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Feb 21, 2007 11:10 AM

Spago Bev Hills @ Lunch

Dearest Hounds ~

In an attempt to check off a few must-try restaurants before we leave for the east coast for graduate school, my girlfriend and I have made plans to dine at such hotspots as Pizzeria Mozza, Campanile, and Spago (among others). Since many of these culinary treasures are out of our normal dining budget, we thought we might be able to save a few bucks by opting for lunch reservations rather than dinner. That said, I do have a few questions about lunch at Spago, and your insights would be greatly appreciated. If time and date matters, we're booked for Saturday, March 3rd @ 2pm.

So, here goes:

1) Indoors or out? I hear there's a lovely garden patio at Spago. Is that the place to sit? How likely is the restaurant to accomodate a request for a particular table?

2) Is the lunch menu any more affordable than the dinner menu? Or does it make no difference at a place like Spago? Also, is the lunch menu limited - meaning, are certain entrees not offered at lunch?

3) We'll have a budget of about $100. Neither of us drink, so we'll likely just order water to drink, as is our usual custom. If we split an appetizer, order 2 entrees, and split a dessert, should $100 be enough?

4) Is the tip included in the bill?

5) And finally, I'd be interested to hear what you all think are the MUSTS at Spago. Best options for appetizer? Entree? Dessert? My girlfriend rarely eats beef, so chicken/pork/seafood dishes are a better bet for her. As for myself, I like a nice hunk of beef every now and then, but will gladly try anything that's the house specialty.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!

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  1. 1. Definitely sit outdoors!
    2. Dinner is pricier. Check out the menus online:
    3. See #2
    4. No.
    5. I love their agnolotti -- but, really, everything is quite good. Goulash and schnitzel are solid takes on the Austrian classics; if you want to go totally '80s, get the smoked salmon pizza. :) And although I haven't tried it, my husband says they make an excellent burger at the bar.

    Spago is an LA institution and I understand your desire to want to check it out before moving away. But if you really want a terrific, higher end dining experience that is signficantly less expensive, you've got to go to Hatfield's before you move. The place flat-out rocks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hungrygirl106

      the schnitzel is as big as a frisbee.
      i havent tried it, but it didnt look particularly fine. i mean, its a big piece of fried meat! ok, i know i've made someone mad...
      i've only had the tasting menu... and that was a few years ago... definitely sit in the patio, the main dining room feels cheesy...

      1. re: modernist

        The main dining room is beyond cheesy. It's where everything bad about '80s decor went to die. Which is astonishing because the original location on Sunset had a much better room and that actually was designed in the 80s.

        1. re: hungrygirl106

          yeah it feels orange county to the max in there. i liked the old spago location too, although i only managed to eat there like twice.

          i also agree on hatfields. tried to make reservations there for tonight for a party of five but there was no space.

    2. I don't know that I can answer all of your questions, because I was there last June while traveling and I don't remember everything, BUT it was wonderful! I am not sure that $100 will cover everything you want to order for lunch. We were there for my boyfriend's birthday and did splurge a bit, but I still think $100 won't be enough. We sat at a table that was half inside/half outside. It was pretty cool. The garden patio is lovely and if you call ahead as we did, I am sure they will do their best to accommodate you. I remember my boyfriend had a cheeseburger (yeah, believe that or not. LOL go to Spago for a cheeseburger!) I had the linguine with lamb meatballs. DELICIOUS! They brought out this fabulous chocolate layer cake for his birthday and it was so very, very tasty! For appetizers, I remember we had oysters, but I can't remember what else. The oysters were great!

      The tip was not included in the bill.

      Enjoy it! It really was a great meal and a fun experience.

      1. Just remember that smokers will be outside.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I believe there was some discussion about this a few months ago, but basically it is allowed to smoke anywhere that is outside (except in Calabasas) and a few places that really seem like they are inside, such as the patio at Opus and the patio at James Beach. People have definitely complained about this at Spago but as of now I don't think they've changed their policy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chowpatty

              You can smoke at Spago on the patio.