“If things go well, you stay the course,” says iconic Los Angeles chef Wolfgang Puck, who recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of Chinois on Main in Santa Monica.
Puck, who throws parties like nobody else in LA, will continue a long career of celebrations (Spago had its 40th anniversary last year) with a Mid-Autumn Festival bash at one of his newer restaurants. On Friday, September 29, Puck will throw this party at Merois on the rooftop of the Pendry West Hollywood hotel.
Along with serving dishes from his own Chinois, Cut, Merois and Ospero, Puck will showcase visiting chefs from Badmaash (the Mahendro family’s no-holds-barred Indian restaurant), The Joint (run by dry-aged fish guy Liwei Liao, who supplies seafood to Puck and many other restaurant heavyweights), Pizzeria Mozza (part of fellow iconic chef Nancy Silverton’s beloved Mozzaplex) and The Original Thai Dishes (which recently changed locations in Santa Monica and is a business that actually pre-dates Chinois by a couple years). Tickets for the event, which includes food stations from each restaurant as well as cocktails, DJs and dragon dancers, are available online.
Asian-inspired bistro Merois opened in 2021, and having this Sunset Boulevard perch means a lot to Puck. The original location of Spago debuted on the Sunset Strip in 1982.
“I think it’s great to be back on Sunset, because that’s where it all started for me,” says Puck, who now serves lobster spring rolls, truffle shumai, binchotan-grilled chicken meatballs, crispy rice crab salad, Singaporean baby back ribs and Shanghai lobster at Merois. “We’ve had more success at Spago than we could have ever imagined. And we always think about our traditions and our history when we do something new.”
This past June, Puck officially debuted The Bar at Merois on the patio of the restaurant and at the rooftop pool of the Pendry West Hollywood. This lounge stays open late on weekends for post-dinner drinks in a neighborhood where nightlife is clearly buzzing again, whether you’re at the Pendry or nearby hot spots like Ian Schrager’s West Hollywood Edition hotel and Tao Group Hospitality’s Fleur Room. Puck is also in charge of the food and beverage at The Britely, a social club at the Pendry with members-only restaurants and bars as well as a screening room, a bowling alley and event spaces.
For Puck, it’s about always keeping things moving and finding ways to stay relevant.
“That’s why I love to work with young people,” says Puck, who adds that he’s fortunate to have his son, Byron, help him run his restaurant group. “Old people are very set in the way they see things. Young people are all over the place, and some of the places are actually really interesting and very good. I know what a 60-year-old person will think, but it’s harder for me to think what a 28-year-old person will think, what their habits are, how they go out. I talk a lot about that with Byron. You have to listen to the young people who are around you. They’re the future.”