Los Angeles Opening: Osteria Drago

The Sunset Strip is the last place you’d expect to find a beachy Italian spot with bleached white walls and an intimate front porch, but maybe that was chef and owner Celestino Drago’s intention for opening Osteria Drago, August 1st. If you weren’t paying attention this past winter, Drago Santa Monica closed just after celebrating its 20th anniversary, leaving the area with just one or two fine-dining spots left on the coast. We’re looking at you, Michael’s.

With Osteria Drago, the chef has gone casual with small plates, offering a limited menu of regional and traditional Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist. We’re talking sea urchin panna cotta, squid ink spaghetti, and spinach lasagna with prosciutto and reggiano. The place is perfect for private parties, or for fooling yourself you’re on the Italian coastline.