Spago Seder Delights Nearly 300 Guests in Beverly Hills

So delighted by the unusual taste of the matzah, an attendee at Spago’s recent Passover seder remarked it was “matzah made cool again.”

He was one of nearly 300 guests who turned out in Beverly Hills for Spago’s 39th annual interfaith seder on the second night of Passover, April 6.

The elegant evening included a service led by University Synagogue’s Rabbi Arnold Rachlis and Cantor Ruti Braier.

The chefs prepared an array of dishes, including braised beef short ribs, Alaskan salmon, and matzah ball soup. But among guests, the biggest hit might’ve been the garlic-and-thyme matzah, which was baked in the restaurant’s pizza ovens.

Spago Beverly Hills Co-owner Barbara Lazaroff, who hosts the annual interfaith seder at her restaurant

“We take great pride in making sure we do it right every year,” Spago’s chef de Cuisine Areg Avanassian said of the matzah. The evening lasted several hours. Around 5:45 p.m., guests filed in. Barbara Lazaroff, co-founder and owner of Spago, went table to table making small talk with guests, which included artists, designers, publicists, tech leaders and even singer-songwriter Carol Connors, co-writer of the theme from the original “Rocky” movie.

As the evening went on, guests swapped business cards and stories over plates of gefilte fish about how they ended up at the one-of-a-kind annual seder, a benefit for Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

The evening concluded with Lazaroff expressing gratitude to the many people who turned out.

“From the bottom of my heart,” the restauranter said, “it means so much to me that you chose to celebrate your holiday here.”