I've never been to this location before so I was very excited to finally see it in person. This was a great opportunity to view the property because not only did we get to sample the food, but the tours of the penthouse had a wealth of information on the history of the building as well as on using it for events.
Now for a tour of the location!
We pulled up to the building and were greeted by valet parking. This was nice because ... well it's downtown! There are parking lots all over but many of them closed at 8pm or earlier, which is inconvenient for an evening affair. I was not overly impressed by the outside of the building. It didn't stand out when I drove up to it and I had to look at the address to make sure it was the right location.
Cicada restaurant is located on the first floor so that is what you see as you pull up. I didn't see any signage stating it was the Oviatt Building, which was a bit confusing. The entrance area was where the look of the site started to improve.
You then turn left and enter the center elevator (the only one which goes to the penthouse). It's beautiful and the interior is covered in carved wooden panels. When you reach the top the doors open up to an entry room.
Straight ahead you can enter the bride's room. This is a gorgeous bedroom with a patio and Moroccan themed bathroom, that only the bride and disabled guests can use because it's original plumbing (almost 100 years old).
View from the bridal room
View from the bridal room patio
Down the hall is the first bar and a small room which would be great for entertaining guests while they're waiting for the ceremony to start or during a cocktail hour. The bar is a gorgeous example of the art deco design of the building. Next you step up onto the rooftop patio. This is where ceremonies and receptions take place. There is space for another bar on this level.
You can then go up another flight of stairs to the upper rooftop. This area only has enough room for about 40 guests but it also has the best view being the highest point and room for one more bar. This top roof also has a view of the Oviatt's clock tower. This is a nice photo opportunity although do it during the daylight because the numbers light up at night and not all of them illuminate.
I think this location is lovely but definitely not a large space. If you're looking for a unique downtown type of venue for less than 100 people this would definitely work. The Oviatt is only 13 floors so it's surrounded by larger buildings now. The lights from these buildings' windows is lovely though. I would say the highlight of the Oviatt though is the interior. All the woodwork in the bar, floors, and built-in furniture is beautiful.
Now on to the food!
I've worked with Truly Yours Catering at events before and have been pretty happy with them. They're professional and their food is pretty tasty, in my opinion. (Stay tuned for a review of their food at a wedding I recently coordinated.) I went to the event with one of my assistants and she didn't enjoy the food as much as I did. So, as with anything, it's all a manner of opinion. What we both did agree on was the vodka and pomegranate drink special they served. It was amazing! My assistant and I both had to go back for seconds.
As for the food, it included a mashed potato bar, a sushi spread, passed hor d'oeuvres, and a dessert table.
I was a big fan of the mashed potato bar. It was self-serve, which is always nice when you want to pile on toppings. They used martini glasses to hold the potatoes which really made it feel more upscale. The topping choices were plentiful: garlic, olives, sun dried tomatoes, green onions, caramelized onions, mushrooms, bacon bits, etc. The only difficulty was serving yourself and eating it if you had a drink in your other hand.
The sushi was decent and prepared at the serving table as it was eaten. I'm a sushi snob and don't normally enjoy buffet style sushi but I did go back for seconds.
I enjoyed most of the passed hors d'oeuvres. What I really didn't like was the ceviche. It was served in tall shot glasses. This made it difficult to eat, because tipping it back into your mouth caused all of the liquid to come out, but none of the fish. This made the flavor too fishy for me and I didn't even try and dig the fish out of the glass. My favorite hors d'oeuvres was the spicy spoonful of pear and ahi. It was a nice combination and just enough spice to make it interesting.
Finally there was the dessert table. It looked pretty with all the individual servings, but I was disappointed there wasn't any signage. There were so many options but nothing to tell you what any of them were. As for taste I'd say they were average. Nothing I tried got me excited but they were enjoyable.
General Event Information
Maximum # of guests: 125
Site Fees: Friday $2500 / Saturday $2000 & $4300 / Sunday $1500 & $2500
Additional Fees: Up to $990 (Fire Marshall, Security, Cleaning)
Hours: Friday 4PM-1AM / Saturday 9AM-4PM & 6PM-1AM / Sunday 9AM-4PM & 6PM-1AM
Address: 617 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Contact: Roxy Adlesh
Phone: (818) 753-9110
Included in fees: Chairs, tables, linens, tableware, black and white checkered dance floor