Friday, February 5, 2016


Drago Centro
525 South Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: 213.228.8998
$$$ ($30-$45)
Cuisine: Italian
Mon, 01/18/2016, 7:00pm reservation
    (3.5 Piglets)

Italian is one of my favorite cuisines of all time. How could you not love a decadent bowl of pasta with your favorite sauce to go with it? To slurp those noodles is like slurping heaven into your mouth. With that in mind, I was excited to check out Drago Centro for DineLA. I visited this restaurant once prior to DineLA and had a wonderful experience. Now, it was time to see whether they were consistent with the food and service.

Drago Centro is a beautifully constructed restaurant. Nestled in the heart of Downtown LA, the eatery can be a bit difficult to find (I was at a loss trying to find the valet). Large windows with a contemporary ambiance bring sophistication to the restaurant. There is a gorgeous display of their wine collection that seems to be their focal point. 

The bar
The interior dining room

COURSE 1: BURRATA, SHAVED FENNEL, CROSTINI, HAZELNUTS, ENDIVE, TRUFFLE VINAIGRETTE. This dish was delicious but a bit overwhelming. The burrata was creamy to the point that after a few bites, I was done. There was not enough of the crostini to absorb and balance the creaminess. The fennel was a nice touch that added freshness to the dish. Regardless, I still finished the plate (cause I don't like wasting delicious food), but my friend could only eat half. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. LE PAPPARDELLE AL FAGIANO ($20.00-NOT PART OF THE DINELA MENU): Pappardelle, Roasted Pheasant, Morel Mushrooms. This was an extremely flavorful dish. The pasta was cooked perfectly with the perfect texture and bite. The pheasant wasn't overly gamey nor was it dry. The morel mushrooms gave an earthiness to the dish. 

BRAISED PORK BELLY: Soft Polenta, Brussel Sprouts, Sage Fonduta. As soon as I saw this, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately, the pork belly was a tad bit dry and lacked seasoning. I normally love fat but it was actually a bit overwhelming for me. The brussel sprouts were good and so was the soft polenta but that was about it.  

PASQUINI ESPRESSO, POURED OVER A SCOOP OF GELATO. This was a good affogato dessert. The espresso was strong and the gelato was creamy. I don't think you could really mess up this dessert unless you mess up the gelato and espresso. 

CHOCOLATE AND OLIVE OIL TERRINE, SALTED CARAMEL GELATO, ALMONDS. I loved this dessert and it was probably the best dish out of the dineLA menu. The terrine was rich in chocolate flavor and wasn't overpowered by the olive oil. The gelato was perfect and the marcona almonds added a nice touch and texture to the dish. Perfect! 

Overall, the food is decent but not as wonderful as my first visit at Drago Centro. The waitress we had was not very accommodating. In fact, she disappeared for awhile and it was hard to flag her down. So in essence, consistency needs a bit of work as well as the service. Would I come back? Sure! I'm always down to give a restaurant another shot. If it can be as good as my first visit, then I'm sold!

Notable Dishes: Pappardelle and Chocolate and Olive Oil Terrine

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