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Reading mixed reviews of Drago Centro...& love your comments on our DineLA 2011 tentative picks

j
jacknhedy Jan 26, 2011 02:25 PM

Just browsing through the menu items it was very interesting, at least for me, a bit different from everyone else's chicken breast, salmon and hangar steaks. I was able to get a rez for Friday night this late, 7pm. Should that be auspicious, or perhaps a warning to stay away? :) Love to hear from those who have visited them for this year's DineLA.

PS: I did read some comments already from the other threads, but only one had gone to it, along with uhockey's review. I'm no longer in a position to kiss a bad meal to experience, so choices have to be wisely made, but at the same time wanted to try some new places.

Other places:
The Raymond (D)
Bar Celona (L)
Whist at the Viceroy (L)
Hungry Cat (D)
Elements Kitchen (L)
Water Grill (L)

THANKS!

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The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Water Grill
544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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

Bar Celona
46 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

Elements Kitchen
37 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

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  1. m
    mc michael RE: jacknhedy Jan 26, 2011 02:41 PM

    I've been to Elements Kitchen twice. While it's nice, I don't appreciate the price to value/quality ratio.

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    Elements Kitchen
    37 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

    5 Replies
    1. re: mc michael
      j
      jacknhedy RE: mc michael Jan 27, 2011 07:10 PM

      Hi mc michael,

      Thanks! It *looks* good, so thanks to DineLA we'll give it a try...

      1. re: jacknhedy
        m
        mc michael RE: jacknhedy Jan 28, 2011 09:02 AM

        That's a better deal then. Awaiting your report.

      2. re: mc michael
        mpken RE: mc michael Jan 31, 2011 10:20 AM

        Mc Michael - you are too kind. The food is uneven with some overly large appetizers and some skimpy main dishes. In our case, there was a long wait between the bread that came around and the water from the same runner, a salad ordered wasn't anything like the description on the menu, under seasoned fish and chicken courses, and way over sized calamari pieces.

        Follow that with your mentioned out of whack price to value/quality ratio (even with the DineLA menu which we had to ask for), it was an uncomfortable meal. Service was good and we felt sorry for our server because of the missteps. We wanted to like it, but it left us wanting. It has so much potential with the location and the space.

        1. re: mpken
          j
          jacknhedy RE: mpken Jan 31, 2011 04:37 PM

          Well, wife & I decided to cancel Elements after a closer look...thanks for the heads up and watch-outs.

        2. re: mc michael
          s
          socal boy RE: mc michael Jan 31, 2011 09:10 PM

          Went to Elements for Dinner last night. Would go elsewhere. Price to value ratio is not good here.

        3. n
          New Trial RE: jacknhedy Jan 27, 2011 12:06 AM

          I have had several dinners at Drago Centro and enjoyed them all.

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: New Trial
            j
            jacknhedy RE: New Trial Jan 27, 2011 07:10 PM

            Thanks, New Trial. It's tomorrow night - wife & I are cautiously excited.

          2. s
            sushigirlie RE: jacknhedy Jan 27, 2011 06:39 AM

            Highly recommend generally...haven't done Dine LA there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sushigirlie
              j
              jacknhedy RE: sushigirlie Jan 27, 2011 07:11 PM

              sushigirlie - I hope they keep it up thru DineLA... Thanks!

            2. Phurstluv RE: jacknhedy Jan 28, 2011 07:29 AM

              I've had a few lunches and dinners at Whist at the Viceroy. Everything we had was very good. Love their wine list as they have one of my favorite Italian whites there that is hard to find. The setting is unbelievable, ask to sit on the patio if you can, it's the best patio in town, IMHO.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Phurstluv
                j
                jacknhedy RE: Phurstluv Jan 30, 2011 09:19 PM

                Went today - worth the 50 mile drive! Here's a letter I'm sending tomorrow. HIGHLY recommended. Actually tried all the items. I'll get myself to post some pics very soon.

                "Dear Mr. DiSalvo:

                Reviewing this year’s choices for DineLA, the chicken, hangar steak and short rib offerings were quickly skipped. Even though I was not familiar with Whist, the choices were among the most interesting.

                While my wife & I have a few more places to try, I selected Whist for a Sunday family treat. When I asked for the DineLA menus, Lauren very kindly brought up that it was NOT being offered for Sunday lunch. As we were perusing the regular menu, Nick walked over, informing us he would ask the chef to see if it was possible. To our surprise and delight, we were accommodated. Between the four of us we ordered just about every item, and everything was amazing! It was a pleasure to meet your sous chef, Mike, who made that decision on the run.

                A fine meal is one thing, but that exemplary team you have supporting a wonderful restaurant is a treasure. It was a pleasure dining at Whist, and we would not hesitate recommending it, or dropping by if we find ourselves 50 miles west of home again!"

                1. re: jacknhedy
                  Phurstluv RE: jacknhedy Feb 1, 2011 11:26 AM

                  So glad you had a great meal!

              2. j
                jacknhedy RE: jacknhedy Jan 29, 2011 10:03 PM

                Friday night at Drago. Wife had the duck risotto & veal loin. I had venison sausage & braised rabbit. Both of us had the budino for dessert. Her duck risotto was amazing. The sausage was good, but the star was the lentils! Our entrees were both substantial, mine was a wee bit salty. We enjoyed it, and for $44 was actually a great deal. Glad we tried it. Would I make the drive back for it? Probably not. Right now our favorite places in LA are Animal & Bistro LQ.

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                Drago Restaurant
                2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

                Bistro LQ
                8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                1. r
                  Rizza RE: jacknhedy Jan 30, 2011 04:22 PM

                  I've been reading all the menus myself. Starry Kitchen has the funest one I've seen so far...great discriptions! It makes me want to try it. I had lunch at The Lobster last week and had the Dine LA menu. Unfortunately the menu descriptions did not match what came out of the kitchen ("roasted" tomatoes and burratta came out with uncooked tomatoes, "spicy" caesar salad with crab enchiladas wasn't spicy at all, etc.). We had a good time..beautiful view and pretty nice wine list, but being in the $$$ category with the likes of Spago and Water Grill? I think it should have been $ - $$.

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                  Water Grill
                  544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                  Spago
                  176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                  Starry Kitchen
                  350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Rizza
                    westsidegal RE: Rizza Jan 31, 2011 10:06 PM

                    if you want burrata, get yourself to Obika mozzarella bar in century city.
                    they are participating in DineLA, but even if they weren't the food is worth it.

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                    Obika
                    10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

                  2. r
                    Robert Thornton RE: jacknhedy Jan 30, 2011 05:03 PM

                    I love Drago Centro. Haven't been for DineLA, but done I think 4 dinners there, two in the private room, two in the main room. Fun place, great food and service. The main room can be a bit loud and it's a large space and usually crowded, but just adds to the fun atmosphere.

                    Agree with the price/quality ratio at Elements...I like the place but the prices are a bit out of whack. DineLA might be a good way to try it though.

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

                    1. mpken RE: jacknhedy Jan 31, 2011 09:42 PM

                      I hear The Raymond has a fantastic selection for DineLA and is on our list to try. At $34, it sounds even more impressive. We'll be trying The Raymond this week.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mpken
                        m
                        mc michael RE: mpken Feb 1, 2011 01:03 PM

                        I'm told The Raymond has relatively new ownership (some realtors!) that's installed a better bar in the back. Looking forward to your report as I felt it was pretty staid in the past.

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