Seeing Stars: Restaurants Owned by the Stars..
    
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345 N. Maple Drive,
Beverly Hills, CA. / (310) 274-9800



This was the late Dudley Moore's second restaurant, on the other side of town from his his original 72 Market Street restaurant on the Venice boardwalk. He was co-owner (with Tony Bill) of this newer restaurant a few blocks from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Dudley and company seem to have liked naming their restaurants after their street addresses: as you might expect, Maple Drive restaurant is on Maple Drive. It's located in an unlikely spot, inside a high-tech office complex.

When the restaurant opened in 1990, the chef from 72 Market Street, Leonard Schwartz, came along and brought his famous meatloaf and "kickass chili" with him. They are still two of the most popular items on the menu.

When it first opened, it was the ultimate insider restaurant, and tables were hard to come by. (Celebs such as Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneresAnne Heche tend to come & go through the entrance in the back, and prefer to sit in the spacious booths against the back wall.) But that hectic pace has cooled a bit recently, and you can probably get a seat on most nights, although it remains a very trendy spot, with (as Zagat puts it)  "a great bar scene."

It also didn't hurt business that Maple Drive shares the glass tower with Castle Rock Pictures, and became (as the L.A. Times put it) "the virtual commissary for Castle Rock."

For several years, on the night of the Academy Awards, Elton John hosted a major post-Oscar party here at Maple Drive, which rivaled the old parties at Spago and the new ones at Morton's as the place be on Oscar Night. Some of the stars who showed up at Maple Drive after the 1997 awards included Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Penn,


   

Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Shue, Steve Martin, Ed Harris, Stevie Wonder, Emma Thompson, Patricia Arquette, Prince and Elton himself.

In 1998, however, Elton decided to move the party to the new Spago Beverly Hills.


But Maple Drive will continue to draw stars. Just recently, Woody Allen hosted a party here which was attended by Billy Crystal, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mariel Hemingway, Kirstie Alley, and Michael Richards.

The menu features a California / Mediterranean cuisine with American dishes similar to 72 Market Street (kick-ass chili, crab cakes, chops, good desserts) at roughly the same high prices (about $85 for dinner for two), in a modern, elegent setting.

Maple Drive is currently open only on Thursdays and Fridays.

A meal is not inexpensive; dinner for two here will set you back about $75.


Getting there: From Rodeo Drive, take Wilshire Boulevard six blocks east to Maple Drive. Turn left (north) on Maple Drive and go four blocks north to 3rd Street. The restaurant is located one block north of 3rd, on the left (west) side.  




[You can see the restaurant's menu online at:
http://www.kerrymenu.com/Maple-Drive.htm.]






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