Enoteca Drago- Beverly Hills

We have loved going to Drago in Santa Monica for years. We have been going to his brother’s restaurant, Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills quite often.  Il Pastaio is always mobbed and Enoteca Drago, right next door, is very, very quiet. Now I know why!

The packed dining room????? Trust me, next door Il Pastaio was hopping.

A white bean puree served ice cold – Val, our server, explained it came right from the refrigerator.

Carpaccio Di Bue – Beef Carpaccio with Foie Gras & Celery – Who oh why was there celery on this plate? 

Breakfast  Pizza – Onion, Mushrooms, Bacon & Eggs – I am imagining a runny yolk. Do you see that pitiful hard one yolk? Where oh where are the caramelized onions? So I ask Val, our server, what is this with the pizza? He sort of shrugs and doesn’t have a clue. 

Carbonara – Spaghetti with Pancetta, Egg & Pecorino Romano Cheese – think Elmer’s Glue – one bite and they take it off our bill

Later, I show Norbeta, the GM. our pitiful pizza and he says that’s not right. He insists that they make another one for take-out.

Second pizza to replace first and to use for take-out – All of a sudden there are caramelized onions and plenty of bacon. The egg is done correctly. I decide the egg won’t be any good in the morning and I am better off making my own egg in the morning. I deep-sixed the egg when I got home,  but at least someone in the kitchen is aware that the first version was a disaster. 

Oh Celestino, this is not the way to run a successful restaurant. I have been a supporter of yours for years and years and years. Entoteca Drago is not even close to what you can do. What a disappointment.


4 Responses to “Enoteca Drago- Beverly Hills”

  1. 1 davesch7 November 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    totally agree on this one — we lived in beverly hills for years and were regulars at il pastaio and hated going to enoteca. they do have a decent steak and roast chicken but why go to an italian place for that? one question though, if the menu said carpaccio with celery and foie, why the surprise about the celery being on the plate…you ordered it, right?

  2. 2 lizziee November 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Yes, I ordered it, but it was worse than I expected. I just deep-sixed the celery and ate the foie and carpaccio.

  3. 3 cvc November 29, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    First, how wonderful to discover your wonderful web site. Congratulations! It’s a shame about Enoteca because when it first opened it offered a few gems: a great carbonara which glistened with yolk and cheese and tasted of pungent pancetta; a cacio e pepe that beguiled in its simplicity and an unexpected delicious pork cheek with sauerkraut courtesy of now infamous Top Chef runner-up,Stefan F. Richter, who was the opening Chef de Cuisine and now at his own Stefan at L.A. Farm.

    But Enoteca was always an odd hybrid, Roman ceiling with imported chairs; yet with plasma screens at the bar. But it was a true labor of love for Celestino and, perhaps, as with Andrew Lloyd Weber and ‘Sunset Boulevard’, he was a little too close to be objective.

    Agreed about Il Pastaio, possibly L.A.’s best trattoria and a true indication of Drago’s enormous ability.

    • 4 lizziee November 29, 2009 at 7:14 pm

      cvc, it broke my heart to write this post. As I said I have known Celestino for years and he is such a gentleman. I was just so disappointed and one of the guiding principles of this site is honesty.

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