3-29-09 Sunday (Pigeons and Other Delights)

I dub thee Spago Day. Yes folks, tonight we dine at the famous Spago of Beverly Hills. First we drive to Encino to visit another reacquainted classmate through Facebook, Dawn. We chit-chatted with Dawn, husband Scott and toddler Riley. Well, Riley kinda mumbled here and there. Our Spago reservations were for 6:15 so off we went.

Despite LA traffic, somehow we arrive at Spago a little bit before 6, so we stroll up and down the street. Here's my
overkill Spago review:

We got into the restaurant, gave our reservation info and was told they'd begin seating shortly. We decide to have a drink. Amaretto Sours for both of us. $10 each. A Michael Jackson tune is playing. How odd. The Maître d' picked up our drinks, brought them to the table and seated us.


A french guy comes by to offer us beverages. It was difficult to understand him. The server, Christian, comes over but never introduces herself. I later asked for her name.

The prices are outrageous and the descriptions are what I'd call cryptic-fanciful. I spot "five course tasting menu available" at the bottom of the menu. $95.00 each. I ask about that, she says it changes daily. She had to find out what it was. Shouldn't she have known that at the beginning of her shift? Sheesh. Another Michael Jackson tune is playing. Maybe he's there? She named several items, one being "squab". What's squab? Pigeon ...... uh no thanks. OK so we ask for a definition of some of the menu items. Another item was "skate". Skate is stingray fin. Hmmmm, maybe I'll try that. There were some other strange dishes as well. Bread service was yummy even though the french guy served that and again we had a hard time understanding him.

Jim and I picked 3 appetizers, told her we'd like 2 out of the 3 and to surprise us. One of which was Veal Sweetbread. It was tasty but I later found out from our DEAR friend Mike that sweetbread is the pancreas or thymus gland. Ugh. For dinner, we gave our server a few items and she recommended Prime "Cote De Boeuf" grilled over charcoal for two with Swiss Chard, Armagnac-Green Peppercorn Sauce and Pommes Aligo, whatever all that meant. We'll just call that steak for ease. Another Michael Jackson tune..... The steak was cooked up and then brought to our table unsliced by a chef. We nodded in approval of this hunk o' meat with a large bone protruding. 2 chefs returned to the table with the steak sliced. Tableside they served it onto the plates, mixed up some cheese and mashed potato concoction and some healthy spinach. We eat, it's tasty. Jim isn't impressed. I saw that one coming.



Off to the bathroom I go.... a Prince tune plays..... Back to the table.....

In the dining room are quite some characters. Old Hollywood women who appear 994 but with plastic surgery appear youthful and fake at 991. Some other lady wore this horrific moo-moo dress with gigantic-enormous balls around her neck. Like giant pearls but more the size of gold balls. Hysterical. I share the humor with our down-to-earth server. She said we oughta see the scariness that is Hollywood on other nights. Another Prince tune plays overhead......

Time for desert. Basically we had decided on some one billion layer chocolate cake and a cookie tray. At our "first course" (appetizer) we ordered 2 items to share. Apparently this ain't no TGI
Fridays so there's no extra plates to share. I didn't want to go through that eating off each other's plate crap for desert. I told Christian, I want the cake and the cookie thingy. We want to share it. I want half on Jim's plate and half on mine. She says, oh usually it's just brought out on separate plates but she'd see what she can do. She said the chef would have a lot of questions. Jim politely said, "they're an executive chef, tell them to figure it out." I loved that moment. AND they did it perfectly.


In summary, I thought Prince and Michael Jackson music was inappropriate for a restaurant of this caliber. You'll have to refer to our casino steak night (Black & Blue) to appreciate some of my comparison comments. No warm, wet towels to start with. No fancy butter. No relish tray. No ice made of iced tea. $200.00 + tip + the drinks from the bar. I really didn't feel it was worth it. I feel gypped. Jim and I agree that at least we can say we ate at Spago in Beverly Hills.

I won't classify it as a misadventure and it really wasn't bad. It just wasn't as good as we thought it should be.

Here's some other photos from our night out:

Above: The Jeep parked in front of Spago.

Above: A horrified looking horse statue.

Above/Below: Up the block from Spago, a ready made family awaited us.



Above: Rodeo Drive: The less the store has, the more it's gonna cost ya.

Above: Rodeo Drive Chanel had a commercial being filmed.

Above: Only $430 for these sunglasses. What a bargain.

Above: Jim was able to hold the pole up until the police arrived.

Above: This Rodeo Drive mannequin has huge pointy nipples.

Above: People, STOP with the huge sunglasses. Ewwww.





8 comments:

  1. re: sweetbred and squab...lol..yeah, I'm with you there.

    My first rule is that I don't eat anything without knowing exactly what it came off of, and what part it is. :) My second rule is that I don't eat anything that is looking back at me. So yeah, don't be serving me sheep eyes. (which are actually considered a delicacy in some areas, but OMG I am not eating an eyeball!)

    For those prices (holy crap!), everything should have been freakin' perfect. Most expensive place I ever ate was Ruth's Chris, but my cousin is a chief there, so not so pricy for me. ;)

    I think it sounds like a great "people watching" place, sounds like the kind of joint that gets interesting clientle, but I'd be ordering something way cheaper. Like a leaf of lettuce w/ a glass of water. :P (Probably 20 bucks there.)

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  2. Walk On: Reread the post just for the photos I added. The text didn't change. I published the post and then remembered I didn't include the awesome photos I took. I hate when that happens.....

    Garret

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  3. Hey Jim and Garret, thanks for the link to RV parks in Tampa...it is a great help. Enjoy L.A.
    All the best,
    Ken

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  4. The pics of each of you with the ready made wife and kid- Hilarious!!

    Really enjoyed the Spago review. I'll never go there... and now feel like I'm not really missing much!

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  5. nipples + horrified horse = that look on Jackie O's face in the huge sunglasses!
    you are too funny

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  6. I'm so in love with this post that I'm going to marry it in my next life.

    Spago! Can I touch you?

    I'm so proud that I know someone who actually dined there. The recepit is a nice touch. I zeroed in on the sweetbreads and wondered what you were thinking, Andrew Zimmern. Eeew. All things considered, I thought the prices were fair. Ever been to Ruth's Chris? You can drop a couple hundred easy on two people with nothing exotic ordered. Food is to die for though, so worth it in the long run.

    And one more time, I say: you look really great! All that whining about gaining weight? Where? You look slim and healthy (and happy!) to me. Don't mess with the formula.

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  7. Reread,lmao, who thought those nipples were really needed?!

    IDK who wears those sunglasses like that, I'm old enough to remember them from the '70's.

    I didn't like them then either. :P

    I'll stick to my 3.99 sunglasses from WalMart, at least when I lose them on a monthly basis (which I do), I don't have to get a loan from the bank to replace them.

    Maybe I'm just the queen of unhip, but I didn't see anything in that store, or on Miss Nipples, that I'd even be interested in looking at.

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  8. PS - I'm thinking the horse saw the prices at Spago.

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