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LA's great "new" small plates hot spot -- Spago (!)

Ciao Bob Oct 22, 2012 01:32 PM

Three of us had a really great meal at new Spago last week.
Prices are down about 30%, plates are built for sharing - duh, ya think they are going for a younger crowd? The room is toned down color wise and seemed much less noisy.

The menu has gone global in many fresh exciting ways; the Austrian favorites of Puck's youth are, sadly, gone. Wolfgang has always been known for incorporating Asian elements into a Cal-Med base but the new menu seems far more Eastern leaning than ever. There is a even a nori-butter served with the breads.

The dishes I can recall:
Chino Ranch Salad (pretty much the same as always)
Octopus ceviche - great
Large spot prawns served with fried heads and a nori-butter sauce - delish
Jidori Chicken Breast & Leg Pastrami, Rye Crisp
Sweet White Summer Corn Agnolotti, Parmigiano Reggiano

The on-line menu mentions one of my favorite things he used to do, but they were not serving it last Thursday: "Whole Roasted Chinese Duck, Bao Buns, for the table"

All in all we enjoyed the evening more than we expected and found the changes promising...especially the lowered tariff. I do not know if they still do the tasting menu.
Worth a visit for sure.

  1. m
    mc michael Nov 1, 2012 01:03 PM

    Sounds like a work in progress. Maybe check back in a few months.

    1. J.L. Oct 22, 2012 04:58 PM

      I'm with TonyC on this.

      I went to new Spago about a week ago for dinner (maybe I'll do a separate writeup later). The remodel looks great, but the je ne sais quoi "special-ness" that was Spago was somehow missing. Make no mistake: Chef Tetsu Yahagi's creations are (for the most part) very tasty, but it's not the Spago of old.

      1 Reply
      1. re: J.L.
        f
        foodiemahoodie Nov 1, 2012 10:12 AM

        I thought the old old Spago (on Sunset) was often disappointing. Food was never bad, but I never had anything close to what I would consider a spectacular meal.

        The newer one had very good food - had a few pretty stellar meals there - but the decor wasn't anywhere near up to the food. Looked amateurish in design on a number of levels. I haven't been to newly furnished digs, but a departure from the Spago of old sounds like a step in the right direction. Hopefully it is a step in the right direction. Hard to tell from the pics - but it looks sleek and unoffensive. Perhaps a bit dull (did the design pendulum swing a little too far in the other direction? )

      2. TonyC Oct 22, 2012 02:44 PM

        this is so ,SO sad.

        1. ipsedixit Oct 22, 2012 01:51 PM

          I heard it was very much like WP24, but not as Asian.

          (A similar Roasted Duck dish is on the WP24 menu.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit
            Ciao Bob Oct 22, 2012 02:56 PM

            That was not my impression at all.
            My one meal at WP24 was nothing like the new Spago.
            24 was a very expensive, "high-end" Chinese meal - much like Shun Lee Palace in NY but not as well-executed.
            The new Spago (other than the duck dish which was not even being served, and a "Hong Kong" lobster) had little Chinese influence. Rather the elements of Japanese, Indian, and Indonesian were on hand. And the prices - at east for now- were much less (pun intended).

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