Drago in Santa Monica.
This elegant Italian restaurant, on Wilshire near 26th Street, is closing at the end of the month–after a 21-year run. Hurry and get a nice meal there before it’s gone!
Drago, Celestino Drago’s first LA restaurant (he now also has Enoteca Drago and Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills and Drago Centro in downtown LA), has always reminded me of a sophisticated restaurant in a smallish town in Italy. The china is fine, the furniture is upholstered and the room hushed, the service is impeccable, and the food is tasty, if a little restrained.
My husband and I love to drop in for a quiet dinner that always starts with complimentary arancini to go with his martini and my glass of prosecco. Every dish is good, but one of us always seems to order the pappardelle with roasted pheasant and morels. It’s exquisite!
We’ve never been disappointed with this local spot. Until, that is, we heard it was closing.
2628 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA
My all-time favorite food website is Zesterdaily, of course, but Food52 is a close second. This fabulous site, run by Amanda Hesser (former food editor of the New York Times) and Merrill Stubbs (a former editor at Cook’s Illustrated), gathers together a community of food lovers who share recipes and thoughts on cooking and compete to see whose recipes will make it into a Food52 cookbook at the end of the year. Competitions are usually based around an ingredient, like fennel, for instance. Recipes are tried out and commented on by readers, which is fun, and the knowledgable co-founders chime in often. The site is filled with great recipes for the home cook.
The first Food52 cookbook, which I recently received as a gift, is beautiful, too. You can order one here. (Thanks, Carrie!)