When is a restaurant chain not a chain?
When it’s one of the Drago family restaurants that dot the landscape of the greater Los Angeles area. Each of these excellent restaurants, owned and operated by the three Drago brothers, boasts its own unique décor and its own individual menu.
Drago Centro is no exception. But, as restaurants go, it is exceptional. The design, more modern than the other Drago restaurants suits the customer base in downtown Los Angeles. It is light and airy at lunchtime and tastefully elegant at dinner.
The menu is distinctly and unflinchingly Italian.
The lunch menu offers pasta dishes either in full size portions or half size. There are extensive offerings of starters and salads and just enough variety of meat and fish dishes to make it interesting. Among my lunch favorites are the garganelli or the branzino. Specials are apt to include a wonderful plate of two quail stuffed with farro or some other inventive item.
Diners can opt for the four-course tasting menu, with or without wine pairings, for dinner. Or they can choose to order ala carte from an even greater choice of pastas and a solid list of entrées. You can’t go wrong with any of the pasta plates and the branzino is prepared to perfection.
The wine list is solid, with a nice assortment of dessert wines. As for desserts, I dare you to resist.
Drago Centro is under the stewardship of Drago brother Celestino Drago, who also oversees Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills and Drago Bakery in Culver City.