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Downtown's Drago Centro plans to open next Thursday

November 4, 2008 | 12:20 pm

Celestino Drago (of Drago Ristorante, Enoteca Drago and Il Pastaio Ristorante) and partner-GM Matteo Ferdinandi plan an opening next Thursday of Drago Centro,  which will be located downtown in the former City National Bank space.

The 9,500-square-foot space was designed by Los Angeles firm Felderman + Keatinge Associates, with  stone walls, curved ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, black Murano chandeliers, white leather booths and a 16-foot wine tower. The restaurant will also include two private dining rooms. (See Eater LA.)

DragoThe menu features "modern Italian cuisine with regional influences": il carpaccio di langostino (warm langoustine carpaccio with pomegranates, micro herbs and yuzu dressing); il pane frattau sardo (baked paper-thin bread layered with tomato sauce, sheep's milk cheese, sausage and egg yolk); il risotto al salto con ragu di polpo (crispy risotto cake with octopus and young garlic sauce); and il piccione arrosto (stuffed roasted squab, cabbage and chestnut puree). The restaurant also will have a "salumi program" and a cheese selection that includes housemade mozzarella and ricotta.

Italian-inspired aperitifs and cocktails in the lounge, created by Vincenzo Marianella, include:   

Tempi Moderni (gin, pomegranate syrup, red bell pepper and mint), Dolce Vita (grappa, black grapes and fresh lemon juice) and Viale de Tramonto (bourbon, Amaretto Disaronno and organic apple juice).  An Enomatic system lets noncommital-types taste selections by the glass, offered in flights or two- and six-ounce pours. On the bar menu: il fegato d'antara (foie gras crème caramel with baked figs and dandelion greens); le panelle di Palermo (chickpea fritters); and il baccala mantecato con crostini di polenta (salt cod puree with polenta chips).

Drago Centro, City National Plaza, 525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, (213) 228-8998. Open for lunch Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner Monday to Saturday, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.; the bar is open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m. Closed Sundays.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Drago Centro