I mean EXCELLENT.
I was thinking of going to Spago on Saturday. Like their wine list, haven't tried the new menu. Realized I didn't want to be the guy who spends the first 45 minutes at the table reading a wine list, so, switched gears and checked if Bestia had anything open last minute. Only res's left were 10:15 and 10:30.
Arrived on time at 10:15 to a packed house after some difficulty finding the place (hint: it's down the alley lined with 250 cars.). The table we were supposed to occupy was taking their sweet time getting up, but the host communicated that well and we were content to start up at the bar.
After a "bespoke" cocktail and an initial bottle of wine from the concise, interesting list (by a Tasting Kitchen vet, so one can infer from that the type of "interesting" I mean), we were offered an alternative seat at the high marble bar that overlooks the pizza oven. Ended up being a great seat- the kitchen was interesting to watch and the chefs friendly and conversational.
Gotta say, there was not a single dish that I could describe as anything less than "F*ing great". Here's what we had, as near as I can recall.
-Diver Scallop crudo w squid ink bottarga
-Meatballs w greens
-Mussels with 'nduja
-Pan seared octopus and squid (best octopus I've had in years)
-Spaghetti alla chitara w scallops and squid
-Pizza with 'nduja
Pizza has a killer crust, puffy and just the right amount of blackened. I'd put on par with Mother Dough and ahead of Mozza's, my favorites up to this point...
Our second bottle of wine was on the somm's recommendation, a bright lean red from Croatia that paired well with both the seafood and the spicy bite of the 'nduja.
Serious caliber cooking happening down that alley in the arts district!