Spago – Beverly Hills, CA
I’m sure you’ve heard of Spago before. If not Spago, then maybe Wolfgang Puck. Chef Puck is one of the most renowned chefs in the Los Angeles area, if not the world. Spago is his flagship restaurant, where the best of his creations were born. Puck’s restaurants have been very commercialized, but I can say that Spago definitely still deserves to be noticed. Make reservations in advance for this one and request a seat in the patio area for the perfect Beverly Hills dinner.
To start, they brought an amuse bouche. This small serving was a shot of some of the most flavorful corn chowder you’ll ever have. The corn used was extremely fresh and sweet. The corn is pureed, with other ingredients, into a smooth, creamy, and delicious chowder. A great start to the meal.
The first breads they offered were a cream cheese/spinach bread and lavash. The cream cheese bread was slightly tangy from the cream cheese and had a crusty exterior. They provided their version of lavash, a middle eastern flat bread usually in Armenia and surrounding countries. Their form of lavash was very crisp and topped with pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.
The other bread they had was just a classic baguette. Crisp on the outside, soft and airy on the inside.
Maple Pork Belly Macaron
This starter was another amuse bouche. The macaron itself was crisp, yet extremely light, like a macaron should be. It had a fantastic maple flavor, which complemented the pork well. The pork belly was cooked well, the fat was rendered well and the meat was tender. The macaron was topped with an egg yolk jam, which was sweet and gave the bite an almost “breakfast-y” feel. All of this was put together and dusted with espresso powder, which provided a faint rich, bitterness.
Tuna Tartare Cone
This tuna tartare cone is a whimsically prepared bite. The cone is crisp and sugary, filled to the brim with tuna tartare. The tartare is made using the freshest, highest quality tuna and tossed with various spices. The crisp cone contrasts the soft, melt in your mouth tuna.
Spanish Octopus in Young Coconut
This octopus ceviche was charred on the outside, which gave the dish a bitter flavor. The octopus was served inside a young coconut with a spicy coconut-habanero broth. The cucumber and avocado in the dish provided a very fresh element. Take a bite of the tender octopus and then use the spoon to get a taste of the delicious broth. The flavors meld together wonderfully!
Squid Ink Garganelli with Lobster
Sweet, succulent lobster tossed with rich, briny squid ink pasta. The deep color of the pasta makes you think “wow” when it is sat in front of you. The pasta was had the perfect texture, not overcooked nor under. The slightly briny pasta worked well with the lobster, bringing out the flavors of the lobster even more.
Succulent, tender veal that has been cooked over a grill, giving a slight char to the meat. The pea puree was creamy, luscious, and fresh, which brightened up the dish.
Overall, even though Wolfgang Puck has expanded to many commercial ventures, it seems that his flagship Spago in Beverly Hills still holds strong. The dishes are crafted with precision and skill. A “must try” if you are into food and want the “LA Experience.”