Dining details: Drago Central in downtown Los Angeles

Drago Centro ** 1/2 LOCATION 525 S. Flower St., City National Plaza, downtown Los Angeles; (213) 228-8998; www.dragocentro.com. AMBIENCE Sleek contemporary Italian restaurant across from the Central Library with a great urban vibe and smart cooking from Celestino Drago and chef de cuisine Ian Gresik. SERVICE Mostly attentive and informed. PRICE Dinner antipasti, $9 to $18; salads, $12 to $14; pasta and risotto, $14 to $26; main courses, $26 to $37; side dishes, $9 to $14; desserts, $9. Lunch antipasti, $9 to $15; pasta and risotto, $14 to $18; main course salads, $18 to $23; fish and meat, $24 to $27. BEST DISHES Mussels with cracked black pepper, venison carpaccio, grilled artichoke salad with pistachios, basil spaghetti with tomato-almond pesto, pappardelle with pheasant and morels, paccheri with spot prawns and puttanesca sauce, Sardinian- style lasagna, grass-fed beef rib-eye for two with anchovy- garlic mayo, grilled veal chop with sweetbreads and lentils, Italian doughnuts with ricotta cream, panna cotta al caffe. WINE LIST Astute, mostly Italian list from sommelier Michael Shearin, with 50 wines by the glass and carafe as well. Corkage fee, $25. BEST TABLE One of the banquettes at the back or sides of the room. SPECIAL FEATURES Two private dining rooms, one in a former bank vault that seats up to 40. DETAILS Open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; for dinner 5:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Full bar. Valet parking on Figueroa Street between 5th and 6th streets for dinner only, free for the first three hours, $7 thereafter. At lunch, parking is underground on Level A of the building: the first two hours are $5, with validation. Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World