Before a council of pharaohs proclaimed sporks to be "the utensil of god-kings," all dining experiences were posh affairs. Celebrate a return to lavish dining with today's Groupon: for $30, you get $60 worth of upscale Italian cuisine and drinks at Drago Centro, located in the heart of the Financial District. Your Groupon is valid only during dinner (starting at 5 p.m. daily), and reservations are required.
Using a palette of fresh ingredients, award-winning chef Celestino Drago artfully constructs a menu of Italian classics with a modern flair. Spark the mouth engine with il carpaccio, tender beef carpaccio flanked with crispy baby lettuce and aioli ($15), or l’insalata di asparagi, a combo of crisp California asparagus, almonds, and lemon aioli topped with chili vinaigrette ($13). The l’ippoglosso unites halibut, potato gnocchi, asparagus, and peas in a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves ($32). Tempting pasta offerings include le pappardelle al fagiano, with pappardelle, roasted pheasant, and morel mushrooms ($19). Drago Centro also offers a delectable four-course tasting menu for indecisive tongues ($48 per person, $72 with wine pairings).
After dinner, delight sweet teeth with a smattering of desserts such as i bomboloni, minute doughnuts draped with strawberries, mascarpone crème, and basil gelato ($9). Modern and upscale, Drago Centro's interior boasts vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, while a honey-colored canopy and circular skylights give the outdoor lounge a cool glow reminiscent of being blissfully trapped in a firefly's LED implant. Sit and sip crafted cocktails ($12) or marvel at the 15-foot, glass-enclosed wine tower and equally tall wine list, which features wines from France, Italy, California, and other countries. Drago Centro also offers free valet after 5 p.m., with validation for up to three hours, for your car, buggy, or luxury submarine.
Drago Centro has been featured extensively in local and national press, including positive reviews from LA Weekly and the Los Angeles Times and features in The Tasting Panel magazine and Food & Wine. Nearly 200 Yelpers give it a four-star average, and 78% of more than 110 Urbanspooners like it. More than 275 OpenTable reviewers give Drago Centro an average of 4.2 stars:
- This is a seriously good restaurant that exudes urban chic. It's got views, a glamorous setting, a private dining room with a demonstration kitchen in a former bank vault and, most important, the best Italian cooking in the area, and some of the best anywhere in L.A. – S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
- There is no use resisting: For dessert, you will get the hot little doughnuts with ricotta cream, and you will not share them, no matter how plaintively the person across the table may ask. – Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly
- Earned its well-deserved reputation as an exceptionally elegant, hip, uncommonly imaginative and accomplished downtown restaurant. – OpenTable reviewer who dined on 07/08/2010