Chinois on Main


Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Dine..

2709 Main Street,
Santa Monica, CA. / (310) 392-9025

This is celebrity chef's Wolfgang Puck's other restaurant, which he opened in Santa Monica after his initial success with Spago in Hollywood. Chinois on Main isn't as well-known (to the average public) as Puck's world-famous Spago, but it's almost as popular among the foodies and the show biz crowd,

such as Robert Redford, Johnny Carson, Robert De Niro, Jacqueline Bisset, Mick Jagger, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Albert Brooks, Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Shirley MacLaine, Luther Vandross, and Tom Selleck.

It's a noisy, busy spot at lunch time, and you never know who you might run into there. (I once saw
David Letterman coming out of the restaurant as I was going in.) The preferred seats for celebs are supposedly to the right of the entrance, between the bar and the front windows.

At Chinois, Puck blends an eclectic mix of French, Asian, & California tastes into a new L.A. style all his own.

Dishes include Cantonese duck, foie gras, baby back pork ribs in a honey-chili sauce, Louisiana shrimp with Chinese mustard, and Mongolian lamb chops.

It's a hit with the critics as well as the customers; the Zagat survey rated it as the seconf favorite restaurant in L.A.; some consider it one of the best restaurants in America.

Nestled in the pleasant walking neighborhood of Santa Monica's trendy Main Street (near Arnold's Schatzi), the restaurant's storefront is so tiny that you could easily walk right past it without even knowing it was there, unless you are looking for it.

The offbeat interior decor (created by Wolfgang's wife, Barbara Lazaroff) is done in fuchsia, green and black; it features an eccentric mix of stone floors, wavy turquoise tables, tile & brick walls, bronze cranes, and a unique skylight in the ceiling. You can watch the chefs and their woks in the exhibition kitchen.

But the prices are high. Lunch is served Wednesday through Friday, from 11:30 AM - 2 PM; dinner is served seven days, from 6 PM to 10:30 PM. Valet parking. After 15 years, reservations can still be hard to come by.

Getting there: Chinois on Main is located on the east side of Main Street in Santa Monica, just south of Hill Street, and to the north of Ashland Avenue). It's a small storefront, and easy to miss. / From the Santa Monica (10) Freeway west, takethe 4th Street exit in Santa Monica. Go south on 4th Street to Pico Boulevard and turn right (west). Go one block west on Pico to Main Street, and turn left (south). Go south on Main Street (less than a mile) to the restaurant, which will be on your left (east) side.

[You can access Puck's official website at:]

[You canfind a copy of the Chinois menu online at:]

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