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Drago Centro?

  • Grog Jun 26, 2010 04:58 PM
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How's the: tasting menu? cocktails? noise?

TIA-

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Drago Centro
525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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  1. 1. No idea. 2. Strong and professionally made. 3. Surprisingly comfortable.

    Went about 4 months ago maybe. Nice space, great service, tasty food. Music Center crowd. Felt very grown-up. Recommend.

    1. went once a couple of months back, trying to get back again. Decor a bit sterile but food and drinks were great. Low noise, not a "clubby" place. Would recommend it.

      1. 1. didn't do the tasting menu, look up exilekiss' review for a thorough evaluation of it though.

        2. Cocktails are superb.

        3. Noise is very low, meaning we had a long pleasant conversation at or below a normal speaking voice. sort of a susserant murmer in the background, and the restaurant was quite full, the space is enormous so the noise spreads out rather than piling up.

        try the pheasant pappardalle with morels, it's brilliant. The carpaccio was superb--simple and precisely balanced excellence in flavor and texture.

        1. I've been twice, food and service are extremely good.

          Noise level varied on each occasion. The first dinner res was before they instituted a happy hour and it was eerily quiet. The second (only last month) was a pre-theater res at 6:00 - and WOW, the noise that filtered from the bar was horrendous. When we left at about 7:30, it had quieted down somewhat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: toitoi

            I know there's a 30% BlackboardEats coupon out there, didn't take it, so I'm uncertain when it expires.

            If you have it, I definitely would go with the tasting menu.

          2. I have eaten here a number of times and I disagree that one shouldn't have the tasting menu. It's usually a pretty good deal and more reasonable portion sizes. I prefer to eat Italian in at least three courses, which is tough a la carte depending on your companion(s)

            Lastly, noise does depend on where you sit. Closer to, or in the bar near happy hour can be quite loud. The main dining room otherwise is pleasant, although the music selection is sometimes suspect.

            Secondly, the cocktails are competent but nothing special, especially considering the new "coctail culture" and outstanding bars downtown.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cls

              Where did anyone say don't have the tasting menu?

              At the 6pm res, we sat far from the bar, and yes, the music leaves a lot to be desired.

              1. re: cls

                With the quality of food as good as it is at Drago Centro, why would you need some very special cocktail? Good wine, good food and forget the cocktails would be my motto.
                Nothing worse than gin, vodka, scotch, bourbon or tequila to ruin a good Italian meal.

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                Drago Centro
                525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                1. re: cls

                  I find the music pleasantly quirky and eclectic. Not the typical sort of muzak one gets so often.

                2. Reporting back, we went and had a nice evening. Be advised, they do not serve the tasting on Sat night. Wish the website mentioned this. That said, they did a few half orders before my main course. Had the scallops, risotto with english peas/tomatoes/garlic, the pheasant & morel papardelle and then the lamb as a main. Despite half orders, the portions were very large. The food was very good, well prepared. Service was excellent, noise in the dining room was not an issue. We passed on cocktails and chose wine. We had some cheese to end the meal. I would return for the tasting to see what they can do. Maybe a wine dinner as I saw the private room which seems quite accommodating. Celestino was making the rounds and stopped by the table (probably saw the wine we were drinking). I'd rate the place a solid B+. We took the subway down which was really cool. Thanks again for your replies.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Grog

                    could not have imagined you would have ordered cocktails with your collection!
                    Glad you enjoyed it. Now I should do so, while not having to attend a Disney Hall concert, thus leaving time to enjoy the meal, and of course getting there via subway!

                    1. re: Grog

                      I'm coming in on business and will be dining alone. Drago Centro sounds like a good option, close to my hotel and delicious. Did you happen to notice if Drago Centro had a bar to eat at? Thanks!

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                      Drago Centro
                      525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                      1. re: artemis

                        It does have a bar area and would be a great place to dine solo.

                        1. re: mollyomormon

                          Thanks mollyomormon! This SF hound really appreciates it.

                          1. re: artemis

                            Just had a nice dinner at Drago Centro. I ended up getting a table; the bar was a bit rowdy and full of guys so I decided it might be more peaceful to be at a table. The hostess was very friendly (sure! let's get you a table!) and sat me by the window so I could look outside if I wanted. The waiter didn't seem initially all that thrilled with a single diner and the consequential lower tab, but he warmed a bit and ended up fine.

                            Amuse was prosciutto wrapped around some kind of fig thing, with a single leaf of microgreen on top. Allegedly there was some riotta involved, but it mostly tasted of fig. Fine, not too exciting.

                            Table bread of excellent quality was served warm, with a small dish of grassy olive oil. Delicious.

                            I had the apple and arugula salad with bacon and candied walnuts. It was pretty tasty, though it was hard to construct bites of all four components as the bacon was in rather large cubes and the walnuts were in large pieces. The apple was especially tasty.

                            I followed with the crab and tomato pasta. While I enjoyed it, I do think that the ratio of pasta: crab/tomato was a bit off. There was a large mound of house-made pasta, with some lump dungeness from a body (not legs) and five or six semi-roasted cherry tomato halves. I try to eat my food by including a bit of all the components, so that was challenging because there was a *lot* of pasta for the crab and tomatoes. A much heavier hand for the basil and tomatoes, if not the pricey crab, would improve the dish. Still, very tasty, very nice pasta. Lovely crab, not overcooked, and sweet gushy tomatoes.

                            I also had a glass of Verdicchio recommended by my waiter and enjoyed it. He seemed a little surprised when I started asking rather specific questions about the style of the wine, especially new v. old oak and for how long. Still, he answered my questions and I enjoyed the wine.

                            All in all, an enjoyable meal. By way of comparison, my business trips usually take me to Century City, where I always eat at Craft. I still prefer Craft to Drago, but Craft's lead is more because of ambiance and service than the food, which is great at both places.

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                            Drago Centro
                            525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071