Viva Celestino Drago!
by Sophie Gayot
For whatever reason, Celestino Drago is closing his restaurant Drago in Santa Monica at the end of January. We are sad to see it go, but we are happy because Celestino is working on some new projects.
His Angeleno story started when he arrived in Southern California from Sicily at the age of 22. His restaurant Drago rapidly became a success, and has been Celestino’s flagship for twenty-one years! He later went on to open Enoteca Drago and Il Pastaio, both in Beverly Hills, and DRAGO Centro in a gorgeous space downtown LA.
To celebrate Drago’s last month, the restaurant is offering several dishes from the original 1991 menu. These “throwbacks” include “Fegato D’Anatra, Aceto Balsamico, Indivia” (sautéed duck liver with aged balsamic glaze and grilled Belgium endive), “Spaghetti con Bottarga” (spaghetti with pressed dried tuna caviar), and “Quaglie Arrosto, Ripiene, Polenta Alla Griglia” (sausage-filled quail with grilled polenta and saltimbocca sauce).
Hopefully you will have time to visit before the end of the month; if not, watch my exclusive video interview with Celestino Drago and executive chef Evan Gotanda, recently filmed at the restaurant.
As far as other ventures, Celestino will be happy to cater for you in the comfort of your own home, or at his catering venue Casa Bianca in Culver City (310-453-9107). You may also buy the Drago family’s baked goods, pastries, fresh breads, pasta and gelato at Dolce Forno Bakery, also located in Culver City at 3828 Willat Avenue, 90232, 310-280-6004, www.dolcefornobakery.com.
For more Los Angeles culinary news, go to GAYOT’s LA Restaurant News page.
You can click on each photo to enlarge to see dishes from Drago restaurant menu. All photos by Sophie Gayot.