Spago, Beverly Hills
While it’s no longer the hot new table in town—in fact, it hasn’t been for 11 years—Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant has stood the test of time. The dining room, with its panes of colorful etched glass set into the ceiling and overlooking the kitchen, still feels warmly elegant; the terracotta-tiled patio surrounded by flower beds and trees is, as ever, perfect for enjoying a leisurely lunch. Chef Lee Hefter’s contemporary American dishes are impeccably executed, whether they swing toward classic Gallic recipes (pan-roasted Dover sole with caramelized cauliflower, garlic, and raisins) or Asian preparations (Cantonese-style duck breast roasted with ginger, star anise, black pepper, and apricots).
Tip: Like many of the restaurants in Puck’s empire, Spago offers some of his favorite childhood dishes on the menu. If you’re dying to try authentic Austrian Wiener schnitzel, do it here.