DineLA: Enoteca Drago

6 Feb

Brushetta Love @Enoteca Drago

Hi guys!

Sorry for the somewhat long hiatus! Since getting accepted to my Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program here at USC I’ve been working on a lot (and trust me, I mean A LOT) of scholarship applications to help offset the obnoxious tuition/living costs I’m going to have to take care of for the next few years.

But I’m back for a bit! I’m taking a break from writing a personal statement to bring you my only post on DineLA‘s restaurant week! For those of you who don’t know what restaurant week is, it’s basically two weeks when diners can choose from a prix fixe three-course (appetizer, entrée, and dessert) menu for a special discounted price.

I went to Little Dom’s (here’s their yelp.com page) the first week, but the lighting was so bad I couldn’t get good shots of the food. Everything tasted pretty good, but it definitely wasn’t one of those “omg wow!” dinners. My friend and I got the: fried shrimp and artichoke (with lemon, mint, and caper sauce) and Grilled mortadella (with arugala and aged balsamic vinegar) for the appetizers; the ricotta gnocchi (with wild boar ragu) for the entree, and the tangelo creamsicle milkshake (with shortbread cookies) and bomboloni al cioccolato (chocolate creme filled donut) for dessert. We both loved the grilled mortadella and the creamsicle milkshake! The gnocchi was not bad but the Chef Boyardee tasting ragu killed it for us.

But enough with the mediocre! Let’s talk about the GOOD stuff. Enoteca Drago (yelp.com page). Good thing we (my boyfriend and I) couldn’t make reservations at our first choice restaurant (Meet French Bistro)! Otherwise we would’ve missed out on a truly romantic lunch date in Beverly Hills.

First off, you have to love outdoor seating right in the middle of Beverly Hills. Plus one right off the bat! And! The waitress was very nice (great service in terms of timing the dishes and making sure we were comfortable). Plus FIVE POINTS. I’m a sucker for good service.

Now onto the food.

1. The BREAD

Bread was pretty good! The baguette was crusty but soft and fluffy in the middle and the pretzel sticks were delish! The only eyebrow raising part of the bread was the mystery condiment they gave us (you can see it in the picture). I have no idea what it was. We stuck to the butter. ^o^

Bread and Mystery Condiment!

2. The APPETIZERS

Okay, let me start off by saying that usually the appetizers are the third best part of the meal. The entrée usually comes first (surprising for a girl, right?) and the dessert usually takes second. But this was an exception. I LOVED LOVED LOVED the appetizers!

First, my choice. Vitello Tonnato. The description on the menu was the following: Caper Berries and Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette. I always like to go with something acidic or very fresh and crisp for an appetizer since I feel like it wakes up my palate. I also think it helps me to taste the nuances of the typical heartier dishes ordered for the entrée.

ZOMG SOOO GOOD!

The boyfriend’s appetizer was also AMAZING. When I first saw “Brushetta” on the menu I cringed a bit. So simple and, well, expected for an Italian restaurant. But damn, did this exceed my expectations. Maybe it was the low expectations I had going into the first bite, but the cherry tomatoes and the Burrata cheese (mmm!) were AMAZING together. And the celery pesto added a nice touch.

The cheese was AMAZING!

3. The ENTRÉES

I got the Rotisserie Chicken with Paremesan Fries and Red Wine Reduction. At first I was a little hesitant to order this since some reviews mentioned the meat being slightly overcooked and dry. No problem with that here! The chicken was super moist and might I add that the skins were SUPER crispy? The fries were also super good–although, I wish the parmesan taste had been more pronounced; I totally forgot it was there. And the sauce was great, but I would’ve liked more of it (typical me, always wanted nomtastic things in large quantities).

I could totally eat this again...*drool*

The boyfriend ordered the Boneless Braised Short Ribs with Cabbage Package, Baby Carrots, and Carrot and Brown Butter Puree (as was to be expected) and damn, those things were GOOD! As we would say back home, BROKE DA MOUTH GOOD! I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it. I was a little scared of the cabbage at first–it looked a little, well, burnt–but it actually complemented the puree and helped to bring everything together.

Now that's a nomshot right there!

4. The DESSERT

Dessert No. 1: Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bar, Orange & Black Pepper Sorbet & Marmalade. Once the boyfriend saw this he didn’t care much about what was in store pre-dessert. He just wanted this. And he had good reason to. It was DELICIOUS. The sorbet helped to cut through the crunch bar, which was rich yet not overpowering, and the candied orange was a cute decorative touch. It’s going on my “To Try” list.

Now that's a good lookin' dessert!

I botched the dessert. I really wanted something fruity after eating my french fries so I chose the semifreddo. For some reason I didn’t realize it was going to have Grapefruit sorbet and it was a very unpleasant surprise for me. I typically don’t handle sour foods very well (grapefruit usually has to be dipped in sugar in order for me to eat it) so it was hard to get it all down. The pistachio nut semifreddo was delicious though. I could eat bowls and bowls of that stuff.

Ahhh the grapefruit!

5. In SUMMARY

This was a double-thumbs up meal for me! I would definitely go again. Maybe next time I’ll go at night to see how the ambiance is then.

Now for a tangent! I have a TON of pictures from some foodie adventures in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo that I am dying to share! So stay tuned for that post. In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing personal statements…)

Until then, may your bellies be FULL and your plates EMPTY!

Full Bellies, Empty Plates!

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