Drago Another Fine Dining Venue for the 'Drago Dynasty'
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the 'Drago Dynasty' boys have done it again with a charming restaurant
at 8741 W. Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. First view is a
lovely open patio area, where diners watch all the action on the
boulevard while enjoying some of the best Italian dishes to be
had in Los Angeles. According to Osteria Drago managing partner
Rinaldo Colantoni, who first met Celestino Drago when he showed
up at Osteria Romana Orsini in 1977. "He arrived straight
from Sicily, carrying a suitcase and looking for a job" said
Colantoni. These two talented Italians shared a bachelor apartment,
and became great friends and business associates through the years.
Celestino's chef stint at Osteria Romana Orsini, he opened his
first restaurant Celestino in the 80s (which later closed and
was reborn in Pasadena in 2011 under the same name). The rest
is fine Italian dining in Los Angeles history. The Drago brothers
Celestino, Tanino, Calogero and Giocomino have created an outstanding
collection of distinctive fine dining restaurants. Centro Drago,
Downtown, Yojisan Via Alloro and Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills,
Shu, Sushi House Unico in the Beverly Glen, Celestino in Pasadena
and Osteria Drago,which opened in West Hollywood
in 2012 are among their dining dynasty. They also now have a line
of specialty Italian foods, and a very nice red wine from Sicily
"Papa Drago" that is made especially for their dining
guests enjoyment, and is poured by the bottle or the glass.
Drago has off street patio dining, as well as an inviting
little bar at the entrance. The main diningroom is filled with
colorful Murano glass vases, and offers some small booths for
more intimate dining. Appetizer and salad selections we enjoyed
were Burrata con Barbabietole, Burrata cheese with baby beets,
pistachios and white balsamic dressing or Insalata di Rucola,
arugula with shaved baby artichokes and parmigiano cheese. Both
dishes were both prepared with the freshest farm produce and were
a delicious start to a memorable meal. The Drago family food philosophy
is to source the highest quality seasonal produce "keep things
simple" and let the ingredients be the stars.
pasta selections included Taglietelle al Ragu D'Agnello, fresh
ribbon pasta with lamb ragu that is rich, full bodied and delicious.
The Agnolotti di Mais, sweet corn filled Agnolotte with butter
glaze and zucchini flowers is very light and is one of my favorite
Celestino recipe. I consider this dish one of the best pasta plates
on the planet.
pan seared salmon is an amazing surprise for fish lovers, and
is served with cannellini bean puree, green beans and salsa verde.
The salmon is perfectly cooked, with a crisp delicious top skin
and the salsa provides a zesty punch. Brasato di Manzo con Polenta
is such a special dish, featuring tenderly cooked short ribs with
rich gravy resting on a creamy bed of polenta - so delicious!
endings at Osteria Drago include tiramisu and
popular Italian favorites, but we selected the Mousse de Cioccolato,
a chocolate mousse ball filled with a raspberry jam and topped
with fresh whipped cream that is amazing. For a light finish they
serve a selection of wonderful gelato favors, and of course, it
all ends well with a sweet little cup of Illy espresso. The ambiance
is inviting and relaxing, which seems to be a solid thread of
hospitality that runs through the entire Drago collection of restaurants.
8741 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA
By Bonnie Carroll