Take a look at my first Spago review here
After my first review of Spago, the general manager called me and asked for us to come back for another chance. We decided to give it another try especially when they sent me a $150 gift certificate in the mail. Now, I understand that they were really focused on us during the meal and some of the extras were unique to this one experience but overall it was a much improved night.
Our waiter, which was the biggest issue last time, was awesome. Ben was very attentive, explained everything very well, and checked up on us regularly. We didn’t want for anything the entire night. During the meal I paid attention to our waiter with other tables and somehow even though he was slammed, each table received just as much attention as we did. The ambiance was great and since we sat outside there was no issue with temperature. The music also seemed like it was selected just for me; I swear that I heard 75% of the music on my Pandora that day. It was a beautiful night and one worthy of our last meal in LA before moving away.
Within five minutes of our arrival the manager was out with champagne welcoming us back to Spago, what a nice touch. We were waiting for menus but he told us that before they allowed us to order he had a few surprises in store. Little did I know that it would be an hour before we actually ordered. First he brought out ahi tuna wrapped in a cone with sesame seeds. Delicious! Next, he brought us a blini (Mini savory pancake) with creme fraishe, smoked salmon, an salmon roe. Sometimes I am thankful that Virginia doesn’t eat seafood because this was awesome. It tasted like Judaism on a plate! The last bite he brought out was by far the best. It was a bacon, yes bacon confit inside a savory puff pastry. Too bad Virginia eats bacon, I could have eaten dozens of those. It was an explosion of bacon flavor in a tiny individual bite.
After about an hour we ordered and just like the last time our food was amazing, but that is not surprising for a Michelin star restaurant. The menu had changed completely since the last time and the new options were incredible. As an appetizer I ordered the Maryland crab cake which was one of the best I’ve ever had. And I’ve had crab cakes in Maryland. The presentation was masterful with what tasted like basil puree (But maybe pea) in tiny balls along the edge of the plate and a small salad on top of the cake. The star of this dish was the crab, as it should be. There was almost no filler, just enough to keep it together and that was great. Surprisingly, what made it so good was the spice. The crab cake was spicy! The saddest part of this dish was that I only got one but I definitely needed to save room for the rest of the meal. As a side note, Virginia ordered the agnolotti appetizer and the manager took the liberty of shaving summer truffles on top at no charge. I was worried because Virginia hates mushrooms but these truffles were light and she loved them!
For dinner I ordered the Cantonese style roasted duck with lo-mien noodles and Shiitake mushrooms. It was beyond ridiculous. The waiter told me that Wolfgang himself orders this dish when he eats at Spago and I see why. The duck was beautifully cooked and super crispy and the 5-spice rub made the flavors pop. Paired as the main contributor to the sauce were mandarin oranges. Sweet and cooked down well they transported me to a traditional but elevated Chinese restaurant. You wouldn’t think that this dish would be presented at Spago but it definitely was. The entree was so good that I could resist picking up the legs to get every little morsel off the bone. I’m sure I embarrassed Virginia but it was worth it. The lo-mien on the side was just as good but nothing could compare to what was on the main plate. Sorry noodles.
For dessert I ordered a raspberry souffle with raspberry ice cream and chocolate sauce. This was possibly the best souffle I have ever eaten. It was cooked perfectly, I don’t think it would have collapsed if I just stared at it for an hour but I could not resist. I dug in and took my first bite. It was so rich and sweet from the chocolate but the tartness of the raspberries surely shined through. For an additional chocolate note they served a sauce to be poured on top. Ben warned me not to pour it all in but I’m rebellious and ignored him. I am so glad I did. The sauce was unbelievable, thick, chocolaty, and sweet it added a whole other level to the souffle. And when it became too rich, you could go in for some raspberry sorbet and cold whole raspberries. Despite the massive amount of food I had eaten I almost licked the plate clean. If I was at home or alone, I probably would have licked it but alas Virginia makes me act like an adult. Sadly, I did not get a good picture because it was dark out but you get the idea.
Overall a much better experience that the first trip and though we can not get back the night after my first marathon, this went a long way towards making up for it. Based on this night I would go back when we are in town. It didn’t hurt that though we ate so much, with the comped items and the gift certificate our final bill was only $73 and our bottle of wine cost $50. Not a bad cost for a five star meal. Something else really cool that I appreciate about Spago is that their menu changes constantly so every time you go you can have a completely different eating experience. For some restaurants this wont work but Spago puts effort into the menu changes and it shows. While this trip to Spago was without a doubt a 10/10, my final rating reflects an average of my two dinners
Overall Rating: 8/10
Check out their ever changing menu here