Cicada -- is it "above average"?

Hello. Partner and I are looking at places to go for our anniversary later this month. I’ve been wanting to go to Cicada forever, mainly b/c it looks so gorgeous in pictures. And, yes, the quality of the food is secondary on this occasion to ambiance and service.

But, still, I don’t want the food to be horrible. Is the food at least serviceable or even above average (whatever that means)? Or will be cursing ourselves for going there by the end of the meal?

Any other recs, if you think this place stinks? DTLA to the westside is fine, price preferably btw $75-100 pp (not including alcohol; we’ve not planning to drink much).

Many thanks!

Can’t speak to Cicada, but for other recs:

Republique is a little overdone, perhaps, and pretty loud, so maybe - Officine Brera? It is not, strictly speaking, the upper end of fine dining in terms of service, but the service is good, the ambiance is nice, it’s fairly uncrowded (though I can’t speak to peak hours, like Friday or Saturday evenings), thus quiet, and the food is really good. Fairly easily fits into your price range, as well.

71 above
le petite paris
saddle peak lodge

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I had a comically bad experience there, but I can’t speak to the quality of the food because, uh, no server ever came to our table… I’ve repressed this experience a bit, so my recollection is foggy, but net-net: after quite some time, multiple attempts to flag down a passing waiter, who would “be right back,” and multiple conversations with various employees, we left. It was bizarre. Not sure if it was an anomaly or if we were at a weirdly placed table (upstairs) or what.

BUT! The space is gorgeous, and it’s fun to get all dressed up and be around other dressed-up people, so I think it would be a fun anniversary spot. Based on my experience, though, I would recommend getting dinner elsewhere (Redbird?) and then going to Cicada for dancing and music.

Cicada was amazing but very expensive when it was run by Italians. Then, Bernie Taupin’s wife (ex?) took over. It has not been the same since. But it’s still a lovely setting–a re-purposed art deco men’s clothing store…

Thanks, all, for the suggestions/info! Disappointing to hear the Cicada isn’t what it once was, although maybe we’ll stop by just for a peek inside.

As I was typing my message, I thought to myself, “Haven’t I also been wanting to go to Redbird???” Reservation made for Redbird for later this month. :slight_smile:

@PorkyBelly: had not heard of Catch and Gwen; the interior pics are certainly gorgeous. Maybe for partner’s b-day and the next anniversary… :wink:


Don’t go to Cicada.

If you care about the room, 71 is better for room and view, with equally blah food.

If you want a place that has a nice room, but really good food, then Spring.

If just food, then either Patina or Orsa & Winston.

*All recs just for DTLA


Oh, haven’t heard of Spring. Will have to take a look… :slight_smile:

make sure to try the chicken pot pie

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Thanks to all for the recs. Partner liked the menu at Redbird, so we made reservations for last night.

@PorkyBelly: I tried to sell partner on the chicken pot pie, but he wanted other things instead! :wink:

We got the squid salad, the aged duck, the rack of pork, and a side of broccolini. 2 glasses of white and 1 red (sorry, can’t remember the type!).

Overall impression is that the place is very, very good but not quite consistently mind-blowing. Only one pic since I didn’t want to be snapping any photos on a special occasion. :slight_smile:

Complimentary drink (rosé, gin, clarified citrus juice, dry vermouth) was DELICIOUS. I could taste very little of the alcohol, which makes it perfect for me. :wink: The cheese bread was also wonderful (we asked for seconds).

Squid salad was fine (but not amazing). I would’ve like the duck skin to have been sliced separately b/c the duck slices “required” you to eat an entire slice to get the full effect of the crispy skin… And that was just too much meat in one bite (I know, a nitpick). The wild rice w/ the duck was AMAZING. I could seriously eat that all day, every day. The pork plate was ENORMOUS (the pic does not adequately convey the size) was very tasty. Some of the connective tissue hadn’t quite completely broken down, though (boo). Spaeztle accompanying the pork was toasted and wonderful, and the sauce (fig and blood) was INSANE (in the best way possible). I could seriously live in that sauce and be happy.

Too stuffed for dessert, unfortunately!

Patio is gorgeous, service was excellent. A great place for a special occasion meal.

Partner and I think that sitting at the bar, having one entree + dessert might be the way to go in the future at this place.

Total (minus tip but incl the drinks): $194.

A very nice night!

Pork is below. Imagine it being 50% bigger then your usual entree plate.