Falcon

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While places on LA city's white-hot list may only last as long as your latest Botox injection, the exclusive club Falcon is enjoying its ride as a haven for the fabulous. Guest-list only, Falcon draws an intriguing mix of svelte stars-in-waiting and industry-types of dubious specialties. The real star is the outdoor patio -- an airy expanse sunken below the main dining room with sky-high white walls, tall, narrow windows with billowy white curtains and a distinctly absent roof that gives the loud, bustling area an almost tropical energy. The main dining area is a mix of ow-lit romance and modern minimalism, while the zebrawood walls are lined with sleek booths. While privacy is not easily achieved in this wide-open setup, romance-seekers should ask for one of the two little tables nestled in doorframe-like nooks that overlook the patio. Drink prices are fairly reasonable given the locale, with fancy house martini specialties spanning the gamut of flavors and colors, from the peach-flavored Diamond to the sweet-tart Key Lime pie.

Chef Matthew Dickson, of Rockenwagner and Vida fame, prepares a simple yet thorough menu that fulfills a bar crowd looking for snacks to go with the signature Vanilla Lemon Drops. Small bites include an incredible selection of warm almonds and olives, as well as mini-dishes like crab cakes and tuna tartare. The salads, such as the Caesar with its brioche croutons and the endive pear salad, are divvied out in generous portions. Five pizzas adorn the menu (with the sausage pizza being a highlight), and there are fish entrees that offer accents stemming from the chef's training in Paris. Desserts feature staples like fruit pastries and a flourless chocolate cake. In a setting that capitalizes on its fabulous design to deliver better-than-average eats combined with stellar crowds, expect the Falcon to continue flying high. -- Michael Martin and Leah Jeffery (Photo: Michael Martin)

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