Tricia and I had dinner at Citizen Smith in Hollywood last night. ‘Twas quite an adventure just getting there. We didn’t have directions or know the address when we left the house. Cingular‘s 411 service is frustratingly bad. It’s all computer-aided voice prompts now and they inevitably connect you to the wrong number the first time you try. Once we finally got through to the restaurant, it took three calls to find an employee that apparantly knew exactly where the place is.
So. We were an hour late for our reservations. (This is shockingly not uncommon in Los Angeles.) We were seated right away, though, because it wasn’t very crowded. There was some confusion with the waitstaff and after getting our waters it wasn’t for another fifteen minutes before Gerron, our waiter, realized we were in his section.
He recommended and beautifully described the night’s chef’s special: Linguini with clams. Tricia ordered that and a red wine and I got the pork chop and a pinot grigio.
There was quite a long wait until the food arrived, but — again — that’s not exactly uncommon in LA. Unfortunately for reasons that are beyond my comprehension, Gerron mistakenly thought Tricia had ordered the “standard” linguini with vegetables and not the special, so we had to wait for them to get her order correct. When it arrived it was delicious. Tricia ordered another wine, a pinot grigio this time. (Sadly, Gerron brought her the red again.) My pork chop was pretty darn good, too. Nothing mind-blowing, but definitely worth a shot if you’re a pork chop kinda guy.
There was a DJ — the best friend of the owner, we were told by a fellow diner — pumping deep cuts of Pink Floyd for the first hour we were there. He switched to classic late-70s / early-80s rock (Journey, Doobie Brothers) after a bit. Eventually the live music began and, although a bit lacking in preparation and practice, it was enjoyable.
When the check came we had to get Gerron to remove the incorrect linguini order, which was pretty lame. (Two people, three entrees?) Including the chocolate brownie we had for dessert at the bar, three wines, and two entrees it was about $100. That’s just a few bucks more than average for dinner in LA, so I can’t really knock them on price.
Would I recommend Citizen Smith? Yeah, probably. The food was pretty good and the decor, lighting, and general style of the place were excellent. Give it a shot.