Monday, September 10, 2012

Dance the Night Away -- Cicada Club Style

Sometimes a delicious meal out in a fabulous atmosphere can be icing on the cake! So, you can imagine my (Misha) delight when I, alongside my fellow Deco Divas, stepped into the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and through the doorway of our own black-and-white delicious movie.

Let's start with the door to Maxwell DeMille's Cicada Club, a place that is touted as a popular swing dance venue and vintage nightclub in Los Angeles that celebrates the magic of old Hollywood. 

Known for its 1920s Art Deco design throughout the 15,000 square foot space as well as a 30-foot ceiling and posh bar and lounge, Cicada can truly transport any visitor to Hollywood's golden age of nightclubs and glamour.

In front of the door is Cicada's very own dapper doorman, who graciously opened the door for us (and even obliged our request for a group photo!). Immediately we were transported into an era that although is long passed is still very much celebrated. 

Rarely do you find a place in Los Angeles where people actually dress up to go anywhere, whether it be the theatre, dinner or even an art exhibit, so I was just delighted to be greeted by a staff dressed to the nines, not to mention everyone seated at their dinner tables. 

I noticed people of all ages dressed in vintage attire and actually wished that I had taken my ensemble a bit farther. My fellow Divas looked like the bees knees I do have to say, especially Chandra (the brunette on the right in the adjacent pic) who is amazing with makeup and hair. She had her look down perfectly--with that perfect shade of red lipstick.

Walking to our table, Maxwell DeMille’s band was fine-tuning their instruments, and I immediately wished I had my dashing husband with me to twirl around the dance floor. Though I knew if the mood struck me, I’d just grab one of my divas to dance with me.

Now, at this point in this Cicada review, I could focus on the inspiring entertainment and fabulous dancers in front of me, which included The Johnny Holiday Program. But since I am the official reviewer for our upcoming book about art deco and Hollywood, I will focus on reviewing one of my favorite topics: food.

Our waiter immediately informed us that he was new to the restaurant and asked for our patience. With us four molls, he didn’t have to worry, especially since we were ordering a drink right away.  I demurely asked for my favorite cocktail, a very dirty vodka martini. 

When he brought it, I noticed right away that this was a MARTINI.  It wasn’t in a tiny little glass like most hot spots deliver, but it was in a healthy martini glass. I was duly impressed. I was even more so when I took my first sip. This had to be the best dirty martini I have had in years. It was perfectly dirty (like me) and I had to hold myself back from not wanting to drink it too quickly.  

We settled into our menus then, and I was thrilled at the variety.  I have to admit that my experience with supper clubs before then has been less than stellar. Usually they focus on the club and forget the supper. But this Northern Italian menu has so much variety that it was hard to choose.

Lara and I decided to split the Caesar Salad.  Readers...GET the Caesar Salad. The Parmesan Crisp and Garlic Puff on top could have been my whole meal. (Lara doesn't know this, but I did the splitting and couldn’t help but give myself the bigger slices. Shhh. Don't tell.)

Loving this salad, I couldn’t wait for the main course. One of the specials was a filet mignon Gnocchi, and Chandra was all over that. I had a hard time between that and the Smoked Chicken Ravioli, which is on their regular menu. Come to find out, either way was a perfect choice.  

Cori and I ordered the Ravioli, and Kitty had the Pistachio Crusted Salmon. Luckily we are a group of gals who like to share (because, after all, sharing is indeed caring!), and forks were flying everywhere. Our ravioli came with asparagus in a pink sauce, which was divine. Some pink sauces can be too heavy-handed with either the alfredo mix, but this was just perfect.  

Now I’m not much of a fish eater, but Lara’s Salmon was amazing. The Leek Mashed Potatoes and Lemon Caviar Beurre Blanc sauce were a splendid combination with the Salmon, and I was hoping she wouldn’t finish it so I could have more. 

I do have to say, between Cori, Chandra and I, the Gnocchi was something we could have ordered again...and again.  The steak was succulent in the frommage sauce and next time, if they have this as a special again, I am ordering a whole loaf of bread to dip in it. 

Suffice it to say, there wasn’t a morsel left on any of our plates.  But did that stop us from ordering desert? Are you kidding? One mention of the Chocolate Molten Cake from our waiter and we were salivating again. 

Of course I needed to try a specialty drink to go along with this. I asked our guy to bring me one of the signature drinks and that’s when he delivered to me the Tropical Snatch Martini. Filled to the brim with Makers Mark, Cucumber, Pineapple Juice and Simple Syrup, I knew after one sip that this giggle juice wasn’t your average beverage. 

What a perfect ending to a perfect evening.  Watching the couples in their vintage attire twirl around the dance floor, especially the lovely 70-year-old couple at the table next to us who couldn’t keep their hands off each other (awww!), and sipping on my cocktail, I was transformed back to a more glamorous time when elegance was celebrated.  

I didn’t even mind that I had to fight three other girls with my fork to get my fair share of that warm, chocolate gooeyness. 

Mental note to self: Next time order two desserts. Maybe three, especially if you plan to stay and watch all the glorious dancing and singing in front of you.

Contact Info: 
Cicada Club
617 South Olive Street  
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 488-9488 
(lists special events, like their upcoming Halloween party)


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