California Cigar Dinner
California cigar dinners have been about as common as holes in one since the health police eliminated virtually all indoor smoking throughout the state in 1994. This Thursday night, however, The Golden State will have at least one dinner thick with cigar smoke.
The Candlelight Cigar Extravaganza, presented by Cigar Renaissance Promotions, begins at 7 at Spazio, a continental restaurant located at 14755 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles.
Tickets are $85 per person, and include a four-course dinner and three premium cigars: a Montecristo from Altadis U.S.A., an Indian Tabac and a Mursuli. Rocky Patel, owner of Indian Tabac, will be in attendance, and Mursuli will have a cigar roller making cigars. The dinner will also feature Cognac, live jazz, raffle prizes - even a free copy of Cigar Aficionado magazine.
Guests include boxing great Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, Heismann Trophy winner Charlie White and University of Southern California's Anthony Davis.
The restaurant has an outdoor seating area that can hold up to 100 diners, the reason the dinner can be held. "In California, as long as there's an outdoor seating area you can smoke," said Raul Martinez, who runs Cigar Renaissance Promotions.
Martinez's cigar dinner is one of very few held in California. "There aren't too many going on," he said. "There's been a few, but people are quietly doing them."
Martinez, a very unquiet gentleman, hopes to hold these dinners every six weeks, if possible. An actor and voice-over specialist, he had a cigar radio show for three years called "Cigar Renaissance."
Friday, October 01, 2004
Source: San Jose Mercury News