Spago, Beverly Hills

>> July 29, 2012

My friends and I used to walk past Spago, back when it first opened on the Beverly Hills strip.  We would peer in through the windows and look at the menu outside before turning to each other and tut "This place is too fancy for Beverly Hills!" Fresh pasta and a pasta machine in the front window, newly designed interiors, mural on the wall and wine racks at the back.  During these early days, the restaurant would often be empty and I silently thought to myself that it would most likely shut down soon, a victim to low patronage.

Fast forward a bit in time and Spago did some Cudo deals.  I didn't use any vouchers but it seemed a lot of them were sold because Eatability reviews were popping up from people who had used the vouchers. 

Now it's 2012 and I have finally gone to Spago.  Not once, but twice within the space of two weekends. And both times that I have been, on Saturday nights, the restaurant has been filled to capacity.

What was the motivator for finally trying it?  It's in the Entertainment Book!  It is one of the restaurants listed at the start of the book, meaning you have to show your card for the offer.

I was surprisingly pleased with the food on the first visit, so much so that I returned the following Saturday night.  This post shows what we had over the two visits - the funny thing was, the menu changed slightly between the visits and the prices had gone up slightly as well!  So I've listed the 'new' prices with each dish.

Entrees

Baby Octopus Salad ($15)
Char grilled baby octopus with chili and garlic, tossed with cherry tomato, red onion, rocket and balsamic reduction


The serving size of this salad was incredibly generous and there was a healthy dose of balsamic dressing smothering the salad.  The octopus had a lovely grilled flavour and was very tender.

Lobster bisque ($13)
Creamy seafood soup, cooked with lobster shells and fish stock, served with king prawns and crab meat



If you don't like the taste of 'fishy' soups, then this wouldn't be for you.  As it was, I love seafood flavours and found this to be a tad too salty.

Char grilled mushrooms ($12)
King oyster mushrooms with chili, garlic and extra virgin olive oil




These mushrooms were ordered on both visits.  This dish changed between the visits - initially served with some rocket but served with haloumi on the second visit.  I preferred the haloumi.  

To be honest, I normally wouldn't order a vegetarian dish from the menu but these mushrooms were absolutely delicious.  Grill marks scored the mushrooms and it had an amazing charred flavour. 

 Angus beef carpaccio ($13)
Thinly sliced Angus beef tenderloin with horseradish, truffle pecorino and truffle oil
 

Now this is definitely a fancy dish that you wouldn't normally see in Beverly Hills.  I loved the light truffle flavour covering the paper thin beef slices and the pretty plating too. 

 Mains

 Special of the day - grilled ocean trout with mussels, prawns and saffron stew

Lobster bisque risotto ($28)
Aborio rice cooked in lobster bisque, blue swimmer crab meat, scallop, king prawns and marscapone cheese
 


Fettucine marinara ($27)
Fresh black mussels, king prawns, squid rings, crab meat, scallops and Napoletana sauce


 Pumpkin Agnolotti ($24)
In-house made ricotta cheese and pumpkin, burnt butter sauce, sage and walnuts


The serving sizes for the mains were also quite generous.  My friend could not finish her giant plate of spaghetti marinara and the waitress kindly packed it to go for us.

Chips with truffle aioli ($6)

 

These chips were addictive.

Last but not least, desserts.

 Affogatto ($6)

 Pannacotta with mixed berries coulis ($9.50)

The vanilla bean pannacotta was smooth and gave a great end to both meals.

I'm so pleased to have discovered this little gem in Beverly Hills, I hope it sticks around for a bit longer!

Spago on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

chocolatesuze July 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM  

mmm i like the look of the lobster bisque!

Vivian - vxdollface June 24, 2013 at 12:23 AM  

ooh mum wanted to check this place out but then we forgot about it, that lobster bisque risotto looks good :)

retrodaze June 24, 2013 at 10:11 PM  

Hi Vivian: Thanks for your comment! Funnily enough, I was there last week because Spago is in the 2013/2014 Entertainment Book and my friend wanted to use her voucher. It was just as good!

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