Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

BEHIND THE SCENES / ORANGE COUNTY

Close, but No Cuba Libres

Big Trouble in Little Havana is a smoker with a mingling dictator, an evening with a Latin beat . . . and a dinner with an Italian menu.

November 21, 1996

If Fidel's there, smoke is in the air. That was certainly the case last week when Twin Palms in Fashion Island Newport Beach held a smoker night dubbed Big Trouble in Little Havana.

For the most part, few seemed to find much trouble at the restaurant. It was a pretty tame crowd--even the man masquerading as Castro (Jay Wright) in fatigues and chomped-down cigar was more interested in mingling than in politics.

Each in the crowd, which numbered a couple hundred, picked up a packet of three cigars and a lighter at the front desk--courtesy of Newport Tobacco--and hit the martini tables, where bottles of flavored Stoli, lined up like soldiers, soon fell.

The food was Italian--so much for continuing the theme--but everyone seemed pleased with chef Tony Zidar and his filo duck. Anyway, guests were pretty busy playing backgammon or chess, or listening to the cha-cha and mambo coming from the Latin band.

In a nod to the Caribbean island's heyday as a party paradise, women stepped into the back of their closets to pull out clothes that were all '40s--sleek Rita Hayworth-style pantsuits and Joan Crawfordesque hats. Most of the men didn't reach so far, sporting weekday suits or dressed as grown-up cabana boys in Hawaiian shirts.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|