Well this stunner is the storied Drago Centro, which finally opened in the City National Plaza downtown a few weeks ago. When we walked through while it was still under construction, you knew this was a labor of love (and lots and lots of money) by the way Celestino Drago and managing partner Matteo Ferdinandi described every detail: The Murano chandeliers, the custom-designed, earthquake retrofitted glass wine room, the textured wallpaper, the lounge (indoor and out), the skylights that look up to the towering buildings surrounding it. Drago, of course, opened Drago in 1991, with Il Pastaio and Enoteca Drago after that; Ferdinandi was the opening GM at Cut. Heavy hitters, for sure.
Drago describes the menu as a celebration of the "cultural diversity of Italy revisited with modern techniques and inserted into a modern context." So it's his take on regional classics for the lunch, dinner and lovely little bar menus, executed by chef de cuisine Ian Gresik. The som is Michael Shearin who led Guy Savoy in Las Vegas to big Wine Spectator awards. This is tough climate to open a high-end restaurant, but there's really so much more to this one than something just Downtizens and corporate suits deserve. Hopefully the rest of LA can figure that out. Pay close attention to the parking sitch, in both the garage and Figueroa Street valet. And bonus: There is shuttle to Staples, Nokia, Disney Concert Hall.