L.A.'s most celebrated chef, Wolfgang Puck, gets some ink in the food sections of the L.A. Times and New York Times. His new steakhouse, Cut, receives a glowing three-star rating from LAT critic S. Irene Virbila. It's in the Regent Beverly Wilshire and designed by Getty architect Richard Meier. Here's a lay of the land:
Hollywood A-listers and the assorted famous and infamous are seated at honey-colored wood tables, leaning back in slender mesh-covered Eames chairs that swivel at the slightest touch, the better to see who's sitting where, who's looking suddenly radiant, who's showing off the latest wife. It's the Spago crowd, come to see what Mr. Puck is up to with this new restaurant.
And what about the food? She says, "Puck is showing all the trendy steakhouses how it's done. It's thrilling to have such a beautiful restaurant in town, and with a little tweaking, Cut stands to become the definitive contemporary steakhouse." Er, the steaks are priced from $34 to $160. Puck doesn't fare nearly as well in the NYT, where his Wolfgang Puck American Grille is among several new restaurants being opened by celebrity chefs in Atlantic City. Restaurant critic Frank Bruni writes:
Mr. Puck’s restaurant didn’t shimmer much at all. It had no real point of view, just a collection of seemingly unrelated flourishes: firewood out front, glass booth dividers imprinted with images of Mr. Puck in the back...By most accounts Mr. Puck, who mutated from visionary to industry long ago, doesn’t spend much time here. If he did, he would presumably cut back on the artichoke purée, capers and lemon that assault sautéed sole. He would also fix the lemon and herb blinis, served with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and caviar. Thick and generic, they could pass for Bisquick pancakes.