- Welcome to Spago II, The Sequel
In L.A., diners tend to be a fickle set. Many believe if you're not the hottest place to be, you might as well not be. That's why, after a 30-year-run fueled by award-winning cuisine and a heavy dose of Hollywood heat, Spago could've very easily taken its final bow. But that's not what happened.
They took the opposite approach, reinvesting $4 million for some good old fashioned cosmetic surgery. The surgeon? In-demand interior designer, Waldo Fernandez (of Soho House West Hollywood fame and Waldo's Designs), who infused the interior with a jolt of relevance -- not to mention a palette filled with blacks, grays and browns.
Hence, the rebirth of Wolfgang Puck's epic eaterie in October 2012 with more than just a new coat of paint. What does $4 million get you these days? Turns out more than just a nip/tuck. For starters, an expansive glass-walled wine cellar with roughly 3,000 bottles (lower picture) selected from a wine collection that goes 30,000 deep, a patio with a retractable roof and an open-air kitchen behind floor-to-ceiling glass -- where the skills of executive chef Lee Hefter and chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi are on display. Also, an Ed Ruscha piece titled, "Anchor Stuck in Sand."
Early reviews of the new space and menu are strong -- even as they've said goodbye to classic baby boomer dishes such as the smoked salmon caviar pizza in favor of creative California Asian fusion fare such as bacon-wrapped monkfish and barbecued sting ray.
Love or hate this local legend due to its longevity and lavish post-Oscar parties, but it appears the flagship of the Puck empire is here to stay.
An L.A. Icon Gets a $4 Million Facelift