Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Dine..
Some critics find the place pretentious, remarking on the abundance of European accents, the mix of old money and hip new faces. Certainly table-hopping is at an all-time high here, as players in the Hollywood power game try to see and be seen by the right people. But Zagat calls it "the best star-gazing in town".
is fast becoming a celebrity Mecca. Regulars at Drai's include Kevin Costner,
and a host of producers and agents. The L.A. Times reports that
on one evening alone, superstar Sylvester
Stallone, producer Alan
Ladd Jr., former "Charlie's
Angel" Jacqueline Bisset,
(of "Beauty and the Beast" fame), and the legendary director
("Some Like It Hot"), were all spotted at Drai's at the
same time, talking to ex-Spago chef, Bernard Epicum, who was making the
rounds. That was something Drai's owner, Victor, didn't appreciate - he
banned Bernard from his restaurant. (Victor Drai, incidentally, is the
producer responsible for the "Weekend at Bernie's" films.
He was formely married to Kelly LeBrock,
who's now married to Steven Seagal.)
On one day in May, Army Archard reports spotting Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight, Hugh Hefner, Penny Marshal and James Brooks at Drai's. Hefner had showed up earlier that month with five gorgeous girls. Later, Jerry Seinfeld was spotted dining here with Garry Shandling.
A crowd of paparazzi outside the restaurant door is standard.
Don't be surprised if reservations are hard to come by. Shortly after its opening, Drai's turned down billionaire Marvin Davis and fellow restaurateur Jimmy Murphy (of Jimmy's), when they called for a table at the last minute.
Drai obviously has hopes of re-establishing the old Mai Maison tradition of the Friday lunch. He has begun opening Drai's for lunch, but only on Fridays. He has hired Mai Maison's old chef, Claude Segal (the man who replaced Wolfgang Puck when Puck left Mai Maison to open Spago), and now even has Mai Maison's venerable Patrick Terrail working the room, luring back celebs like Jackie Collins, who used to call Mai Maison home.
On Academy Awards Night, Drai's hosts a pretty good post-Oscar party (sponsored by Columbia/TriStar Studios). The party has attracted the likes of John Travolta, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Tom Hanks, and Emma Thompson.
Despite all the celebrity fuss, this white linen bistro offers reasonably good food. Dinner is served nightly, but like Morton's, the big celebrity night is Monday when the restaurant is always packed. Lunch is currently served only on Fridays.
For a rich man's restaurant, the prices here aren't as high as you might expect. Dinner for two should cost you less than $90 (plus wine), or as little as $60, if you choose your menu items carefully.
The problem may be one of attitude. Some say that if you're not a celebrity, you get treated rudely here. (If you get in, try to sit in the main room. The best spot is the first table as you come in through the door.)
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