The dated looking restaurant decor which lacked design cohesiveness (patio with twinkle lights, agrarian wall art, strange 80s inspired glass ceilings, bronzed shoe sculpture), the noisy din, and the slow and unsophisticated service would all be forgivable if the food were fantastic. Unfortunately, it was not. Most of the dishes lacked flavor, and there was a lack of presentation in many of the dishes that you would expect from a restaurant at this price point.
The appetizers: Roasted Chino Farm's Beet Layer Cake, Shortrib Raviolos with Mushrooms, Spicy Tuna Tartare in a Sesame-Miso Cone (not pictured)
This was one of the tastier dishes I had at Spago, the other being the Spicy Tuna Tartar sesame cone. They were both well presented and novel.
The raviolos lacked beefy flavor.The entrees: Pan-roasted Liberty Duck Breast & Veal "Wiener Schnitzel"
The veal wiener schnitzel was good (better than the duck at least), but "Denny's country-fried steak is just as good if not better" (not to mention cheaper). Sad, but true.
The duck was tough and chewy and the skin lacked crispiness. There was insufficient flavor from the meat itself, and the sauces failed to add more to the dish.
The dessert: Kaiserschmarrn
This dessert looked fantastic, but tasted only okay. The pancake was a little underdone in the middle. I found the strawberry sauce a bit overwhelmingly sweet.
All in all, Spago is not worth a return visit and I regret going there to celebrate the big 3-0. I'm surprised the restaurant was so crowded on a Wednesday evening, but I think it remains popular with the older denizen of 90210 who frequented Spago in its heyday and continue to go despite better dining options in LA.
Spago Beverly Hills
176 N Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210