*Warm Sautéed Goat Cheese, Toasted Hazelnuts and Shallot-Citrus Dressing
*CAESAR SALAD WITH PARMESAN REGGIANO 16 (With Chicken) (A classic!)
*Fresh Burrata Mozzarella, Sweet Onions, Basil Aioli, Provencal Olive Oil,
Old Balsamic And Micro Basil
*SAUTÉED MARYLAND CRAB CAKE 24
*Assortment of Boutique Pizzas
*Pan Roasted Dover Sole
Spago is Wolfgang Puck's flagship restaurant. Its probably the most famous restaurant in LA, and deservedly so. The ambience is nice, but nothing over the top. There's definitely a feeling of money and eliteness in the crowd, but I guess you will encounter that in any five star restaurant. Spago (in Beverly Hills) is designed like various rooms (with minimal walls) around a center open-air courtyard. The service is first class (if you discount the hostess - who all seem a little snooty). However, the waiters are all professional and there to make your evening very enjoyable (although I've heard complaints that the service can be slow). My take is that you have to enjoy the entire experience, and I would rather have slow service than having the feeling of being rushed out of the restaurant.
This is definitely a place to impress your date. The food is excellent and the wine list superb. I think you would definitely classify the food as Californian with strong French and Asian influences. Yes, the place can be pricey, but I feel its worth the experience. You will need reservations, but not too difficult to obtain. (Also be warned, I've been to the Spago in Las Vegas and it doesn't compare).
Favorite Dish: If this is your first time at Spago, you must do the chef's menu with the matching wine tasting. I believe the multi-course chef menu (includes dessert) is about $150/person. The matching wine tasting is about $40. You just have to tell the waiter if there's something you can't eat at the start, and the food and wine will come out throughout the evening. Expect some fau gras and tuna tartare in the various courses, and definitely save some room for the amazing dessert.
We were greeted by valet, which was nice and not too expensive. When we walked in, everyone treated us with nothing but kindness. We had a drink at the bar as we waited to be seated and then went to our table. We couldn't decide what to order, but all decided on different things. The portions are small, and that's probably for the better. They bring around bread of different assortments that is very good. Also the wine to select from is very nice. It is a pricy restuarant, but you get a WONDERFUL meal out of it, and the ambience is so relaxing. Wolfgang Puck actually came around and shook our hands and everyone else as well.
Spago is everything you've ever heard it to be, and then more. It's simply fabulous.
From the time you are helped from your car by the valet and escorted to the very welcoming bar your night is perfection.
There wasn't a hint of the snobbery I might have expected. There's an open bar where drinks are served with a smile. The bar area is humming. I sat on a high stool and smiled as I surveyed all around me. There's a rather infamous open patio dining area just off the bar, with trees hung with fairy lights that sparkled magically in the dark. I had heard that this was where the very best guests are seated and although we weren't sitting there I saw more famous faces inside.
The waiters and the hostess were all happy to take lots of pics for me and didn't make me feel like a real tourist (which I was!).
The menu was wonderful and I wanted to order everything. To me that's always a sign of a great menu. It was imaginative coooking, with inventive combinations of taste and texture. I love that in food. I love to read a menu that makes me salivate just in the reading, and Spagos menu is one such carte.
The place is bright, it's airy, it's warm and atmospheric. I loved the backlit stained glass panels in the ceiling. I adored the sculpture outside the Ladies restroom - a rack of shoes stuffed with food, to represent the two things women love.
It was the very best meal that I had in my twelve night American holiday. I cannot wait to go back. yes, I bought the cook book, and yes I posed for a pic beside the Spago sign as I reluctantly departed.
Favorite Dish: The food was divine - did I say that already? Every mouthful was a gastronomic orgasm.
To start we ordered the tasting plate of foie gras done five ways. I am a foie gras fan anyway, but I have never in my life tasted anything so imaginative and delectable.
For our main course we shared the cote de beuf. Once again I have never tasted beef so moist, so tasty, so perfect. The outside was caramel dark brown, the inside just short of oozingly bloody red. When you touch it to your lips you become heady with the rich scent of aged beef, and as it lies on your tongue the juices envelop your mouth and the meat truly melts into your tastebuds.
