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Elbow Room Returns to Spago Hollywood

A side benefit of the Beverly Hills operation is that seating is now available at the original location.


When you call the Spago Hollywood number early enough in the day that the dinner-only restaurant isn't answering the phone yet, a voice answers, "Hello, you have reached the original Spago in Hollywood. Yes, we are still open for business," and gives the address on Horn Avenue, continuing, "If you would like to reach Spago Beverly Hills, you need to dial (310) 385-0880."

Where, it happens, when I checked Wednesday (after being put on hold for only a couple of minutes and without giving my name) I was politely told the restaurant does not take reservations between 7 and 9 p.m. (Read, they do not take reservations from mere mortals between 7 and 9 p.m.). Seatings for everyone but the A-list are at 5, 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. or else 9, 9:30 and 10 p.m. Checking the reservation book, my phone buddy told me he could give me a table on Friday, Oct. 3, say, at 6 or 9:30 p.m. or on Oct. 26 at 5:30 or 10 p.m.

But at the original Spago in West Hollywood, you can now--hallelujah!--pretty much waltz on in any weekday without a reservation. Maitre d' Michael Dargin mans the door just like in the old days, but now he's got tables, good tables, to pass out to all and sundry. At least for the moment.

Word is, now that the newness of Spago Beverly Hills has worn off, the old faithful are beginning to show up at the old place for their pizzas and pastas and the familiar Spago fare. The high-energy glamour of the new location is a lure on some occasions, but on others, they'd just like something more relaxing. A place where you can go on the spur of the moment. Tables aren't as jammed together as they once were. There's actually some elbow room, which makes the place much more comfortable.

Gina DeCew, who helped open Granita and has cooked at Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe and in Austin, Texas, is back at Spago Hollywood, where she did her externship from the CIA (that's the Culinary Institute of America) in New York. She's writing her first menu with the help of Jennifer Jasinski, just back from France after a stint at Granita. It could be the start of a whole new era at Spago Hollywood.



Spago Hollywood, 1114 Horn Ave. (at Sunset Boulevard), West Hollywood, (310) 652-4025. Open daily for dinner. Major credit cards accepted. Valet parking. Appetizers $10.50 to $15.50; entrees $19.50 to $32.50.

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