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By Michael Hepworth

Nicís restaurant in Beverly Hills would be good enough to stand on the merits of the food, service and atmosphere, but since the addition of  ďThe Vodbox,íí business has really picked up. This has been created by owner/entrepreneur and sometime chef Larry Nicola, who is the perfect host at a restaurant in the same location as La Familia, watering hole of none other than Dean Martin. Modern day celebrities are here all the time, and recent sightings have included Demi Moore, Lindsay Lohan, Peter Falk, Kevin Costner, Bruce Willis, Matthew Broderick and Paul Gasol. The ambience is very colorful with two main dining areas, and the owner likes to think that the atmosphere conjures up a ďclassic, 1957 El Dorado Cadillac cruising the Boulevards of Miamiís South Beach

There are 30 shelves in the Vodbox that are all sold to the best vodka producers and consumers. These companies and individuals are provided with fur coats and hats before entering the Vodbox (which is kept at a chilly 28 degrees), with the Vodka expert giving a 15 minute presentation. The costs range from a low of $21 per person for a series of flights up to bottle service at the table starting at $250. I had the good fortune of trying the Russian Vodka called Kauffman, probably the purest ion the world. Made out of grain, this goodie is distilled up to 14 times, and shots can be as much as $150 each. The Vodkart is an opulent bar on wheels displaying and serving opulent vodkaís, for those that prefer not to visit the Vodbox. The vodkaís are chilled on ice, and the selection rotates every two weeks.

Dinner at Nicís can be quite varied depending on the seasons, but certain staples should be tried. Start out with the appetizer of oysters on sautťed spinach with walnuts and garlic, very popular I am told. Another interesting choice that I tried is the grilled octopus with feta, tomato, lemon and basil. For the main course I selected the crispy lavender infused duck with pomegranate sauce, accompanied by bok choy and smoked bacon hash. The two Chefís de cuisine at Nicís are Miguel Ayala and Brendon Mica, and they seem to be having a good time in the kitchen since business is good, and the owner gives them pretty much a free hand in the kitchen. Some of the combinations are really creative such as the pan-seared monkfish with Indian black lentils and spinach pesto, or grilled Scottish salmon with a waldorf modern ( figs, fuji apples, walnuts and yogurt).

A new pastry chef, Zack Means, has brought a tremendous boost to the dessert menu, highlighted by the delectable chocolate caramel tart with mocha chip gelato. All the desserts at Nicís are top class, and if I was to sum up the whole experience, then Nicís is one helluva place to go and party or get down with some serious drinking.

Fact Sheet



453 N.Canon Drive ,

Beverly Hills ,

CA 90210


Closed Sunday

Valet and Street Parking


Website: http://www.nicsbeverlyhills.com
























































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287 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, California, 90211