L.A., there has always been a particular type of restaurant that serves
a special role in the life of Hollywood celebrities, as the place to go if
you are a star looking to be seen and photographed.
The names change, but there's always at
least one place where the maître d' or the owner seems to be friends of
every famous face, can effortlessly rank
celebs in status, and and who keeps track of who not to seat next to
whom... a clubby
place where stars can rub elbows with other stars, where they know they
treated well, and where they can be sure that, when they step out
of the door, that there will be a host of paparazzi waiting to put their
photos online (or in print) the next morning. In other words, a PR
And since 2011, one of the most notable celebrity spots has been Craig's
restaurant, on Melrose in West Hollywood, offering American comfort
food along with a few Italian dishes left over from Craig's time at Dan
The virtually endless list of famous
faces who have been photographed arriving at (and departing from)
Craig's reads like a Who's Who of Hollywood, including:
Kaley Cuoco, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Kit Harington, Denzel Washington, Sandra
Bullock, Elton John, Amy Adams, Hugh Jackman, Lady
Gaga, Robert De Niro, Harry Styles, Sylvester Stallone, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Alec Baldwin, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Ryan Phillippe, Jennifer Lawrence, Selena Gomez, Kate Hudson, Al Pacino, Liam Neeson, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Dakota Johnson, Johnny Depp, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Sidney Poitier, Anna Kendrick, Sofia Vergara, Tom Felton, Ellen
Degeneres, Bryan Cranston, Helen Hunt, Kate
Beckinsale, Jane Fonda, Tim Allen, Kelsey Grammer, Tatum O'Neal ,
Keanu Reeves, Quentin Tarantino, Christina Aguilera, Diane Lane, Kate Walsh, Helen Mirren, Melanie Griffith, Debra Messing, Mariah
Carey, Sophia Turner, Sarah Hyland, Zoe Saldana...
Rod Stewart, Cedric The Entertainer, Lea Michelle, Suzanne Somers, Wilmer Valderrama, Bob Newhart, Chris O'Donnell, Howie Mandel, Lori Loughlin, Jacqueline Bisset, La Toya Jackson, Nick Jonas, Bill Clinton, Sophia Bush, Sharon Stone, Gloria Estefan, Ashley Greene, Kanye West, Chelsea Handler, Elle Fanning, Demi Lovato, Emmy Rossum, Jaclyn Smith, Jessica Alba, Katharine McPhee, Tia & Tamera Mowry, Ashley Benson, Rod Stewart, Regis Philbin, Mischa Barton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hilary Duff, John Stamos, Michael Strahan, Hailee Steinfeld, Sean Penn, Jimmy Kimmel, Alicia Silverstone, Courtney Cox, Joan Collins, Jaclyn Smith, Angie Harmon, Marisa Tomei, Cindy Crawford, Salma Hayek, Lesley-Ann Warren, Caitlyn Jenner, and the usual flock of Kardashians... just to name a few.
And speaking of savvy maître d's, Craig's owner is none other than Craig Susser, the former maître d' / manager of Dan Tana's
(another major Hollywood celebrity spot), where Craig had worked for
over 20 years, working his way up from waiter, and becoming buddies with a wide array of Hollywood's elite along the way.
As the story goes, when the aging owner
of Dan Tana's sold the restaurant to someone other than Craig (for a reputed $6
million), Craig left to open his own place, taking a large number of his
former celebrity friends with him. (Ryan Phillippe even became an
investor in the new restaurant.)
As you might expect, Craig's is also a popular spot for studio parties after the Oscars, the Grammys, the Golden Globes, etc., which only adds to the list of stars who have visited the place.
Not surprisingly, reservations can be hard to come by at this popular restaurant, so you would be well-advised to make them far in advance.
Monday seem to be the best day to spot celebrities at Craig's.
The food may not be the main focus here for people-watchers,
the Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Diavolo, BBQ ribs, and the steaks, in
particular, have been earned raves. Table service is top-notch, and
there's a festive, busy
atmosphere. (Complaints on Yelp usually concern overcrowding or getting
stuck with a bad table.)
Getting there: Craig's is located on the south side of Melrose Avenue, just southwest of the Pacific Design Center, and less than half a mile northwest of the Beverly Center mall, in West Hollywood.
( You can find Craig's official website at: www.craigs.la )
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