By Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)
Vino Italiano (Italian wine) has a special meaning at Osteria Drago. Owner/ Master Chef Celestino Drago entered into a partnership with a famous Italian winery for his own label designed with a picture of his father.
He owns the Dolce Forno bakery (Sweet Oven) that specializes in the upscale Italian breads, pastries and deserts served at Osteria Drago.
As you walk into the dining room, one lamp attracts your attention. The lamp stretches across the ceiling and moves down to light the VIP table.
Guests realize this is a real Italian dining experience.
Chef Celestino has special ways to cook his meals.
Kevin Lepisto, Osteria Drago Manager, explained, “Celestino leaves the salmon’s skin on when cooking so it comes out crispy. The salmon is seared in a pan 3-4 minutes and finished in the oven until medium-rare.
The salmon is served with cannellini bean puree, green beans and salsa verde (green).”
Cannellini beans are popular in Italy, especially Tuscany. They have a mild flavor.
Even chicken can be a gourmet meal at Osteria Drago.
Kevin described Chef Celestino’s recipe for chicken parmesan. “This is not the traditional chicken parmesan. Layers of tomato sauce alternate with layers of egg plant. Bread is placed on the top to finish in a salamander in order for the bread crumbs to get crispy for the topping.
The chicken parmesan is not deep-fried. Celestino feels it is a more elegant, lighter version with parmesan cream on the side.
The Mediterranean sea bass is roasted in the oven whole without the head.
We create a “comfort food feeling” to their cuisine.”
There are 15 different pastas on the menu, not only the traditional red sauce but with several ways to mix the pastas.
Most of the starters, pastas and the entrees’ portions are large enough to share.”
Osteria’s charming setting is perfect for a party or group up to 40 people in their private banquet room.
Many guests dine here because it is close to some of Hollywood’s famous sites.
After dinner they have a wide choice of many nightclubs, comedy clubs and other nearby places to go.
Just across the street from Osteria Drago, the Viper Room nightclub has hosted top bands with multiple genres including metal, punk rock and alternative since 1993.
Known as the rock and roll scene in Los Angeles, the Roxy Theater’s (1964) shows included Bruce Springsteen’s now-classic 1975 performances, Guns N’ Roses’ pre-stardom shows, Miles Davis, Pearl Jam and many of our present icons.
For information, call (310)-657-1182. Osteria Drago is located at 8741 West Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. www.osteriadrago.com
Sandy Zimmerman is a syndicated Show and Dining Reviewer, Travel Writer, Health journalist, professional photographer and talk show host of the Las Vegas Today Show and Discover the Ultimate Vacation travel specials. For information or questions about any of Sandy’s columns, contact Sandy Zimmerman at: (702)-735-5974.