To celebrate a special family occasion, we decided to have dinner at one of the most famous restaurants in Beverly Hills. We were particularly attracted to visit Spago, owned by famed celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, because of its superior reputation. One of the most famous restaurants (and chefs) in Beverly Hills, Spago is a great option for visitors to Los Angeles. Primetime reservations can be hard to come by, but an early dinner or lunch is usually possible with little advance notice. Local concierges can also make arrangements for peak times.
Where Is Spago? On North Cañon Drive in Beverly Hills, the restaurant is just around the corner from fashionable Rodeo Drive. The area features expensive restaurants, upscale boutiques and other exclusive shopping.
Impressive Spago: We made reservations for dinner on a Sunday night, and upon arrival, were greeted warmly by a formally-dressed maitre d. As we were escorted to our table in the main dining room, we observed the decor.
Totally redesigned just two years ago, the restaurant is all stainless steel and white tiles, with a side wall of floor-to-ceiling glass-windowed stacks of wine bottles. The room’s rear wall was also mostly glass. It allows diners perfect views of chefs preparing meals, as well as black-clad waiters scurrying along with platters and drinks.
Before Dining: We sipped our wine, and while reading the menus, scanned the room for movie and TV stars. We saw several with families, and not to be disturbed. Then, a familiar face appeared at our table. It was Wolfgang Puck himself, and he lingered to shake hands and exchange a few words of friendly greeting with each of us.
Our Dinner: We ordered from the extensive menu, which emphasized fresh, farm-to-table California-grown products, and featuring seasonal American cuisine. There were four of us at dinner, and each selected a favorite to experience at this special occasion. The main dishes we chose were Maine scallops, grilled veal chop, Garganelli lobster pasta, Dover sole and broiled short ribs. Each was accompanied by fresh vegetables, with choices including Brussels sprouts, Maitake mushrooms, potato purée and eggplant.
The steaming-hot dinners were brought promptly, along with a delicious selection of breads, flavored butters and pastas. The attentive waiters described the ingredients as they served us, and then returned frequently to check with us.
Dessert: We followed our enjoyable dinners with chocolate-based desserts. One, called black bowl, was a tasty crumble parfait, flavored with a touch of espresso and topped with a brûlée cookie.
The Bill: The food and atmosphere were so wunderbar, we considered the special occasion worth every dollar of the approximately $600 we spent, which included dinner, dessert, wine, tips, taxes and valet parking. We’ll always have our Spago memories of the most exciting dinner we ever enjoyed.
Wolfgang Puck Empire: In addition to the Beverly Hills Spago, he owns more than 20 restaurants, including those located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Singapore, major airports and elsewhere. The famed chef’s name is also on retail products in hundreds of food markets. Puck caters for many important events, including the 2014 Academy Awards. Additionally, he appears frequently on television food information programs, and has acted in several movies.
Spago: 176 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, open for lunch noon to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. Dinner hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday – Friday and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekends.
Ted Sherman has spent a lifetime traveling. With journeys to every continent, almost 100 cruises and multiple group tours, he enjoys sharing his travel experiences and knowledge with others. Follow Ted on Twitter, @travel4seniors and on his travel blog, travel4seniors.
More from this contributor:
Hotel Bel-Air – Hidden Luxury in Los Angeles
5 Historic Restaurants in Hollywood
Pasadena – A Great Weekend Getaway from L.A.