We were supposed to go to a murder mystery dinner at H.O.M.E. in Beverly Hills last Sunday only to discover we had the wrong date. There were no shortages of restaurants along Canon Drive so we just walked and ended up at Enoteca Drago. My last Drago experience was in January of 2012 when Drago on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica closed its doors as they decided not to renew the lease. My friend Cindy and I enjoyed our experience then. So, when Sandi and I came across Enoteca, it was an easy decision to have our dinner there.
As I glanced at the menu, one dish caught my eye; Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe which had lots of black pepper and Romano cheese. For our second pasta, we thought we would try the Cavatelli with wild boar ragu, porcini mushrooms and fennel. For our appetizer, we split a Beet Salad with baby beets, pistachio cream, arugula and fried shallots.
This was delicious, so delicious that a bigger portion would have made a good entree for dinner. The Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe was aldente and had the perfect balance of pepper and Romano cheese. The Cavatelli was a bit of a disappointment. It had a flavor we couldn't put our finger on that we thought took away from the ragu flavor. Upon checking with our attentive and lively waiter named Oz, he identified the mystery ingredient....fennel. Somehow we dismissed the ingredient even if it was listed on the menu. The Cavatelli had the gnocchi consistency; somehow we both could not get excited over this dish. I couldn't help compare it to the boar ragu at Osteria Mozza which is divine!
We were so stuffed as we ate a few slices of bread and half a dozen grissini (Italian bread sticks). We were determined not to order dessert till Oz brought us the menu. We thought it would not hurt to just look. We surrendered and ordered the Sfogliatina Croccante di Nocciole con Marmellata e Sorbetto di Arance e Pepe Nero. What a long name for a dessert..... the bottom was made of chocolate crunch bar; almost tasted like it had rice krispies, then a thick chocolate-type mousse with orange marmalade and orange slices. This was topped with a black pepper sorbetto (ice cream with a high fruit juice or liquid ratio). We cleaned that plate and left no traces of anything.
Right next to Enoteca Drago is Il Pastaio on N. Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills which is part of the Drago Group with one more in downtown Los Angeles; Drago Centro. They brought it to our attention that they also have a Drago Bakery on Willat Ave. in Culver City. This will be an excuse to drive to Culver City and see what the bakery is all about.