Spago – Beverly Hills

Friday lunch is always a scene, although it didn’t really get busy until around 1:30. Mickey Rooney was there with a following – think lights, cameras, action. We were far from that “scene” as we had our regular table on the patio. Laurent came by, asked if we wanted a tasting and obviously we said yes. Laurent also teased me that next time I will have a small table and a transcriber next to me so I don’t have to take notes. Let’s just say, I will not hold him to that, but it would be wonderful – maybe a photographer would also be nice! Basically, I will let the photos tell the story.


spago soter

BYO Wine


spicy cone 1

Signature dish of Spicy Tuna Tartar in a sesame tuile 


spago spicy tuna



oysters and caviar

Pickled Kumomoto Oyster  Tartar topped with Osetra caviar



Ceviche of Japanese Hamachi with Santa Rosa Plums, Yuzu and Shiso served in a Chinese spoon


spago wine

BYO Wine


smoked salmon

House-Smoked Salmon with Dill Crème Fraiche, Chives and Salmon Eggs served on a Sweet Corn Blini


blurry pastrami

Duck Liver Pastrami in a Rye Crisp with Plum Compote (now you see why I need a new photographer)


spagp pastrami

Close-up of the duck liver pastrami minus the compote


lima bean hummus

Tart of Chino Farm’s Lima Bean Hummus with za’atar and mint


duck liver mousse

Tartlet of Duck liver Mousse with Adriatic fig and raisin  – this used to be made with foie gras and duck liver just isn’t foie gras. There are times when I wish Wolfgang didn’t have to be politically correct, but there is a major client i.e. the Oscars.


heriloom tomato bruschetta

Bruschetta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil Aioli


close-up of heirloom brischetta

Close-up of the Bruschetta


bacon encroute

Confit Bacon en croute


tomato sorbet

Palate Cleanser

Heirloom Tomato Sorbet, Brunoise of Watermelon, 50 year old Balsamic and Watermelon Water

hermitage wine


BYO White


Heirloom Tomatoes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil Aioli, Mint, Parsley, Marjoram, Micro Basil, Olive Tapenade, Balsamic – There were 4 of us at lunch and each one of us got a different Heirloom tomato that had been quartered – we didn’t even need a knife

orange tomato


red tomato

green tomato

yellow tomato


spot prawns 1

Roasted Santa Barbara Spot Prawns, Braised Okra, Eggplant, Chana Dal Lentils and Indian Spiced Buttermilk Soup


spot prawns with broth

Indian spiced buttermilk soup was added table side


heads of prawns

Deep-fried heads of the prawns


Spago Skate

Pan Roasted Maine Skate Wing, Leek Puree, Ragout of Fresh Chickpeas, Spanish Chorizo, Clams, Mussels, Maine Sweet Shrimp, Heirloom Tomatoes, Beurre Noisette, Natural Jus


spago red



spago pasta with kinch

Sweet White Corn Agnolotti, Reggiano and White Summer Truffles – my one comment – summer truffles are over-rated


close-up of pasta

Close-up of the Agnolotti


spago lamb

Slow Roasted Rack of Young Sonoma Lamb, Puree of Cranberry Beans, Roasted Pancetta-Wrapped Figs, Wild Chanterelles, Almond Emulsion and Natural Jus


spago dessert wine

BYO Dessert Wine


shelly dessert

Elegant Lady Eskimo Pie with Almond Granita, Moscato Poached Peaches and Alpine Fraise



Written by Shelly herself on our menu – at least for once, I got the dessert right.


spago mignardises


Spago is an institution. It is a scene. Most people order an appetizer and an entree and that’s it. Obviously, this was a specially arranged tasting menu and not typical for a lunch menu. But there is a reason why Spago Beverly Hills remains packed – the service is excellent, the cuisine is consistent, the ingredients are seasonal and indicative of California plus farmer’s market driven (other than the white truffles) and the patio is just lovely on a balmy Friday afternoon.


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