nic's martini lounge

So far I've been pretty open about the fact that I'm relatively cheap (okay, maybe really cheap).  Appreciation for a good deal is something I got from my mom, and it's stuck with me.  But for some reason, when it comes to food, I'm willing to shell out a bit more from time to time.  Of course I'm always on the hunt for a good happy hour, but I tend to be a sucker for good food.  Moving to L.A. has enhanced my love for food and also helped expand my palette.

My latest semi-extravagant outing was a trip to Nic's martini lounge with a group of girlfriends for my roomate Grace's birthday dinner.  Everything I tasted had me in shock because it was that good.  Although it definitely runs a bit pricey, we managed to get a great deal.  Nic's also has a more affordable happy hour.  But what's really important to note here is how great this place is--everything from the food and drinks to the service was impeccable.

Our group began with a special martini crafted with blueberry vodka and strawberry lemonade, garnished with three fresh blueberries.  We also decided to order a couple appetizers before enjoying a decadent three-course meal. Here was our menu for the evening:

Nic's oysters, sautéed with walnuts and garlic
Gnocchi with morels and champagne cream
1st course: sorrel soup with sour cream and croutons
2nd course: Parmesan-crusted chicken with a white bean mash and side salad
3rd course: chocolate bread pudding with chocolate ice-cream and cherry sauce

Everything was incredibly rich, so to wash everything down, we indulged in a birthday cake shot to toast the birthday girl.  This shot was created with vodka from Nic's vodbox, which is basically a walk-in freezer complete with 30 shelves full of vodka in various flavors.  Patrons who wish to go inside are required to wear a fur coat, which is provided by the restaurant.  Don't worry, there's hats, too.

[bottom two photos curtsey of Nic's]
If you happen to be in Beverly Hills anytime soon, I recommend giving Nic's a try! I'd like to try out the vodbox next time.

Note: Ladies, beware of the dudes here.  It's catered for a slightly older crowd, so young girls tend to get a lot of unsolicited attention at the bar.

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