Southern California

It's Coming: The One-Day-Only Restaurant

Border Grill DTLA revisits an early-'80s LA classic on Feb. 29.

Ask anyone to name a particularly magical day of the year and they're bound to cite A) their birthday and B) a favorite holiday and C) opening day for baseball or the ballet or another passion.

But we can all agree on the fact that February 29 is highly unusual in the calendar world. It only circles back every four years, and when the rare occurrence does pop up many articles are written about it, famous Feb. 29 birthdays are shared, and much marveling at its awesome oddness ensues.

So prepare to marvel at this: CITY, the fabled restaurant from chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, will shimmer back for a single night, downtown, on Monday, Feb. 29.

Is it some sort of "Brigadoon"-like event? Where a vintage, long-closed restaurant returns for but a few hours? Well, perhaps, but where it'll appear has actual physical grounding. Border Grill DTLA will serve as the current location of the long-gone CITY, though the dishes on the menu will not reflect Border Grill's usual savory nouveau Latin-flair fare.

Chefs Milliken and Feniger will offer "a prix-fixe selection of from the CITY menu repertoire," a roster that includes "radical flavors" from several points around the globe. Thailand, France, and Greece are just three of the culinary stops that CITY was known for.

CITY, of course, was also known for being a Melrose Avenue fixture throughout the '80s and into the early '90s. Both chefs, who went on to become stars in the universe of best-selling cookbooks and stylish eating out, look back upon the famous restaurant as a starting ground for their to-come careers as innovative, edible-minded envelope-pushers.

"Too Hot Tamales," the long-running Food Network, brought them wider fame, but so has the duo's decades-long run in the always competitive Southern California restaurant scene.

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The cost for the dinner? It's $125, and dishes'll include Chinese BBQ Short Ribs, the CITY Indian Vegetarian Plate and Poona Pancakes, and Stuffed Rigatoni with chicken fennel mousse and parmesan cream. 

As for arriving in an '80s-amazing outfit? People really did go with the super-big hair and ultra-skinny ties when they ate at CITY back around '81.

Those are sort of trendy again, right? Right. (If we say "right" enough we're sure it'll happen.)

Feb. 29 only circles back every four years, and when a one-night-only happening, from the past, shimmers into existence, fans should probably treat the experience as if a mythic village has shimmered out of the mist.

So, yeah, wear the skinny tie/poofy-sleeved dress and dig into dinners you may have enjoyed way back when.

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