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Wolfgang Puck Celebrates 30 Years of Chinois TonightBy Lesley Balla | October 3, 2013 By Lesley Balla | October 3, 2013
Last year Wolfgang Puck celebrated 30 years of Spago, his iconic Beverly Hills restaurant that planted the seed for an empire. Tonight he celebrates 30 years of Chinois on Main, his Santa Monica hub for Asian fusion cuisine. Is Puck responsible for bringing the combination of Eastern flavors with French technique together for the first time? Perhaps. When it opened in 1983, things like fried crispy catfish and the Chinois chicken salad with mustard vinagirette were novel, not the norm, and the bold, colorful design by Barbara Lazaroff was exotic. Many came after it: Both Chaya Brasserie, which was more Franco-Japanese (Tachibe Shigafume created tuna tartare), and Roy Yamaguchi's 385 North, the genesis of the Roy's Hawaiian chain, opened in 1984. But as the dining scene in Santa Monica and LA as a whole has grown up around it, Chinois is still there, with its Asian-inspired menu and beachy vibe. There's something to be said for that.
To celebrate, tonight (October 3) Puck, Lee Hefter, Rene Mata, who has been at Chinois for 26 years, and the team of LA chefs will create a nine-course dinner featuring dishes from Chinois, CUT, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air and WP24. It will set you back $165 per person (wine pairings are extra), but you're basically dining at all of Puck's restaurants in one night. Tables are still available; call 310-392-9025 for reservations.
Additionally, on October 14, a special dinner with Puck and Josiah Citrin - who worked at Chinois for a few years early in his career before opening Mélisse - will take place at the restaurant. Cost is $150 per person.