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My very first foray into fine dining was at a Wolfgang Puck establishment in Seattle, (about 14 years ago). I grew up in a town on the outskirts (population: 6000), so fine dining meant we only got to enjoy Red Lobster’s cheesy biscuits on rare occasions!

I remember hopping the ferry with some friends and enjoying my first fancy meal of a half roasted chicken and garlic mashed potatoes. How edgy and exotic!

Before then, I had never really spent more than $10 bucks for a meal. Uh, dollar menus anyone?

Sitting in the glow of this darkly lit eatery (in what I now realize was pretty low on the food chain of fancy), an obsession grew. An obsession with good food being made for me.

Spago used to be the most famous restaurant in the world.

Back when Wolfgang Puck himself was edgy and exotic.

Wolfgang opened the original Spago Hollywood location in 1982 and ever since then, people couldn’t get enough.

Even when we arrived at the Beverly Hills location for a business lunch, I expected it to be dead; filled with a cast of elderly ex-producers and they’re younger plastic sugery-ridden girlfriends.

I was right, but the place was packed! Obviously, ‘ole Wolfy’s still got it!

When Sidney Poitier, Larry King and Harvey Weinstein wobbled in, this only further emphasized that fact.

Poor Larry, I believe he might be animatronic now….

The appetizers were top notch.

The tuna tar tar cones (at top) were the best thing consumed.

I don’t usually like smoked salmon, but as long as I plugged my nose, the pizza was great!

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My Lupe de Mer was perfectly cooked. Thank goodness the skin peeled off easily, because that would have been a deal breaker.

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The desserts were ok, I picked out the best one, naturally. ;)

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Thanks to our hosts for footing the most likely enormous lunch tab, as I’m sure it was probably around $75 a person. But the company was nice, the ambience was pleasant (we sat outside in the courtyard) and I think I ate too much fish…oy…