Drago Ristorante Now Serving Italian Fare In The Petersen Museum


The Petersen Automotive Museum now has a restaurant where you can dine on modern Italian cuisine if you're feeling peckish after salivating over a $2.6 million Bugatti.

Drago Ristorante now joins the ranks of Los Angeles' esteemed museum-adjacent restaurants, like The Broad's Otium or LACMA's Ray's & Stark Bar. The Italian eatery opened in December, and has a sleek, mod design courtesy of Felderman Keatinge + Associates. Bright walls in reds and purples prevent otherwise white space from feeling too sterile. Circles of neon hang from the ceiling, matching the outside of the auto museum, which received a revamp in 2015 that added supine swirls across the facade. The lobby remains open for access to Drago even after the museum itself has closed, so you'll be able to stroll around and gaze at more than a few gorgeous cars before your reservation. Seating is available at a number of tables or in a comfortable, yellow wrap-around booth that allows one to see the museum through glass partitions.

The Drago name should be familiar to Angelenos. The Sicilian family has been involved in the Los Angeles restaurant scene for over 20 years. Celestino Drago first came to the United States in 1979 where he worked at Orlando Orsini, before opening Celestino in Beverly Hills (now located in Pasadena) in the 1980s. In 2014, he was knighted by the Italian government. The consul general of Italy, Giuseppe Perrone, performed the ceremony in Los Angeles, telling those assembled that Drago was being honored "for his exemplary contributions to the preservation and advancement of Italian culture and traditions." The family also operates Drago Centro in downtown Los Angeles, Drago's Dolce Forno bakery in Culver City, Drago Farms in Santa Ynez and Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills , among other properties.

The menu at Drago Ristorante consists of modern Italian fare with an emphasis on produce, which isn't surprising for any California restaurant, let alone one whose proprietors own a farm. Expect hand-made pastas, antipasti, wood-fired pizzas and heartier mains. Notable items include a burrata salad with generous helpings of the creamy cheese, combined with heirloom tomatoes, basil cream and prosciutto. There's also the seafood spaghetti, braised short rib and polenta, and a risotto with butternut squash, zucchini flower and roasted hazelnut. One of the best parts about a meal here is also the simplest: the fresh-baked bread. Have a piece or two while waiting for your entree, then use another to sop up the sauce.

The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with dinner service from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Friday, and from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Drago Ristorante is located inside The Petersen Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd., 323-800-2244.