To Live and Dine in L.A.

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I’m still in a bit of shock from my long weekend in Los Angeles last month. Shock from the mediocre meals I had. Shock from spending hours navigating the filth and rubble of downtown L.A., and shock from how I was sold a bill of goods describing how a “downtown Renaissance” was going on there. Something is going on all right — every block seems beset by either new construction or a condo conversion — but the progress has been glacial since last we visited a few years ago, and don’t hold your breath if you expect it to look like mid-town Manhattan (or even downtown Seattle) anytime soon.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 27. CUT

27. CUT

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(Photo by www.kevineats.com)

When Wolfgang Puck and his troops opened this offshoot of his Beverly Hills steakhouse in ’08, they probably didn’t know they were creating the perfect Las Vegas restaurant. It’s a steakhouse (natch), but also a cool and groovy bar/café where you can soak in the vibe and not get soaked in the process.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 24. SPAGO

24. SPAGO

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Spago has been so good for so long we now take it for granted. It’s like the furniture — always there, always comfortable — but unlike the furniture, it can still surprise and dazzle you with whatever Executive Chef Eric Klein has decided to whip up that day.

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