Delicious Drago Centro Cocktails $8 Tomorrow

Fig e 5th

Caroline on Crack and Twitterland have been a-buzz with Drago’s special Thursday. So if you don’t already know, tomorrow their entire Nuovi Classico (new classics) cocktail menu – normally $12 – will be available for $8 per drink. Yesterday (Tuesday), was when the menu debuted. On H.C. of LA-OC-Foodie‘s and my way to a Whiskey Society meeting over at Seven Grand, we decided to stop by Drago for some tastes.

Pera

We met Michael Shearin, who was very gracious, knowledgable and will be sure to take care of you when you stop in tomorrow. Despite this being the day the brand new cocktail menu debuted, I was surprised – with the exception of the Fumo e Fuoco, which Michael promises will have more kick to it when he’s done – at how refined the cocktails were. Favorites were definitely the 5th e Fig (above), Pera (right) and the Poizone Magica No. 2 (below).

If I tried the cocktail, notes are included under its listing:

  • Api e Rose – Plymouth gin, poli miele, rosemary, honey, lemon juice (pic)

A light, refreshing drink. Good aroma (thank you, Rosemary) and a very casual cocktail.

  • Arancia meccanica – Sombra mezcal, red bell pepper, cilantro, agave nectar, lime juice, smoked salt (tried a variation not in its final form)
  • Espatriato – Buffalo Trace bourbon, fresh ginger, thai basil, orange juice, lemon juice (pic)

Very good, if what H.C. described as a “girly drink.” It’s girly in every good way, though I do admit being partial to basil. It’s refreshing and reminiscent of the ginger spritzers the bars are making nowadays.

  • 5th e Fig (above) – Bertagnolli grappa, fresh fig, orange juice, lemon juice

Loved the grappa – an often passed-over liqueur but gets major nods in this cocktail. It’s not too sweet, very full yet light and the garnish itself (a fig slice) is pleasing to your eye as you sip.

  • Fumo e Fuoco – Dewars scotch, birdseye thai chili, honey, lemon juice (right)
Fumo e fuoco

If you dare, you may want to gently affirm to your server you’re no weakling when it comes to spice. This is a good introduction to and twist on scotch with the addition of honey and lemon which cuts its usual brawn and keeps it light…and hopefully spicy.

  • Oro Bianco – Oxley gin, chamomile syrup, Oro blanco grapefruit
  • Pera (above) – Belle de brillet poire cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice

Love the pear cognac – a unique main ingredient, and subtly sweetened with Cointreau and made light with lemon juice. Delicious! The cinnamon powdered rim in this drink isn’t mentioned on the menu but in my opinion it’s really the finishing touch.

  • Poizone Magica No. 2 – Death Door’s gin, aperol, martini bianco, lemon juice (right)

    Poisone e Magica No. 2

A close favorite! Love the white gin, which happens to hail from a remote part of Wisconsin. Stubborn vodka drinkers would enjoy this. Poison? Perhaps. Deathly? Definitely! You won’t know just how intoxicated you’re becoming by drinking this potion. Don’t forget the brandied cherry on the bottom – if I catch you, you’ll have ‘splainin to do.

  • Superstizone – Woodford Reserve bourbon, Kahlua, dry vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters, orange bitters
  • Violetta – Belvedere vodka, creme de violette, shiso, vanilla syrup, orange juice (pic)

Lives up to its name – in color, aroma and taste. The shiso cuts the sweetness of it and keeps it interesting, though the cocktail is a bit sweet.

Overall, I was impressed with a select few cocktails – while knowing that a menu will come into its own with more wear. But preparations are definitely being made for their big day tomorrow – so I suggest taking full advantage. We’ve yet to see if this will be a cocktail destination – but it looks like Drago will be coming into its own very soon.

Also, while you’re there, you might as well increase your cocktail intake by nibbling on some very respectable bar bites with which to absorb your libations (available all day, every day):

  • La bruschetta classica (tomato, basil, parmesan, crostini) 3

    Margherita pizza
  • La bruschetta mediterranea (eggplant, smoked scamorza cheese, crostini) 3
  • La bruschetta di mare (marinated anchovies, onions, tomato, crostini) 3
  • La bruschetta di vitello tonnato (roasted veal, tuna, capers, crostini) 5
  • Il rotolo di mozzarella (mozzarella, speck, roasted peppers, arugula) 4
  • Due kobe hamburgers (mini kobe beef burgers, mushrooms, fontina) 7
  • Gli arancini siciliani (saffron risotto fritters, bolognese) 5
  • Il tagliere di formaggi assortiti (two cheese assortment, condiments) 9
  • Il tagliere di affettati con gnocco fritto (house selection of charcuterie, gnocco modena style) 8
  • La pizza margherita (mozzarella, tomato, basil pizza) 4
  • La pizza ai gamberi (shrimp, corn, mozzarella pizza) 4
  • La pizza al tartufo estivo (summer truffle & mushroom pizza) 4

I can vouch for their pizza crust. There might be a little too much cheese but you know – I don’t mind cheese.  I really loved the Il tagliere di affettati con gnocco fritto, which were little, delicate charcuterie burgers in little pastry buns with arugula. Delicious!

It might be a good idea to make the trek to downtown if you don’t already work there. It’s something I could look forward to all day – especially since it’s spent behind a desk. And if you do work downtown, what are you waiting for? Plan to meet your camarades for lunch!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cocktails $8 all day

Bar bites available at stated price all day, every day

Drago Centro
525 S Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA‎
213.228.8998

@dragocentro