Spago @ 176 N Canon Drive
The new restaurant we visited this past week was Spago in Beverly Hills. Don’t assume it’s snotty just because it’s in Beverly Hills. I actually didn’t feel too out of place here. The restaurant had a much more low key vibe than Nobu. The hostesses were friendly and inviting. Our waiter was a short and to the point middle-aged man. He has this awesome ear, I swear he hears everything I say or he knows how to read minds. Every time I say something I want, after he leaves, he comes right back with what I wanted. The bread guy is also pretty cool. He comes around with a selection of bread and I picked the meh ones, so he came back and made me try another one he insisted was delicious. And he was right, it was. I munched on that while waiting for my food.
I picked this restaurant because my boyfriend’s aunt worked at the Spago in Maui. He used to go often and get this appetizer called the Spicy Ahi Tuna Poke in Sesame Miso Cone (that name is the length of a short novel!). He once told me that if it was the end of the world and he could only eat one more thing, this would be what he’d eat. It’s not on the menu in the Beverly Hills location, since it’s a Maui creation, but you can still ask for it and they’ll make it for you. Expectations were pretty high for this and surprisingly it did not disappoint. The Ahi Poke marinade was so good! It had a real kick to it, but something at the level that I could handle. The cone was sweet and crunchy. All the ingredients married so well together. Must try if you’re ever here. Oh another example of how the waiter could read my mind. The conversation went a bit like this…
T: “This isn’t on the menu, but can we get…”
Waiter: “The Ahi cones? I’ll put that right in for you.”
T: GASP.. How did he …
I know, I know, it’s probably very popular and that’s what people always ask for. But I had no idea what it was called so I was really relieved he knew what we wanted.
Next, under our waiter’s suggestion, we got the Blue Fin Tuna Sashimi appetizer. It looks like a work of art, huh? I think, don’t hold my word against me, it was different cuts of the tuna. There wasn’t a lot of sauce involved. It was mostly just enjoying the fish’s natural taste. The little one wrapped in cucumber with the flowers on top was quite delicious. There’s actually sushi rice wrapped inside the cucumber. The rice was soft and had the right amount of vinegar flavor. I really liked it.
I should probably get something light. Fish is light. I also love mushrooms. Oh there’s something with both! That was my thought process for choosing the Slow Roasted French Turbot with Perigord Black Truffle. At first I thought the fish was a bit bland and was totally eyeing my boyfriend’s Veal Chop, but the more bites I took, the more I just wanted to keep eating it. The pungent truffle taste finally hit and it became addictive. The fingerling potatoes could’ve been cooked a little longer for me, but it was still good. I eventually ate the entire plate including the endives the fish was sitting on :). I didn’t take a picture of it, but my boyfriend’s Caramelized Veal Chop was also really amazing. I really liked the sauces they used. The bacon, sage, onions, celery and apple puree complemented each other really well. It definitely has much more flavor than my fish.
For dessert we decided on the Mille Feuille, which translated means 1,000 sheets. I thought this was a solid dessert, but not my cup of tea. For one, I’m not big on kiwi and there was kiwi all over it. Second, the cream filling they used was infused with honey and I just tasted too much of it. I prefer a more vanilla tasting cream. Third, I felt that instead of being 1,000 sheets, it was 3 thick sheets, which was still good, but it doesn’t achieve the flakiness I generally like. My favorite is still the Mille Feuille made by Lady M in New York. In all fairness, Lady M specializes in desserts and devotes a lot of time to each of their creations. Their mille feuille is much easier to stick a fork in because the “sheets” break off easier. Also at the bottom, there’s a layer of sponge that makes it feel more like an actual slice of cake and helps it stick to your fork. My boyfriend called me snobby for comparing the two, but I can’t help it! The heart feels what it feels!
Coming to Spago was a great idea. Pat on my back. I really enjoyed the dining experience there. We got to sit near the patio, but not outside because I would’ve froze to death. I just wish we weren’t surrounded by giant buildings that blocked most of the night sky. But at the end of the night, what mattered was that my boyfriend got to eat his favorite appetizer and we both had a delicious meal. Mission accomplished.
– Charmin Bear T