Best of the Best 2013: Dining: Spago
Shortly after the 30th birthday of Spago (310.385.0880, www.wolfgangpuck.com), the Beverly Hills restaurant and emblem of California cuisine, Wolfgang Puck closed the doors and reimagined "everything—everything!" In September he revealed a thoroughly refreshed icon, with a cool neutral interior by the decorator Waldo Fernandez and a sophisticated menu overseen by executive chef Lee Hefter and chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi. There is a smashing new bar, and on the coveted patio a retractable roof now protects glamorous diners from the (very occasional) elements. Dinners begin with a series of exquisite hors d’oeuvres, then move on to courses such as postage-stamp-size celery-root agnolotti or risotto with velvety veal cheek and spring garlic. Vegetables are literally served on pedestals, and the famous Chino Farms salad is now tossed tableside. The many Japanese touches include Scottish salmon grilled over bincho charcoal and served with fragrant, roasted maitake mushrooms and melted leeks. The 38,000-bottle cellar of the master sommelier Chris Miller pays tribute to Austrian whites and is probably the best such list in the country. Once again, the most celebratory restaurant in Los Angeles is also one of its most exciting.