Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck started as chef at Ma Maison, then opened the world-famous Spago restaurant in West Hollywood. He followed that smash success with his Chinois on Main in Santa Monica, featuring a clever blend of French & Chinese elements, which has proved equally popular. For his latest in-spot, Puck has moved closer to where his clientele lives, opening a third restaurant right next door to the movie stars' homes in the Malibu Colony.
It's called Granita (named for a kind of frozen dessert), and while the restaurant lacks an ocean view, it features a surreal, whimsical, "Under the Sea" decor (designed by Puck's wife, Barbara Lazaroff), complete with coral aquariums. Some critics have remarked that the interior looks like it was inspired by Disney's "The Little Mermaid."
Still, everyone agrees that the food is good, and as expected, the Malibu celebrities are flocking to Puck's new place in their own back yard, for his Spago-style pizza and pasta, plus lots of new seafood dishes. And as you might expect, it's attracting lots of local Malibu residents such as former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson, Lois & Clark's Dean Cain and actor Tony Curtis. (In fact, Johnny is an investor in the restaurant.) Jane Seymour ("Dr. Quinn") hosted a charity auction here. Arnold Schwarzenegger & Maria Shriver paid a visit here after he became Governor. If you can't spot a star here, you're just not looking hard enough!
Granita is housed
in a large, aqua-blue building with ivy-covered columns and an eccentric
patio swirling with brightly-colored color tile. But it's a somewhat surprising
location for a major restaurant - located right across from the Bank of
America in Malibu Colony Plaza,
an outdoor shopping center in Malibu. You may have to stop at that bank's
ATM first to pick up a little cash - the menu prices can be high, and as
Puck points out in his Visa commercials: "we don't take American
Granita is open on weekdays from 6 PM to 10 PM, and on weekends from 5:30 PM to 10 PM. With entrees priced around $25, you can expect to spend around $80 for dinner for two. Dress is casual-chic.
The tile-roofed Malibu Colony Plaza
is at the southwest corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Webb Way (about
a mile west of the Malibu Pier), just a few blocks away from the main gate
of the Colony. Take the Santa Monica (10) Freeway west to its end, where
it opens into Pacific Coast Highway, then take PCH north (then west) about
12 miles, to Webb Way. Turn left at Webb Way, and the center will be on
your left (south) side.
can view Granita's menu online at: http://www.kerrymenu.com/Granita.htm.]
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