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Cicada - Tasting Menu (review)

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Cicada - Tasting Menu (review)

Tom P | Oct 31, 2002 10:41 AM

Terrific experience with a fellow food fanatic at Cicada last night. It was my first time to go (though I dined there years ago when it was Rex). Both the service and the food were outstanding, much better than I was expecting, to be honest. We started with excellent martinis. Lately it seems no one puts even a drop of vermouth in martinis; you might as well ask for straight gin. These were just right and chilled to perfection. We decided to try the 5 course Chef's Tasting Menu. The first course was a lovely cream of asparagus soup. Smooth and rich, yet not too heavy, and tasting of pure asparagus. Next were perhaps the best scallops I have ever tasted. They were sauteed with fresh corn in a lobster reduction. Everything about the dish was fresh and flavorful, and the scallops themselves were just divine. Sometimes scallops can be a bit chewy. These were perfect in consistency and cooked just the right amount. They really burst in your mouth. The third course was a pasta, but one of the specials for the evening was a risotto with white truffles. The waiter was very accommodating and for a slight charge (because of the truffles) we were able to substitute the risotto for the pasta. This perhaps made the evening. I am a huge fan of risotto -- and very picky about it. This risotto was the perfect consistency, made with butter, Parmesan Reggiano and cream. The staff grated the truffles onto the risotto at the table and when all mixed together, it could not have been better. I could have simply eaten 5 servings of it. The fourth course was a choice of lamb or sea bass. We both had the rack of Lamb, which was crusted with mustard. Again a very satisfying dish, very flavorful (the accompanying juice on the plate was a highlight) and the accompanying potato gratin was crusty and delicious. We ended the meal with a lemon sorbet, full of citrus and tang. The wine steward directed us to an excellent bottle of red and everyone, from the host to the bus staff, were friendly and gracious. All in all, it was one of the better dining experiences I have had in LA lately. I highly recommend it.

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