Wolfgang Puck's flagship reinvents itself

After 30 years of helping define California cuisine, promoting the cult of the celebrity chef, and burdening the world with California Pizza Kitchen (its first pizza chef created CPK's inaugural menu), Spago embraced its L.A. roots to heart and decided to have some work done. Four million dollars worth, to be exact, part of which went to building an enormous skylight in the dining room to better illuminate the work going on in the open kitchen.Another new touch to the dining room: a glassed-in display case for the 30,000 bottle wine collection assembled by their master sommelier.The stately barroom is now lined with silver-capped tincture bottles, and the libations were designed by chef Lee Hefter, who's taken to infusing gin with Earl Gray tea and mixing the result with fresh lemon juice to create the Duke of Earl. Down one, then lead the whole bar in an impromptu Gene Chandler singalong.As for the famed patio, instead of heaters it's now framed by two enormous fireplaces, and that roof is retractable.The menu's gone under the knife as well, and though the Italian/Asian influences remain, new dishes count rack of Sonoma lamb w/ young garlic & flax, and roast pheasant w/ Autumn fruits.Photos: Spago