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Drago Dare

A little dish of sibling rivalry can go a long way.

Growing up, I had an older brother who was perfect. He was a straight-A student who skipped a grade, very handsome, an accomplished athlete, a classical musician extraordinaire and kind to everyone. What a gift

All through high school I became a minimalist. Not the kind you are thinking of—with stark furnishings or black clothes—but a minimalist in life. I did the least amount possible to keep moving forward, luxuriated in the lushness of laziness and felt relieved that my parents already had a star kid on their hands. 

But that’s certainly not the case for Celestino and Giacomino Drago, Beverly Hills' celebrity sibling restaurateurs.

Have you ever gotten one of those TravelZoo restaurant specials? I decided to try one the other night for , Celestino Drago’s Beverly Hills locale on North Canon Drive. (Celestino also owns Drago Santa Monica, Drago Centro and Drago Air).

I’ve about next door, owned by Celestino’s little brother Giacomino. I don’t know what Signora Drago put on her boys’ spaghettini growing up back in Sicily, but there must be some kind of healthy sibling rivalry going on. (Giacomino’s restaurant mini-empire includes Piccolo Paradiso, Via Alloro and Il Buco.)

Celestino is more formal. His restaurants are fancier in ambience, service and presentation. They serve smaller portions dressed in a higher style. My thinking is that Giacomino is the rebel—he is the youngest of eight children. Of his places I’ve tried, they are a bit more casual, more home-style. Also, they’re more crowded.

The TravelZoo coupon offered a separate prix fixe menu of appetizer, entrée and dessert that was delicate, delicious and mouth-poppingly memorable. It also seemed to draw in more patrons than the last time I glanced in. But the whole coupon idea seems out of place for Celestino. Did he hire a new marketing person? Is he copying his little brother Giacomino? Are they competing?

I couldn’t help but wonder.

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