Opaque – Dining in the Dark at Hyatt West Hollywood is a different type of experience. Patrons eat in total darkness, and the servers are blind.

“Once I feared the dark,” reads the poem included in the company’s brochure. “Its black filled me with dread. But I learned the dark is never black. Just a deep, deep shade of red.”

Before entering the complete darkness of the dining area, diners choose from one of five complete meals: beef, fish, chicken, pasta or vegetarian. Each meal includes one of two salads, the entrée and one of two desserts. Soft drinks and wine are extra, by the glass or by the bottle.

After everyone chooses their meal, you’re introduced to your blind server and guide. You’re led single file hand on shoulder into blackness.

Our server, Margarita, is extremely amiable and makes us feel as comfortable as possible. Reaching your table, your hands are placed on the table and chair and you sit down.

Bread, butter, water and wine are brought to the table. No salt and pepper, ketchup and hot sauce are allowed.

Now the fun begins. Try buttering bread in complete darkness. Salad becomes a finger food. At least no one can see you.

Your tactile sense kicks in. The entrée can become an interesting hunt.

Identification of the different foods on the plate is a challenge. There are forks and knives for those who are adventurous, and the server is always there to help.

The host explains that dining in complete darkness is popular in Europe and Australia, and more restaurants like Opaque are opening in the U.S.

The experience is supposed to enhance your sense of taste and smell. I began to focus on flavors and textures, but I did miss the visual presentation.

For more information, visit www.opaque-events.jamic.com.