I would go to LA again simply to eat here.
I never actually ate at these restaurants but I had to make several bookings at them a few times. I am told that they are famous with celebrities if you are hoping to spot one. They are pretty expensive and trendy and the service may be lacking if you are not someone important but if you just want to hang out for a drink, then you maybe in luck of seeing someone you know.
Spago has a revolving contemporary art display, with pieces by Jim Dine, Andy Warhol and Tony Curtis. The front of the restaurant overlooks the LA Basin, while the rear has a lushly landscaped atrium.
All types of food from around the world. From Beach cafe's to fast food, to family places to 5 star restrunts like Spagos. The Photo is a Restrunt called the Dive. It was designed by Stephen Spielberg. Food was not great, but the atmospher was.
Set up as a submarine.
Europa restaurant is the Spago of the 21st century.The food in this restaurant is the best I've ever had and I've been at some of the top restaurants in Southern California.Europa is a work art.To give you an idea on how good there food is.The first time I ever tasted there food I got goosebumps.Europa is the new hot spot in Los Angeles California.If you have not visit Europa you have'nt had good quality food.
Europa has a water fountain inside, and the atmosphere is amazing they have proffesional singers.But one of the things that realy surprized me was there Piccaso original paintings.
Favorite Dish: appetizer-Tzaziki (Greece)
soup-Roasted Red Bell Pepper (Franc)
salad-Caesar Salad (Italian)
entree-Donau Schnitzel (German)
dessert-Poached Pears (France)
Spago, Beverly Hills-for a really special occassion or if you want to try first class cuisine, go and dine at this world famous restaurant. You have to make reservations and semi formal attire is required unless you are a movie star. Still one of the best meals I've ever had.
Asia de Cuba- Mondrian Hotel, food is good, the location is next to Skybar, where you can actually look into Skybar. Good views of L.A. from the patio. Make reservations.
Buca de Beppo- Universal Citywalk, good family restaurant, generous portions, fun atmosphere.
Woo Lae Oak- Korean restaurant, if you have not tried Korean food, do yourself a favor and try it.
For those on a budget, two L.A. landmarks. First is Pinks on La Brea. They have the best chili dogs and the burgers are not bad. You will find lines anytime day or night. Secondly-Andre's in Town and Country Mall across from Farmer's Market. Generous portions of spaghetti, with or without baked chicken, the salad dressing is famous and it is cheap. A filling meal if you only have a few bucks to spare.
Favorite Dish: Asia de Cuba- try the calamari salad and the havana banana dessert.
Buca de Beppo- caesar salad, spaghetti with giant meatballs, pepperoni pizza
Woo Lae Oak-bulgoki, kalbi jim, they also have the best shrimp tempura.
Andre's- spaghetti with baked chicken, lasagne, and salad.
SPAGO Yes, you have heard of it, this restaurant is always associated with Hollywood events and the ideal place to spot stars. Anyway, for your information, if you want to dine at this restaurant, you better do it soon. News is: original Spago is going to close down by end of March 2001
There are many good restaurants in L.A. - though you pay the price for these fine meals. For Japanese (sushi plus traditional) Matsuhisa on La Cienega reigns supreme. For top restaurants overall - food, atmosphere, and service (though costly), my favorites for Gourmet California cuisine are Spago, Patina, and Michael's.
There are other interesting restaurants that should be experienced in LA because of their uniqueness: C&O Trattoria on Washington Blvd in Venice is a good value for its large variety of huge portions. Consumption of wine is self measured and every so often waiters break into song (providing patrons with song sheets so they can also sing along).
The Stinking Rose on La Cienega is another interesting restaurant if you like lots of garlic - even the bread is spread with a garlic paste (rather than butter or oil).
Several Indian restaurants in Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, etc. provide good, value priced meals.
Also, Ethiopian restaurants abound along Fairfax Avenue (a mile or so north of the 10 Freeway).
Chain restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory are popular for Los Angelinos - its menu is large as is its cheesecake selection.
Favorite Dish: Too many favorites to list - just try different dishes at the above restaurants (and for the most part stay away from beef). Being carnivorous, I prefer ordering meat outside of L.A. for better quality.