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 restaurant’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 premium on views, it had one of the best. Not that I ever got a window table there.
Despite the hugely â€œsee and be seenâ€ attitude about the old Spago, some very interesting new food was being served. Itâ€™s easy to forget that Asian Fusion was once a new sensation and Wolfgang Puck and Spago led the charge.
This recipe was adapted from one by Wolfgang Puck. It’s here to represent the old Spago in it’s prime. Most especially the casual, innovative style of food that was served in the there. While I canâ€™t say for sure that this dish was ever served at the old Spago, I can say it was just these sorts of bold, grilled flavors that dominated the menu. Shrimp with Ginger and Lime.
- 4 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
- 2 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1½ teaspoon lime zest
- 1 pound large shrimp (16 to 20 count)
- 2 limes, each cut into 4 wedges
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, ginger, brown sugar, garlic, lime zest and sesame oil. Set aside.
Peel and devein the shrimp leaving the tails intact. Add shrimp to marinade and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover bowl or place contents of bowl in a large resealable plastic food storage bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat grill or broiler. Thread shrimp and lime wedges onto 8 skewers, dividing evenly.
Cook shrimp skewers directly over medium-hot fire for about 5 minutes or until shrimp are bright pink, turning once during cooking or cook directly under the broiler, 3 to 4 inches from the heat source.