For this entry into my Panamanian Cooking Series I want to feature Wolfgang Puck and Spago. You canâ€™t really talk about iconic Hollywood restaurants without including Spago. But Spago is not all that it used to be. The new Spago in Beverly Hills represents a certain kind of dining in Los Angeles. Solid, dependable and perfectly delicious. Itâ€™s not where you would go exclusively to see stars. The food is too good for that, and while the occasional star certainly dines there, the new Spago seems to have the attention of the serious Los Angeles foodie.
But you know what? I preferred the old Spago, even though I rarely went during itâ€™s hey days of the 1980s and early 1990s. In my mind there is something so elusive about the old Spago in West Hollywood, I canâ€™t quite describe the vibe of the place. Though in my photos here I did try to capture the extravagant starkness mixed with a neon glow that seemed to pulse through the restuarant’s windows. It sat on a cliff above Sunset Blvd in old wood frame building with windows all around. In a city that puts a premiuim on views it had one of the best. Not that I ever got a window table there.
As promised some notes on my Panamanian Cooking Adventure. I am sorry it took me a month to get this to you. But that’s how life is, huh? You always gotta wait for the good stuff!
I was invited by Boquete Gourmet to come to Panama and lead a cooking demonstration. Not one to fear a little adventure– off I traispsed. My concept was to present 6 recipes from classic reastaurants of Hollywood. There is plenty of detail about my choices in previous posts. CLICK here for the original Panama announcement or on the purple links to posts about each recipe.
Panama City is a 5 1/2 hour flight from Los Angeles. We took the red-eye, so I slept on the plane and it seemed we arrived lickity-split (who slipped that Ambien into my cocktail?) to the Panama City Airport! It is big and modern and easy to navigate. We soon got our rental car and before you knew it, we were on the road. It’s a good thing we got an early start because our destination was still a full 8 hours away by car. We were off to Boquete, and it’s way up (over?) at the Costa Rican border. I am sorry I don’t have photos of this part of the trip, but I was a bit nervous about the cooking adventure and was a little lax on my photography, duties.
You want to hear something funny. SippitySup has a rank of 4332 in Panama. It’s my best rank per country in the world. Which means that SippitySup is a very popular site in Panama. It seems so random, but itâ€™s true.
I start with that little fact because I have some exciting news; SippitySup has been invited to Panama to lead a cooking demonstration for a group called Boquete Gourmet. Somehow little tiny SippitySup has managed to catch the hearts of a group of food loving ex-pats living the high life near the border with Costa Rica. Boquete is a beautiful town adjacent to the mighty Volcan BarÃº, and I am very honored and excited to be invited.
Boquete is a peacful little mountain community that is often described as Paradise. In fact Forbes magazine recently rated Boquete as one of the top 10 places to retire in the world. Harper’s Bazaar says, “Panama is the most beautiful retreat in the world and almost undiscovered.”
Well Sup! is about to discover it in a big way!