Lets see …. I’ve done reviews of Airport restaurants (P.F. Chang’s), restaurants on barques (Moshulu), and restaurants in casinos (Red Oak) and train stations (Traxx). Steakhouses, Italian, Chinese, Seafood, and lounges that don’t even serve food. So clearly I have no fear of venturing off the beaten path, so to speak. What’s next? How about a museum cafe? That’s sound different, right?
The other weekend I found myself at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles where they had a Ferrari special going on. No, not to buy, but to see. Actually, it was the free “Enzo Ferrari Birthday Cruise-In” and it was indeed impressive. Finishing an exhaustive review of these fine cars I went looking for some refreshment and a place to sit.
Having been through many museums in my life across several continents, I had in mind a crowded cafe with a long line of people waiting, tray in hand, to proceed through a serve yourself counter displaying the usual assortment of packaged sandwiches, sodas, fruit plates, quick (& queasy) deserts, and expensive beers or wines. If I was lucky there might be a short order cook taking orders for burgers, dogs, and fries. But I was parched and resigned to my fate.
But no! Not here. Here there is Drago Ristorante, a full on sit-down take-my-order restaurant. The only semblance to my preconceived notions was a bit of a line at the hostess station. I quickly bypassed that and headed directly to the bar. Yes a real bar. With real liquor, a nice selection of wine, and beer on tap.
The food that I tried was very good. And there were items on the menu that I didn’t try that really caught my eye. Such as “Gnocchi di Patate al Nero di Seppie” and “Spaghetti a I Frutti di Mare”, to give you a quick sampling. I certainly look forward to trying additional items in the future. And this really makes Drago a bit different, and special.
If I was in the neighborhood for any reason and was hungry and looking for a place to eat. I would have no issue with heading over to the Petersen Museum just to eat at Drago. Whether or not I was going to enter the Museum, which, by the way is truly impressive.
Finally, yes, the Martini was really very good! Very much in keeping with the concept that this is a full on restaurant and not a inexpensive museum soda bar. It was nicely mixed with the right amount of Vermouth for my ‘dry’ preference. The stem was well chilled and the Martini well shaken. The bartender was professional and courteous and the serving ample.
I would make a trek to Drago for the food, ambiance, and Martini. But not for the Martini alone.
Now for Gin Selection: Sadly, Drago only gets a C-
Their selection includes Tanqueray, Tanqueray 10, Bombay Sapphire, and Beefeater. That’s it. At the moment. In my conversations with the GM there I believe that this selection will expand in the future, I do hope so. I’ll provide an updated review when, and if, I witness this improvement.
For more information: www.dragoristorante.com
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If you’re curious about what one vs. two stems means,
I refer you to the following:
***** Rating Definitions ****