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PARTY LINE : A Quest for Empties

August 19, 1993|KATHIE JENKINS

Everything had been going swell at the benefit party for the Museum of Contemporary Art, hosted by Detour magazine at the 2 Rodeo mall in Beverly Hills. There was plenty of food--everything from chateaubriand sandwiches to apricot couscous and Chinese chicken salad from 10 restaurants (Babylon, Arnie Morton's, Tryst, Chopstix, Cicada, Cardini and more).

There were plenty of celebrities--among them Lara Flynn Boyle ("Equinox," "Twin Peaks"), Kathy Najimy ("Sister Act"), Tia Carrera ("Rising Sun") and Christian Slater ("Untamed Heart"). The crowd was interesting--described by Detour spokesman Dick Weaver as Beverly Hills royalty mixed with the art community and wacko punkers. "Not your typical boring Beverly Hills party," he says.

There was even a preview fashion show of Geoffrey Beene's fall collection.

But when the party began to break up, things got a little wild.

Tequila was the problem. Not the liquor itself, but the hand-blown, signed and numbered bottles of expensive Patron tequila served at the bar. On the way out, guests, who'd paid $85 for the food and schmoozing, began to grab the empties to take with them.

"We told them they couldn't have the bottles," says Detour spokesman Weaver. "And they snatched them right out of our hands. 'Gimme, gimme, gimme,' they shouted. Finally, to keep things calm, we said, 'OK, here, take them.' "

When the party ended, all the bottles had disappeared. "I've never seen people, especially in Beverly Hills, fight over empty tequila bottles," says Weaver. "These people are all rich, right?"

*

The owners of Babylon hated it when we published the restaurant's phone number, but they happily gave us the recipe for the couscous that was served at the MOCA party. Though the diced raw beet seems like a weird idea, it works.

GRILLED CHICKEN WITH DRIED APRICOT COUSCOUS

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter

2 cups couscous

1/2 cup julienned dried apricots

1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds

1/2 sweet red pepper, diced

1/2 sweet yellow pepper, diced

8 boneless half chicken breasts, grilled

4 cups baby greens

Spicy Curry Vinaigrette

Bring 3 cups water, salt and butter to boil in saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous lightly with fork. Add dried apricots, almonds and red and yellow bell pepper.

Serve couscous on warm plate with grilled boneless chicken breasts. Garnish with baby greens. Drizzle Spicy Curry Vinaigrette over chicken and greens. Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains about:

709 calories; 472 mg sodium; 91 mg cholesterol; 42 grams fat; 48 grams carbohydrates; 35 grams protein; 1.36 grams fiber.

Spicy Curry Vinaigrette

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Madras curry powder

Salt, pepper

1 beet, peeled, cut into small dice

1 zucchini, cut into small dice

1 yellow squash, cut into small dice

Place oil in bowl. Slowly whisk in balsamic vinegar, curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. Add diced beet, zucchini and squash.

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