Citizen Smith – S-E-X Spelled Backwards

citizen smith, hollywood, los angeles, ca - torso decor
Under normal cicumstances, maybe a mutual friend introduces the two of you to each other. Or perhaps there is even a degree or two of separation – your best friend’s co-worker’s freind has a cousin whose friend…you know how it goes. Even an “online” introduction is considered a “normal” circumstance these days. You read a profile. Keywords like “high” and “income” scream out at you. So what if you’re a little shallow and you like unemployed stoners?

Whatever the introductory case may be, a normal story unravels in a normal way over a period of time. First you play the flirtation game. Then you get to know each other. Then you hang out, survive your first fight, and really get to know each other. Then you have the DTR. Then.

And then, in a creamy, dreamy, magically delicious candlelit moment, perhaps under the spell of the Hallmark fairy, you say “I love you.” *sigh*

And then you get married. Finally finally finally fie-nuh-lee (!) on your wedding night you get to, you know.

You finally play Scrabble.

Scrabble is the climactic conclusion in the normal course of romance? What is this? 1932?

This is 2006. It’s almost 2007. There is no such thing as normal anymore. In fact, abnormal is the new normal, and in the abnormal situation, you meet, skip ahead to Scrabble, and then maybe you say “I love you” out loud, and that’s only if the other alternative is letting DeBeers say “I love you,” which is too much of a commitment than three little vaporous words. If you have time, you get to know each other and hang out, but that’s optional, because just what is the point of getting to know someone when we all know that it’s all just subterfuge to get to Scrabble?

I am all about abnormal. I’m so abnormal that I fall in love with…

A restaurant, for fox ache.

No wonder I’m single.

From the moment I walked through the front door into the luxe darkness, I knew Citizen Smith was X-E-S, forward and backwards. The atmosphere is not only sexy, but every aspect of the décor is a testament to magnificent excess. Everything is big. Everything is luxe. In an inexplicable way, Citizen Smith is almost palatial.

citizen smith, hollywood, los angeles, ca
heavy light

The space is grand. The front main dining area creeps into a second bar area in the back, which spills out onto a patio lounge. High ceilings provide plenty of air space for heavy, ornate chandeliers that provide subtle points of light along with matching sconces reaching out from marble columns and meticulously placed lights along the walls. There are candles everywhere. Windows are dressed with scarlet drapes that hang from high above. Substantial marble and stone sculptures seem to defy the laws of gravity. A giant pot sits suspended from above. Enormous marble globes float up from dark wood floor to a ceiling that vanishes into darkness.

citizen smith, hollywood, los angeles, ca
tea and sconce
citizen smith, hollywood, los angeles, ca
golden globes

We scooted into a booth with luxurious dark leather seating, next to a stone torso that looked like it had been excavated from ancient ruins. The booths, which face the long bar on the opposite side of the room, are spacious, and each one is a tiny individual enclave that reaches up to the ceiling. The wall behind our heads was lined with cowhide, different from the wall in the booth next to us, which was metal framed squares of what looked like a translucent marble. You could say you were surrounded by nature, but it’s the most decadent excavation then expression of nature possible with enormous potted plants, deep dark wood on the walls, on the floor, and even cross-sections of enormous trees as cocktail tables, leather and animal hides, stone, and marble.

For some reason I want to say Citizen Smith is an eccentric billionaire bachelor who was an archaeologist in a previous lifetime. The whole vibe is gorgeous, dark, rich, warm, and X-E-S-Y.

Naturally, I loved it. I fell in E-V-O-L with Citizen Smith without even tasting the menu. In the early evening, Citizen Smith is a restaurant that serves “New American” cuisine before it transforms into a loungey latenight lair. I suppose at some point I will go back and try the Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese, but like I said, these days, the whole “getting to know you” thing is optional (but not really, because how does one not go back for jalapenos?).

Citizen Smith
1600 N Cahuenga Blvd (@Selma Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA

** a year ago today, i had McCoffee on my McWay to McLAX for the McFuckinHolidays **

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