Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spago Beverly Hills: An American Seasonal Restaurant

dineLA Restaurant Week was our chance to try something new and a little more pricey. To choose from the over 200 restaurants participating in the deal was, to say the least, hard, but in the end we decided on Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills. We each opted for the dineLA prefixed menu.

The waiter comes around with a delightful assortment of bread to choose from before our appetizers came along. We especially liked munching on the fragrant olive bread and the crunchy flat bread.

The Chino Farm's Autumn Harvest Pumpkin soup is an excellent example of how Spago is a "seasonal American restaurant." Pumpkin and pears are very much in season and the pumpkin soup shows the deliciousness that results from combing these two fruits in a dish. The soup by itself is creamy and sweet. Delicious. Add in the bits of crispy tart pears, the appetizer is scrumptious.

Wesley's appetizer was the Lobster Ravioli with confit cherry tomatoes, and a basil shellfish butter. The ravioli skin is almost as soft as butter. The lobster smell radiates from the little dumplings, causing salivation right before it hits the mouth. This delicate dish is light and creamy and the highlight of the whole dinner.

Evelina's entree was the Pan-Roasted Casco-Bay Cod with puree and ragout of gigante and cranberry beans, pancetta, and a wild mushroom mascarpone emulsion. The beans and mushrooms added an earthiness to the seafood dish. The cod reminded her of a halibut in texture, as it was not as flaky and soft as she hoped. Consequently, the cod dish was slightly unsuspecting and only mildly pleasant in flavor.

Wesley's entree was a the Kurobuta Pork Chop with a pear-ginger compete, sautéed escarole, raisins, pine nuts, and a Chinese 10 spice and port-licorice reduction. A combination of flavors take over this dish. The pork chop is slightly sweet from the sauce and slightly tart from the spread of pear puree. A highly recommended dish for those looking for a variety of unsubtle flavors.

Our first dessert was the Apple Vol Au Vent with caramelized Braeburn apples, almond crumble, and a caramel swirl ice cream. The warm, crispy, flaky apple tart was a creamy ending to Wes's lovely prefixed meal. It tasted like fuller body apple pie. Characteristically flaky and warm, but also crunchy and cold from the crumbled almonds and dollop of ice cream.

We also opted for the Chocolate Purse, a crispy crepe that includes a warm chocolate ganache, port sautéed cherries, and vanilla ice cream. The dark chocolate filled crepe ended Evelina's prefixed dinner at Spago. The heavy chocolate pouch of chocolate bled through the crepe. It screamed eat my chocolate-y filling.

A full course meal at Spago would normally run well over a hundred dollars not including drinks. But since dineLA week was going on, we were able to keep it just below that, not including drinks. We really enjoyed the chef's use of seasonal fruits and vegetables and after giving it a try, we more willing to shell out some extra cash for a special romantic date or a celebratory dinner with family and friends.

Spago Beverly Hills
176 North Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, California 90210 

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  1. Yum. After all these years, I've still not been. My brother-in-law gave us a gift card, though, so we may remedy this soon.

  2. Great write-up, guys! Spago is definitely high on my to-eat list. I consider this place the quintessential Los Angeles fine dining experience.

  3. love the use of the candle for lighting and the effects on the first shot!

  4. Great review guys! I really loved that first pic as Hong pointed out!