My All-Time Favorite Dining Experience

When my husband was stationed in San Diego, I loved visiting Hollywood. A good friend on ours from Memphis decided to visit, so I really wanted to go all out. After deciding what we would do as far as sightseeing, I started exploring restaurants. Although it may sound a bit cliché, I choose Spago Beverly Hills.

I had always read about the star-studded clientele of Spago and had seen Wolfgang Puck on many cooking shows, so I thought Spago would be fun, but also a great dining experience. I made the reservations and eagerly awaited our friend’s visit.

Let me say that my husband and I are not accustomed to fine dining. His idea of eating out is grabbing burgers at Sonic. I was excited and yet a little apprehensive about this dining experience. When we got to Spago, to my surprise, I found it to have a very elegant, yet relaxed atmosphere. After informing the hostess of our reservation, she suggested we visit the bar while we waited. Before I could take a sip of my Cosmopolitan, our table was ready. The first sign that we were not at a regular restaurant was that the hostess carried my drink on a tray for me. After being seated, our waiter unfolded our napkins and placed them in our laps. Clue number two that we were not at Dennys. Shortly there after, we were offered a yummy array of breads and rolls. As I looked at the menu, I could not decide what to get. Many of the items were seafood based, not one of my favorites. Now when I look at their menu online, I see many pasta dishes, so I think the menu has changed since we were there. I noticed a tomato salad that sounded great, so I ordered that as my entrée. Our friend ordered the salmon and my husband ordered swordfish. The dinner was very tasty and beautifully presented, but as our dinning experience went into its second hour, I realized that fine dining was not a hurried affair. For dessert, our friend and I both had strawberry shortcake while my husband had a decadent chocolate dessert.

As for stargazing, while we did not see Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, we did see James Coburn (at the time, he had just won an Academy Award) and Gloria Steinem. However, the highlight of the entire night was getting to meet Wolfgang Puck himself! He came to our table, shook our hands, asked how we enjoyed our dinner, and thanked us for coming. The total bill for three people was $250 and we felt a little like we needed to visit In and Out Burger to fill up a little more, but I still remember this as my favorite dining experience!