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Karen Salkin Out to Lunch

         Restaurant Reviews and Commentary from Karen Salkin
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CINESPACE

My days as the Queen of Clubs are behind me now, but I seriously never had as great a time as when I was dancing hip-hop almost every night and hosting dinner parties for my good friends who frequented my clubs, and took advantage of my hospitality. (In more ways than one.) I still go occasionally, but basically am just grateful that I lived through those years without too much damage. So, whenever there’s a party in a club, I’m in.

Last week, “Sweet Charity” opened at the Pantages Theater and the after-party was at Cinespace, a different kind of dinner club. Usually, nightspot denizens dine at a club just so they can have easy entry into it, and can by-pass the inevitable line, one of the worst experiences of a scenester’s life. Here, though, they have nights where the entertainment is simply dinner and a movie.

For grown-up parties, though, I always think that Cinespace is a strange choice. The average age of theater opening night invitees is way over forty, I would say, and I feel that clubs are just too dark and uncomfortable for them. This particular one is like being in a black-out! That may actually help the plastic surgery -challenged, but it also means that no one can see who’s there, let alone the food. I’m always suspicious of mystery meat.

I’ve been here many times, though it’s never been my first choice of club. (Or even second or third.) The food is actually pretty good, though. This night, they served an odd mix, so I don’t have that many items to review. The main dish was macaroni and cheese, which seemed miscast in that role. (Speaking of rolls, they didn’t have any.) But it was absolutely delicious. It was the second best I’ve ever had, actually, and unfortunately for Mr. X, who has to cope with having a tad chubby girlfriend nowadays, I’m a mac ’n cheese connoisseur.

Many hot hors d’oevres were passed, the best being assorted pizzas, mini-burgers, and taquitos. The guy servers were pretty nice. Most of the female ones left much to be desired. Two of them were downright rude, to everyone. I never get it; I know most people are waiters out of necessity, not career choice, but if you can’t be polite, quit serving and become a tele-marketer. You’ll fit right in.

Back to the party. The only dessert I could find was brownies, which weren’t worth the calories. Actually, even if they were calorie-free, they were the worst brownies I’ve ever had. And to get up to the club, you have to walk up a long, steep staircase. Wait a second--exercise and no dessert? Maybe I will go there more often, instead of the gym. And then the lack of light will be just right.
Cinespace 6356 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood


GREAT TASTES OF BRENTWOOD WRAP-UP

Since I try to practice what I preach, I went to the Great Tastes In Brentwood street festival, on San Vicente, a couple of weeks back, whose proceeds benefited local public schools. Having been a teacher in both private schools and public, I really applaud the latter system and am happy to help them out when I can. I guess a lot of people feel the same way because it was packed. In a good way.

I had a great time, which came as a surprise to me since I thought I had become too jaded for this kind of thing. I had five friends with me, and it was so fun to just stroll around in different groups, knowing we wouldn’t lose each other because of the perfect size of the event, and compare nibbles.

The two dishes we loved the most were truffle parmesan fries from the Luxe Hotel on Sunset, and grilled corn on the cob from Literati Café, that was actually less expensive, and better, than similar corn at the Beverly Hills Art Fair each year. The two of us who sampled SusieCakes cupcakes felt they were the worst offering of the day. And the winner of most obnoxious was the girl manning the Romanov booth.

The best part was the table-bussing service from lovely, uniformed workers, which made it so much easier. Usually, if you’re a good person, you have to search around for where to get rid of your debris, and also clean up after the rude folks who just assume it’s someone else’s job. This time, it actually was, thanks to the cleverness of the organizers. A very much appreciated nicety.

I’ll definitely be back next year. Hope to see you there.

And lastly, I’ll be on the East Coast until Thanksgiving. Out To Lunch will still be have my new reviews, so be sure to check back every week. And I’ll give you the latest NYC news when I return. Have a great month. I just hope I will!
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Missed one of Karen Salkin's previous restaurant reviews?
 
Out To Lunch Nov. 28-
Karen reviews Tesoro Trattoria
 
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Deli Boys
 
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Chakra
 
Out To Lunch Oct. 16-
Karen reviews Cinespace
 
Out To Lunch Oct. 6-
Karen reviews Aphrodisiac
 
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Out To Lunch Sept. 14-
Karen's Food Court Guide
 
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Locanda Del Lago review
 
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