Family food Living Local

Micah’s 40th Birthday Dinner at Citizen Beverly Hills

IMG_0718Friday was Micah’s 40th birthday. I wanted to throw an epic party…like a forget you have kids for 5 minutes and recreate the wild carefree days of your youth kind of party. Go to some über cool club and feel old cause you can’t hear anyone over the music kind of party. Pop out of a cake in some sexy outfit kind of party (or hire someone else to do that since you are super pregnant and would need a GIANT cake to fit your rear end inside at the moment)…but alas, it wasn’t my birthday, and at the hint that I was planning something Micah CLEARLY let it be known that he emphatically DID NOT want a celebration.

So instead I threw the kind of ‘party’ Micah would actually want to be at. I invited three other couples to dinner. I was trying to figure out where to make a reservation when we were walking back from the grocery store and noticed a new restaurant in our ‘hood’ that actually had a vibe and a menu we liked!

You see we live in Beverly Hills…except we are like the poorest people in our neighborhood and not nearly as fancy as our neighbors. Because of this most of the local establishments are far beyond our price range and WAY too stuffy for our taste (especially since steak seems to be somewhat of a food status symbol and we don’t eat red meat.) We were pleasantly surprised to see a nice relaxed vibe in the decor, a young feel to the place, and a menu that had a great vegetarian and seafood selection that wasn’t insanely expensive!

What is this magical place I speak of…it’s called Citizen, and it was the PERFECT place for a nice, upscale yet casual cool informal adult gathering.

The decor reminded me of my mom’s old macrame planters hanging in my childhood home. It was like sitting cross-legged in a really nice van with shag carpeting and cool music back in the early 70s. A little bit retro, yet still trendy and current.

The wait staff let us know that they were BRAND new and we were kind of guinea pigs, which I wasn’t sure was a good thing or a bad thing.

Pros: The drink list made me want to return post-baby when I can actually partake…the list is extensively cool, and if you don’t see anything you like, their expert bartenders (they train for 6 weeks before they can get officially hired), will ask your drink preferences and concoct a “bartender’s choice” drink for you.

The food was amazing. It is served “family style” and there are no courses, so it comes out randomly and is designed for you to pick at all the different selections. BUT that being said, if you aren’t a good “sharer” you can also order any of the dishes and eat it solo style – just know that you have no control over what dishes come out when. Among the eight of us we ordered a good chunk of the items on the menu. AND they were super accommodating of my food allergies and one of our friends’ vegan needs as well.

I ended up ordering the grilled halibut tacos, the king salmon, the crispy chicken (they modified and cooked without batter so it was gluten-free), and the organic veggies with hummus. Obviously I didn’t eat ALL of those things myself, but I picked at all of them and I will say they were all AMAZING! The chicken was sooooo good, and I really enjoyed the halibut tacos as well. Other favorites at the table were the biscuits, burger, octopus and mussels.

Cons: This is not the place to choose if you are in a hurry. The style of service is to sit, drink, hang out and eat throughout the evening. We got seated at 7:30 and finished our dinner at around 9:45. Granted we were leisurely ordering, sharing with a lot of people and taking our dear sweet (child-free) time!

Sadly, our babysitter had to leave at 10pm, so I didn’t get to stay for dessert (#momproblems), but I was told it was delicious. And they even lit a GIANT sparkler-esque candle for Micah’s birthday. Which I’m sure embarrassed him in all the right ways.

All in all, it was the perfect 40th birthday celebration AND Micah and I have found a new favorite (walkable!) date-night spot.

We were able to get reservations super easily…but this little gem is only three months old and I have a feeling once word gets out it’s going to be a lot harder to get in. Especially since the table turnover isn’t so quick since they really encourage you to hang out.

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