From the moment I walked through the front door into the luxe darkness, I knew Citizen Smith was X-E-S, forward and backwards. The atmosphere is not only sexy, but every aspect of the décor is a testament to magnificent excess. Everything is big. Everything is luxe. In an inexplicable way, Citizen Smith is almost palatial.
The space is grand. The front main dining area creeps into a second bar area in the back, which spills out onto a patio lounge. High ceilings provide plenty of air space for heavy, ornate chandeliers that provide subtle points of light along with matching sconces reaching out from marble columns and meticulously placed lights along the walls. There are candles everywhere. Windows are dressed with scarlet drapes that hang from high above. Substantial marble and stone sculptures seem to defy the laws of gravity. A giant pot sits suspended from above. Enormous marble globes float up from dark wood floor to a ceiling that vanishes into darkness.
We scooted into a booth with luxurious dark leather seating, next to a stone torso that looked like it had been excavated from ancient ruins. The booths, which face the long bar on the opposite side of the room, are spacious, and each one is a tiny individual enclave that reaches up to the ceiling. The wall behind our heads was lined with cowhide, different from the wall in the booth next to us, which was metal framed squares of what looked like a translucent marble. You could say you were surrounded by nature, but it’s the most decadent excavation then expression of nature possible with enormous potted plants, deep dark wood on the walls, on the floor, and even cross-sections of enormous trees as cocktail tables, leather and animal hides, stone, and marble.
For some reason I want to say Citizen Smith is an eccentric billionaire bachelor who was an archaeologist in a previous lifetime. The whole vibe is gorgeous, dark, rich, warm, and X-E-S-Y.
Naturally, I loved it. I fell in E-V-O-L with Citizen Smith without even tasting the menu. In the early evening, Citizen Smith is a restaurant that serves “New American” cuisine before it transforms into a loungey latenight lair. I suppose at some point I will go back and try the Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese, but like I said, these days, the whole "getting to know you" thing is optional (but not really, because how does one not go back for jalapenos?).
1600 N Cahuenga Blvd (@Selma Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA