Shain’s Doesn’t Like the Sound of Shane’s--and Sues

Gerard Izard and Michael Kurland thought they’d found the perfect name for their Beverly Glen hilltop restaurant. “We named it Shane, after the famous Alan Ladd movie,” Izard said, “partly because we were going to do Southwestern food and partly as kind of a joke, because at the end of the movie, the boy calls, ‘Come back, come back'--and we thought, well, maybe people will come back here.”

What they say they didn’t know at the time was that there was already another Shain’s, albeit with a different spelling, not far away in Sherman Oaks. If you were to walk into the two restaurants, you could see right away that the two are not related: The Bel-Air Shane’s, designed by Barbara Lazaroff of Spago and Chinois on Main fame, serves Southwestern specialties with an Italian accent (or maybe vice versa), and has quickly become famous for its high-powered Spago-style celebrity clientele. On the other hand, Shain’s in Sherman Oaks, run by restaurateur Don Shain, is a Continental restaurant that has been in operation for eight years.

These differences in both spelling and concept haven’t stopped Don Shain from worrying that people in the area are mixed up about the two restaurants. He has filed suit against the owners of Shane. (The full name is Shane Hidden on the Glen.) According to Jane Harman of Freeman & Sutton, the public relations agency that represents Shain’s, the suit “claims that Shane chose the same-sounding name with the intent and result of creating confusion among the Ventura Boulevard restaurant’s customers and potential customers as to a possible connection between the two eateries.” Don Shain, Harman continued, “seeks not only an injunction against the continued use of the name Shane, but substantial monetary damages as well.”

“We were very surprised to hear about the suit,” Izard responded. “At the time (we named the restaurant), we didn’t even know that this other place existed.” Izard said that he plans to fight the suit, “because we think we’re right.”


“Besides,” Izard added, “we don’t even have the same area code.”

SERPENTS WITH A SMILE: By the Chinese way of reckoning, Monday, Feb. 6 is New Year’s Day--the beginning of the year 4687, or the Year of the Serpent. Previous serpent years this century have been 1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953 and 1965; famous recent Snake people have included Greta Garbo, Princess Grace and both John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Onassis. As usual, a number of local Chinese restaurants plan special banquets to celebrate the holiday. Among these, Tse Yang in Los Angeles serves a lavish $45 per-person prix-fixe dinner Feb. 6-9. . . . King Dragon in Beverly Hills asks $35 a head for its New Year’s feast served Feb. 5-6 (and with six you get roast suckling pig). . . . Hoy Toy in Sherman Oaks starts early and continues late, offering its own New Year’s banquet, priced at $25 per couple , Feb 3-14. . . . And Madame Wu in Santa Monica offers a traditional Peking Snake, er, Duck dinner for $29.95 per person Feb. 6-8.

WINING AND DINING: Gilliland’s in Santa Monica matches Italian food with the wines of Flora Springs at a special dinner at 6 tonight for $55 per person. . . . Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach features wines from Trefethen and a five-course menu tomorrow, at $45 a head. . . . If you want to make it three in a row, Floreale in the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach pours McDowell Valley wines with a six-course dinner on Tuesday. Tariff is $55.