Here are a few things you need to know about Drago Centro: this restaurant is chic, glamorous and serves amazing Italian food and set the trend for high-end downtown dining as we now know it.
Chef Celestino Drago’s contemporary Italian eatery is completely contemporary, featuring 9,500 square feet of tasteful space, of which includes an open kitchen, private dining room, black Murano glass chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows, a free-standing glass wine tower and a demonstration kitchen in what was once the vault of the City National Bank. Cool, right? But it gets better.
Drago, along with his Chef de Cuisine Ian Gresik, creates everything from hand-made pastas to succulent meats with a classic meets contemporary je ne sais quoi that should keep everyone happy.
At the moment, the restaurant is offering a special truffle menu, which includes a wild mushroom risotto, seared diver scallops and a house-made handkerchief pasta with truffle butter, shaved white truffle and parmesan, which was so full of flavor and so exquisitely prepared that we polished off every single last bite. Needless to say, we highly recommend it.
Needless to say, you’re eating Italian food which, in general, can be filling, so start light. We thought the l’insalatadi pere with baby kale, bartlett pear, pinenuts and ricotta cheese topped with a champagne vinaigrette was the perfect dish to prepare us for the feast to come.
Drago specializes in pasta, so why not order one? gli spaghetti alla chitarra con il pesto—basil spaghetti alla chitarra, Sicilian almond-tomato and basil pesto—was an exquisite and simple affair, though it’s unlikely you can go wrong here. Other standouts include the i garganelli—garganelli, pork sausage, parmesan and fennel seeds for an extra kick—and le spaghetti—spaghetti, seared tuna, saffron and espelette bread crumbs.
We really must insist you order il pollo, though. This truffle crusted chicken breast with mushrooms, green beans and truffle crème is one of the best chicken dishes we’ve tried in Los Angeles thanks to its rich, tender meat and its very faint—but utterly delicious—hint of salt.
Drago Centro also offers some stunning Italian desserts, which, as you can expect, are quite rich. Though full to the brim, we couldn’t resist finishing la terrina—a chocolate and olive oil terrine, salted caramel gelato and almonds; the i bomboloni‚ doughnuts with lemon cream, plum jam and white chocolate gelato—is another great option.
While you’ll be certain to love the eatery’s extensive, Italian-heavy (naturally) wine list, we really recommend ordering a cocktail like the veneziano cammomila—prosecco, chamomile liqueur, lemon and house cinnamon-hibiscus bitters—or the earthy maguire gardens—tru garden vodka, cucumber, lime, sage and smoked salt.
At the end of the day, if you’re searching for a sophisticated, elegant evening in a modern setting with fabulous fare, Drago Centro is the place to do it.