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Nic's Martini Lounge - PK's Review

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Nic's Martini Lounge - PK's Review

PoetKitty | Feb 6, 2006 03:13 PM

My girl Coothie sailed in from the DC area recently and asked for a true LA night-out experience. I chose Nic's as the drink/dine venue of the eve - had never been, but had a good feeling it would deliver.

Place: Nic's Martini Lounge, Friday, 2/3 - 7:30 PM
Myself + 1 guest

Ratings in brief:

Ambiance - B
The space has multi-colored striped walls and a funky vibe. I like.
Service - B
Henry, our waiter, had his hands full, but he took good care of us.
Food (Taste) - B+
Surprised. Pleasantly surprised, and in one case, positively blown away.
Food (Presentation) - B+
Well-presented, plated, displayed. Dishes looked purrrty.
Wine/Drinks - B-
For a place that specializes in martinis, I was not all that impressed. The drink list was creative enough, but the execution - just so-so.
Value - B+
We drank like two femme-fishies and ate up a storm, so the high tab was expected and it didn't hurt one bit.
Overall Experience - B+

Girls night out, yo - we descended on Nic's a bit late for our reservation but we're promptly seated and attended to by Henry. Great central table, next to a very loud birthday party that kindly adopted us as surrogate members. Awesome vibe in this place - packed with hipsters, but a friendly bunch - as well as a celebrity or two, which made my just-visiting girl-pal absolutely gleeful.

Nic's has an appropriately loungy look and feel, and be warned, it gets LOUD. That added to the festive nature of the outing, however, so I didn't mind a bit - but on a romantic date? Not good. Just FYI.

The skinny on the dishes:

DRINKS

We had a bazillion martinis. Lots of interesting combos - including an "Where's my Effen Martini" that featured black cherry liquor and a splash of coke - but they just weren't mind-blowing. With "Martini" in the name, I was hoping for some crazy good concoctions. They were the weakest link in the food chain for the eve.

BREAD

Standard fare here, just served with butter.

APPETIZERS

Ahi Tuna Bruschetta - weird. Not repulsive, but a bizarre mix. This consisted of rare, finally chopped tuna, tomatoes, parsley, and a few other herbs/veggies scooped onto toasted bread and smeared with a bit o' olive oil. It was OK. No descernable flavor, and I'm not fond of the mushy fish with toasted bread combo.

Grilled Octopus with Feta - OK, this was the standout homerun holy squid this is good stuff winner of the eve. The octopus was so fresh and tender it absolutelly melted on tongue-contact. The feta matched perfectly with a lemony, olivey zing that made my toes curl. My guest thought she hated octopus - it turns out she just doesn't like BAD octopus. Who knew. We both just freaked over this dish.

ENTREES

Crispy Duck with Black Cherry Vodka, Pomegranate, and Soy sauce - this was served with a serrano ham hash and yams. Can I say goddamn? Killer sauce. Duck was well cooked - large portion, and the yams were lip-smacking too. Spectacular dish. Not quite eye-popping ala the octopus, but super-lovely.

Salmon with Mangoes and Oranges - very spa-friendly. I wasn't crazy about the taste of the salmon - had a funky twang (perhaps caused by the too-sweet fruit), but this was just OK. My friend, who ordered the dish, really dug it, however, so maybe it's me.

No dessert - we were too busy drinking and flirting. Ahem.

Total for 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 7 martinis, before tip, was about $180. Pricey, yes, but did I mention how much we were DRINKING? Righto.

Nic's Martini Lounge
435 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills 90210
Cross street: Little Santa Monica
310.550.5708

Next time, I gotta try the oysters - I hear they're famous for 'em.

Ciao, 'Hounds,
poetkitty

Link: http://www.nicsbeverlyhills.com/nics/...

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