Drago Ristorante from “Entourage”Feb 3rd, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
Last Monday afternoon, I found myself having to kill a few hours of time while my car was being repaired at a mechanic’s shop on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, so I headed across the street to grab a latte and some lunch at a restaurant named Aroma Bakery & Café. I had never before dined at Aroma, but thought the name sounded vaguely familiar and had a brief recollection that it had once been featured on the hit HBO television series Entourage. Well, my memory is obviously not quite as good as I thought because as it turns out the restaurant was never actually featured on the show (it was Urth Café that I had been thinking of), but my mis-memory ended up to be very fortuitous. While I was researching Aroma Bakery on my Blackberry, I came across a thread on the Chowhound website detailing numerous area restaurants which had been featured on Entourage and I almost fell off of my chair when I saw that one of the eateries mentioned was Drago Ristorante in Santa Monica, a place that I have actually dined at numerous times before, but had never realized was a filming location! Then I almost fell off my chair once again when I received a call from the Grim Cheaper a few days later, informing me that his boss had just invited us to dinner at Drago Ristorante that Friday night!!! Talk about synchronicity! So, a few days later the GC and I headed out to the West Side for some dinner and some Entourage stalking. Yay!
Drago Ristorante was originally opened in 1991 by native Sicilian chef Celestino Drago, who had previously founded Celestino restaurant in Beverly Hills. Drago became a virtual overnight success and now, almost two decades later, it is a veritable Santa Monica institution. Celestino has also become something of a celebrity chef along the way and has since opened up several other eateries including Dolce Forno bakery in Culver City, Entoneca Drago and Il Pastaio, both in Beverly Hills, Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles, and Celestino in Pasadena. And I have to say that Drago is EXCELLENT! I opted for the Petto Di Pollo, Funghi Trifolati entrée which featured king trumpet mushrooms that were quite possibly the largest mushrooms I have ever seen in my entire life! They were A-MA-ZING and I would have honestly been happy eating a handful of them by themselves, but I , of course, also chose to gouge myself on the chicken which was doused in a light truffle sauce. And, oh my lord, was it good! I should forewarn my fellow stalkers that the restaurant is on the pricey side, so if you are looking for a reasonable night out, Drago would not be a good choice. If you don’t mind dropping a couple pennies, though, it is ENTIRELY worth the expense.
In the “Oh, Mandy” episode of Entourage, Vince Chase (aka Adrian Grenier) meets up with Mandy Moore, who played herself on the series, at Drago Ristorante in order to talk about the upcoming movie Aquaman, in which they are both set to star. While the two are dining, Eric Murphy (aka Kevin Connolly), Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase (aka Kevin Dillon), and Turtle (aka Jerry Ferrara) wait for Vince in their car out in front of the restaurant. Drago Ristorante also appeared in an early season episode of fave reality show The Bachelor, although I am not sure of exactly which episode or which season. The place is also something of a celebrity hot spot. The GC’s boss saw Ed ‘Neill, Anne Bancroft, Mel Brooks, and Garry Marshall there all on one night a few years back!
On an Entourage side note – Thanks again to the Chowhound website, I recently discovered that HBO has a locations tab on the Entourage section of its website which lists the main locales featured in each and every episode of the show. HOW INCREDIBLY COOL IS THAT??? Why do ALL shows not do this???? Love it! Love it! Love it!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Drago Ristorante, from the “Oh, Mandy” episode of Entourage, is located at 2628 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica.