One of my favorite Italian restaurants is Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills with pasta that is so delicate and light that it literally melts in your mouth. With Dine LA week in full force, I tried their sister restaurant next door, Enoteca Drago for lunch.
I went on a wonderfully sunny day in January, where in Beverly Hills, the temperature was about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Dining outdoors, I got some sun and enjoyed people watching at the same time. The friendly welcome was a harbinger of the professional service to come as I was invited to pick any seat on the patio and told about the Dine LA $22 menu as soon as I sat down.
I started with the Vitello Tonnato, which I have never seen on any menu here in Los Angeles. For those who have never had this dish of thinly sliced veal with a creamy tuna infused sauce, this version is an excellent introduction; the tender veal and caper accents made this a mouthwatering appetizer.
For my entree I chose the shrimp ravioli with lobster sauce and zucchini puree. The ravioli was unusual with one side of each ravioli made of squid ink pasta. I found the lobster sauce magnificent, but the texture of the pasta here was not the light heavenly version found next door at Il Pastaio. The squid ink pasta was partially to blame for this, but I literally needed a knife to cut the ravioli and it made me long to go next door for the ethereal pasta at the sister restaurant.
The shrimp were slightly over done, but not to the point of being rubbery and the filling was a nice if not inspired mixture of seafood.
I chose the pear Napoleon for dessert and received this architectural medley of pear chutney with almond ice cream and almond brittle. It was beautiful and not too sweet, but a bit difficult to eat, even with the spoon and fork given with the dish.
The service I received here was among the best; no one hovered, yet as soon as I placed my silverware on the plate after eating, it was immediately removed. I was asked if I wanted any drinks with my meal, then asked if I wanted coffee with my dessert. After every dish I was asked how I liked it and I am sure if there had been any problems it would have been rectified immediately. Timing is very important when it comes to service, and the timing of the staff here is impeccable.