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A Place Where Real Men Might Conceivably Eat Quiche

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

February 02, 1990|RUTH REICHL

"This song always gets me," said the hostess, standing stock still. She was so moved that she could not, for a moment, take us to our seats.

The song was being broadcast over one of the television screens in Lyle Alzado's new restaurant, Alzado's, 826 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 652-8800. Like everything else in the place, the televisions are enormous.

But then, everything about this restaurant has a sort of fantasy quality.

There's a pool table in one corner, an enormous rectangular bar, lots of television sets tuned to sporting events. Women with teased hair in tight clothes keep walking in the door. At the moment, there are even bright lights as a TV crew bursts in, following in the wake of Alzado himself, who is interviewing the guests. What more could any boy want?

This fantasy is being played out on a stage that looks like a rec room in deepest Brooklyn. So when you open the menu, you expect to find spaghetti and meatballs; instead you find spaghetti with smoked salmon and dill, references to sun-dried tomatoes and lots of Japanese eggplant. It's a little disconcerting. Fortunately, there is a bar menu of "All-American favorites." In these surroundings, it feels more natural to be chowing down on cheeseburgers, pizza or Buffalo chicken wings.

You can even opt for hot dogs (plain or with chili). They're the perfect thing to be eating the next time "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played.

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