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Spago or CUT?

Or Dan Tana's? We'll only be in this area 3 nights & only want to do 1 splurge. I've done tons of reading & researching but only these 3 stand out to me so far. We'll be staying in W. Hollywood (Le Montrose), no car & I won't rent one.

Any splurge restaurants you think are more worthy? It's myself & my son who is 19 if that makes any difference. He has great taste & enjoys good food like me but could care less about choosing - he leaves that up to me. I'm not thrilled with the price of CUT - especially because I know I'd want to try the Japanese Wagyu, and I'm still debating about "go big or go home"...(we're from Vancouver). Spago I'm thinking of, because it's "Spago"...

I'm not so much looking for celebrity chef as we did most of those in NY last summer, i.e...Batali, Ramsay, etc. but I am interested in "Hollywood memorable" good dining...


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  1. If you're looking for steak, stay away from Spago... been there twice and ordered the steak and they can't cook it right to save their life. I've heard the tasting menu is the thing to get there so keep that in mind.

    I recommend Cut.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrshankly

      Thank you mrshankly, it doesn't have to be steak...though we like steakhouses, and do try one on every vacation, but this time, we just want it to be a good "Hollywood" splurge!

    2. You will not go wrong at either Spago or Cut. Both have star quality, both have Puck's staff and professionalism. If you enjoy tasting menus then put yourself in the chef's hands at Spago, but if you are hankering for beef then do a comparison of some of the different cuts and aging methods at Cut. Spago has the option of their garden patio, while Cut is more modern and in a ritzy BH hotel. The tasting menu at Spago is extravagant, but if you do more than taste a sliver of the Wagyu Cut may actually end up costing more, especially with red wine. Either one is a worthy choice, much superior to Dan Tana's.

      1. there is only one spago and a dining experience it will be for both of you. as recommended get the tasting menu; it will not disappoint. you can find wagyu at any number of steak places these days and cut to me is just another steak joint and there are better ones in this city besides. as for dan tana, why? not in the same league.

        again, there is only one spago....

        3 Replies
        1. re: eder

          can you list the steakhouses that you feel are better than cut?

          1. re: wilafur

            OH...not trying to compare steak! Just trying to do a "Hollywood" worthy visit! I agree with eder that maybe I should look for Japanese Wagyu at home, but I won't pay like that at home...

            I was only asking about Dan Tana for the atmosphere, but it is still pricey looking at the menu...

            I'm just having a hard time trying to figure out which place to choose!

            1. re: ck1234

              i got ya. but i am curious as i've not yet had a great steak in LA....still on the hunt.

              for lunch, go to the ivy on roberston....quintessential la-types....and you will more than likely see a star or two or six.

        2. I'm going to say Spago; the place is just so iconically "LA." That being said, I do believe CUT is the top steakhouse in the City. Dana Tana wouldn't be on my radar.

          Now, if you want to go all out, there's always Urasawa if you like Japanese. It's $350pp but it is an experience that really can't be duplicated anywhere else in the States (except at Masa in NY for $500+pp). Here is a recent report: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610975

          1. been to both a few times and Cut wins by a big margin.

            1. Hi ck1234,

              If it's between the 3 you listed, I'd first ask: What are you really in the mood for? For CUT it'd be about the Wagyu steak. If you want something else, something truly "L.A." you should give Spago's Tasting Menu a try (which really allows the kitchen to get creative with your meal). Here are some pics from my last visit:


              1. Thank you everyone. I've discussed it with my son & he said he'd be fine with Spago...possibly. Here's the problem: Do the tasting menus give you a choice? He does not like menus that are SET with no choice. OR, if it is set, does your whole table have to order it? I looked at the website but it doesn't say much except that they offer 5 course tasting menus. He'd be fine if he could go ala carte if he didn't like the menu and I know I want a tasting menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ck1234

                  Hi ck1234,

                  The Tasting Menus can be adjusted if your son has food preferences / allergies, etc. When I've gone, the servers have been really accommodating and can switch out something during the tasting. From reports from people who've tried ala carte, the Tasting Menu is definitely the way to go at Spago.

                2. Ck, if you're looking for the Hollywood experience, scrap the three places and experience the tasting menu at Providence. You won't regret it.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mrshankly

                    Respectfully beg to differ re: Providence and its willingness to adapt to allergies and personal preferences. We chose Providence for our anniversary dinner last year in large part to the worship it gets on this board, and were assured here and by the staff of Providence in advance that Providence could and would adapt chef's menu to allergies. We gave advance notice re: allergies. When we arrived, Providence refused to accommodate. Given the op's indication that his son wants menu flexibility, I don't think Providence is the place for it. Also, if the op wants good steak, Providence is not the place for it.

                    1. re: lawdog262

                      It's second hand, but I know of someone else having a similar experience at Providence where they were totally inflexible with someone who had dietary restrictions.(not allergies). Unless you eat everything, a tasting menu at Providence is chancy.

                      1. re: lawdog262

                        "We chose Providence for our anniversary dinner last year in large part to the worship it gets on this board"

                        After all the ancients were correct, idol worship is bad for you.

                        1. re: lawdog262

                          Wow, lawdog!! That definitely is unlike a restaurant of that caliber to not accommodate. I didn't have any special requests when I ordered but, if anything, special requests like yours should be honored and even anticipated. Sorry about your experience.

                      2. Need to throw Craft into the mix. It will require a short taxi, but imho Craft is the best L.A. restaurant experience right now. Great food, service and ambiance. Tom Collichio's crew have a winner here! I like it a lot better than Spago...and I've not been to Cut, but am told that it's an excellent steakhouse for those who want the best and will pay absolutely top dollar. Do yourself a fav and go to Craft!

                        1. I've always had a fantastic dining experience at Spago, top to bottom, both in the lovely dining room and magical outdoor patio with the little twinkle lights. I've always ordered a la carte and had great food so I don't think you're beholden to do the tasting menu if you don't want to. And it is one of the last of the relatively old school great LA restaurants. Cut's great too, but if you're only going to do one, I'd do Spago. Dan Tana's on the other hand likes to leave people waiting sometimes for hours in their crowded bar area while "somebodies" or people with the appropriately denominated bill in their fist cruise on by. The food, to my mind is okay, but the attitude is inexcusable. The room is also nothing to write home about. My two cents, Spago, Cut's great too but Spago gives you the whole enchilada, and forget about Dan Tana's. Have a great visit!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: PinotPlease

                            Again, thanks for all the comments. I emailed Spago & they said there is no choice on the Tasting Menu, that it changes nightly (no course choices) & "ideally" the whole table should do the Tasting Menu because of the course timing. They didn't flat out say no...but...

                            I guess I'll go in the with the mindset that if my son doesn't like the Tasting Menu I'll just order ala carte too. If it's only one course he doesn't like I'll see if they will adjust. We did Eleven Madison Park Tasting Menu in NY and had no choice and he really didn't like it...the length of the meal, and he only liked 2 courses out of 5. It was so pricey, it just seemed like a waste of money after. All the other Tasting menus, when there was a choice in each course - he had no problem!

                            I think it'll be fun telling everyone we went to "Spago" in Beverly Hills. Everyone gets a kick out of where I dine on vacation, and can't believe what I spend! lol. I think it'll cover the "Hollywood" experience I'm looking for...

                            Thanks again - I appreciate the thoughts!!!