Spago | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015


photo by Anne Fishbein

The Beverly Hills restaurant that launched Wolfgang Puck’s empire is still among L.A.’s most iconic dining experiences, despite (and perhaps because of) a revamp that modernized its look and feel a couple of years back. With its sleek white-and-black dining room and glassed-in patio, Spago remains one of the best spots in town not only for celebrity sightings and spying on Hollywood dealmaking but also for luxury dining. Chef Lee Hefter and chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi are presenting a menu that straddles the line between tradition and invention, fulfilling the wishes of a diner wanting a prime côte de boeuf for two with Armagnac peppercorn sauce, or the type who might wish for a bincho-grilled black cod with hijiki rice salad, avocado, kimchi endive and gochujyang aioli. Take advantage of one of the country’s greatest wine cellars, with 30,000-plus bottles including an astonishing selection of Austrian wines. This is a place for Champagne, for celebrations, for remembering the excesses of the city we live in and how exhilarating those excesses can be.—Besha Rodell