Archive for December, 2011

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LA Adventure Specialist - 10:34 31 December 2011

Bid Adieu to Drago Santa Monica

As much as Los Angeles diners are mourning the impending loss of Drago Santa Monica—Chef Celestino Drago’s 21-year-old modern Italian institution—at the end of January, Drago softens the blow by offering “throwback” dishes from the original 1991 menu, in addition to their featured winter menu items. Dine on seven dishes from the original Drago Santa Monica menu, which includes polenta sandwich, wild mushrooms, fontina cheese, truffle fondue; sautéed duck liver, aged balsamic glace, grilled Belgium endive; baked ziti, meat and cheese sauce, wrapped with eggplant; spaghetti with pressed dried tuna caviar, garlic and chile; Sausage-filled quail, grilled polenta, saltimbocca sauce; and Pan roasted lamb loin, potato tart, grilled mushrooms, sweet & sour. The amazing dishes are only going to be found here while taking a tour of Los Angeles.

You can also bid adieu with an array of creative Itialian comfort food by Chef de Cucina Evan Gotanda on Drago’s winter menu, which we recently had the pleasure of experiencing:

Ricotta e pere: Ricotta, pear, red wine, arugula, hazelnut salt:

ricotta-pear-drago

Agnolotti di zucca: Butternut squash, ricotta, butter glaze:

butternut-squash

Risotto alla barbabietola: Beet risotto, shaved candy beets, puffed risotto:

beet-risotto

Pappardelle al fagiano: Pappardelle, roasted pheasant, morel mushrooms (Photographed with hand rolled cecaluccoli instead of pappardelle):

pappardelle-phesant

Trota salmonata: Arctic char, carrot, rapini, oregano, balsamic:

arctic-char

Costata di manzo: New York steak, soft polenta, bacon, Brussels sprouts, red wine (Photographed as a duo of beef with braised short rib):

beef-costata

Brioche al mirtillo: Orange espuma, orange dust, cranberry granola:

brioche

Crostata al cioccolato: Dates, brown sugar gelato, walnuts:

chocolate-crostata

Drago Santa Monica, 2628 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, 310.828.1585.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 10:37 30 December 2011

Hyde Lounge Reopens in Hollywood

In L.A., it seems as though a new nightclub opens up once a week, instantly becoming the hottest spot in town, and fizzling out not long after. Hyde, a nightlife institution that garnered celebrity and media attention in its heyday in 2006, is getting a rare second chance as entertainment aficionado SBE reopens the spot. Tableside mixology is a prominent feature of the redesigned venue, featuring fresh cocktails created at the sunken bar in the back of the narrow space. DJs spin alternative tracks instead of the usual Top 40, helping the venue further distance itself from more cookie-cutter clubs. Always the best places to be while taking a private tour of LA. SBE selected lauded chef Daniel Elmaleh, of Katsuya Hollywood and the Redbury hotel’s Cleo, to create a menu of small bites with a global influence. Look for additional Hyde nightclubs in South Beach, Florida and in Las Vegas’ Bellagio hotel, opening soon.

8029 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323.525.2444. www.sbe.com/hyde

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LA Adventure Specialist - 5:42 29 December 2011

Wolfgang Puck Lands at Hotel Bel-Air

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air serves up California cuisine with European and Mediterranean influences. Dishes such as a comice pear salad with fuyu persimmons and Shropshire blue cheese, Parmesan risotto with white Alban truffles, and grilled prime sirloin steak with braised Wagyu beef cheeks are composed of fresh produce from Chino Farms and local farmers markets, hormone- and antibiotic-free poultry and sustainably raised seafood. Wolfgang puck in a lavish hotel, can’t beat that while touring LA. The Rockwell Group is responsible for the old Hollywood-inspired dining room redesign, incorporating multiple transparent glass wine cellars that showcase more than 2,400 bottles.

701 Stone Canyon Road, Bel-Air, 310.909.1644. www.hotelbelair.com/wolfgang-puck-bel-air

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LA Adventure Specialist - 8:45 28 December 2011

New Years Eve With Pink Martini