My husband Peter and I finally made it downtown for dinner last Thursday. We keep meaning to spend more time in DTLA (DownTown LA), but it took “DineLA Restaurant Week” to get us to check out the sleek and sexy Drago Centro.
The special DineLA menu at the Italian hotspot offers three courses for $44, which is a great bargain (and very filling), but as usual we ordered some extras from the regular menu as well. The three of us (including our friend Laurieann) shared every dish, and now I can’t wait to go back and try the things I missed!
If you’re not familiar with Drago Centro, here’s what Jonathan Gold wrote about the restaurant in LA Weekly:
“Planted at the base of a formerly sterile office plaza, Centro may be the grandest new restaurant in this neighborhood since the early 1980s, a sprawling former bank space blown out into a double-height modernist dining room, punctuated in the middle by a glassed-in wine vault…”
I have to admit, sitting in the main dining room, near the enormous glass wine room was sort of powerfully intoxicating… but then again, it could have been the red wine and grappa!
All around it was a fun evening, especially spending time with sommelier Michael Shearin and our terrific server, Stefano. Make sure you ask for them if you plan on eating there soon (which you should)!
What we ate:
Amuse Bouche: Bocconcini with Pesto Mousse (compliments of the chef)
La Pancetta Brasata: Pork Belly, Farro, Spinach, Blueberries (Regular Menu $14)
La Burrata, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Crostino (Regular Menu $13)
Top: Antipasto Plate: Roasted peppers, Radicchio, Speck, Eggplant Puree, Burrata and Gnocco Fritto
Bottom: Garganelli, Veal Bolognese. (Both on DineLA Menu)
Smoked Salmon, Cauliflower Panna Cotta, Fennel (on DineLA Menu)
Braised Veal Cheeks, Endive, Parsnips, Almonds (on DineLA Menu)
Pork Belly Risotto, Rapini, Radicchio (on DineLA Menu) and yes it’s true… we ordered TWO pork belly dishes (so GOOD!)
Crispy Chicken, Assorted Beans & Veg (on DineLA Menu)
Desserts: Top Left: Mascarpone Semifreddo with Strawberries and Basil.
Bottom Left: Chocolate Coffee Cake, Vanilla Cream.
Right: Prosecco Mousse, Fennel Crumble, Citrus (All on DineLA Menu)
The custom-built glass wine vault.
Drago Centro’s private dining room with exhibition kitchen (in the former bank vault).
525 S. Flower St #120
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Dining Date: 10/08/09
Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly
Follow Drago Centro on Twitter
Follow Michael Shearin, Sommelier on Twitter
Drago Central, Private Dining
DineLA Restaurant Week
Photo above right: Grappa flavored with Chamomile made by Marolo