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First Impressions

Insight on Twenty/20

January 15, 1988|RUTH REICHL

"We're not letting the press in yet," the waiter said as we sat down.

Startled, I looked around. Had someone blown my cover in the first three seconds? "But," the waiter continued smoothly, "we've been doing a very good business anyway."

I heaved a sigh of relief and looked around at Twenty/20, 2020 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, (213) 277-2212. It was quite a sight. The ghosts of bunnies still hang around the former Playboy Club, despite the straight backs and proper attire of all the serving people. Umbrella-shaded lights and camera props give the room the air of a rather rumpled studio, but it is the huge square bar up front, the dance floor and the flickering video screens that dominate the room.

This will surely be a major watering hole. The menu, to keep pace, is tastefully trendy, with little flashes of all the latest hits. Hanker for a taste of Asia? Try the Szechwan shrimp. Southwestern up your alley? How about lamb and duck rellenos? If you're crazy for Cajun there is blackened catfish, worriers can nibble on the spa lunch (salad at 73 calories), and if your tastes run to grazing, "a taste of twenty" presents four items on one platter.

Personally it was all a bit much for me. My friends tried pasta with lamb sausage and roasted peppers (and too much rosemary), and grilled chicken with vegetables (and too much rosemary). I asked for the Twenty/20 hamburger platter (serves 2, $20). "We don't have that today," said the waiter.

Maybe they're holding it until they let the press in.

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