By Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman and Drago Centro)
Restaurateur/ Drago immigrated to the United States from Sicily in 1979.
After more than 25 years in business, Chef Celestino has now added Drago Centro to his restaurant chain.
Chef Celestino’s seven-million-dollar conversion transformed the former Bank of America into the Drago Centro Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.
The metamorphous was complete with a 9,500 square foot restaurant designed with floor to ceiling windows and an ultra-modern setting.
Designed for dining room, bar and lounge seating as well as at the outdoor fire pit and in the Sculpture Square’s fountain patio.
The demonstration kitchen originally was the Bank of America’s repository vault.
The 15 foot-high glass-enclosed wine tower was filled with 800 bottles of wine from Italy, France and California.
Executive Chef Celestino Drago’s menu illustrates his interpretation of both contemporary and classic Italian cuisine from culturally diverse regions of Italy.
Jidori chicken is Japan’s version of Kobe beef.
Raised in Japan and at some farms in the United States, Jidori chickens are delivered to restaurants 24 hours after slaughter.
At Drago Centro, Chef Celestino does not prepare his recipes only one way.
His one-page home-made pasta menu is filled with original selections like Pappardelle pheasant pasta.
Chef Celestino was a recipient of the James Beard award and the Certified Master Chef of Italian Cuisine by Academia Barilla, reserved to chefs who have distinguished themselves for preserving and developing the authentic Italian cuisine around the world.
Drago Catering has catered events for Ozzy Osbourne, MGM producer Steven Bochco, Dustin Hoffman, Janet Jackson, BMW, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Consulate General of Italy and others.
Lunch: Monday-Friday, 11:30 am-2:30 pm; Dinner: Monday-Sunday, 5 pm-10 pm; Happy Hour at the Bar: 11 am-close;
For information, call (213)-228-8998. Drago Centro is located at 525 South Flower Street, downtown Los Angeles. Drago is hidden inside the City National Bank building, yet well worth finding.
Executive Chef Celestino Drago owns Enoteca Drago and IL Pastaio in Beverly Hills, Drago Centro downtown Los Angeles and Drago Catering.
Award winning Sandy Zimmerman has been involved in producing television programs, TV commercials, infomercials and travel specials for 28 years. Sandy is a syndicated Show and Dining Reviewer, Travel Writer, Health Columnist, Professional Photographer and Talk Show Host of the Las Vegas Today Show and Discover the Ultimate Vacation travel specials. If you would like any information or have questions about any of Sandy’s columns, please contact Sandy Zimmerman at (702)-731-6491.