Tatou Bids Ta-Ta to 90210 and Hello to Main Street, U.S.A.

Benjamin Epstein is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to the Times Orange County. Information for this column can be faxed to (714) 966-7790. Or phone (714) 966-7700.

Tatou's going to Disneyland!

Though the supper club boasted guests ranging from Madonna to former President Ronald Reagan and the likes of Sharon Stone, Jack Nicholson and Barbra Streisand, Tatou/Beverly Hills apparently considered the 90210 night life and celebrity scene something of a yawner. After three years, Tatou on Monday ceased operation at its Beverly Drive location with a jam session featuring Al Jarreau, Billy Preston and Gary Busey. (Larry King listened.)

Tatou/Anaheim is slated to open April 15 at the former Cattleman's Wharf Restaurant. The various levels of the 16,000-square foot edifice will incorporate a Copacabana-style club with shows and an orchestra for dancing, a wood-paneled billiards and jazz lounge, an open deck that looks out onto Disney's summer night fireworks and a series of dining rooms done in "French tropical colonial . . . with an Asiatic twist."

Said Tatou Group CEO Mark Fleischman, "The 6,000-book Benjamin Franklin room is the only room that's staying for old times' sake. There will be a shogun room, a Chinese opium den and a tropical jungle. The Tara room will become the French governor's colonial mansion." Sound like a theme park? "It's right across from Disneyland," Fleischman pointed out.

Tatou/Tokyo is under construction. Tatou/New York remains the flagship of the group.


One local restaurant recently deemed March "wine education month," and who can argue? When it comes to wine or food, there's no time like the present to get some schooling, and there's no teacher like experience.

Hi-Time Wine Cellars of Costa Mesa stages a 1992 California Chardonnay showdown called "The Best of the Best" on Saturday. Two flights of eight wines will be offered at about $15 per flight (cost will be based on exact wines to be tasted), with an additional four wines available at the wine bar; that's 20 big hitters if you want to sample them all. Taste at your own speed, any time between noon and 7 p.m.. . . Everybody had an opinion Sunday at "Symphony of Wines," co-sponsored by the Orange County Philharmonic Society and Hi-Time. Among the more recognized wineries, the name Joseph Phelps was bandied about a bunch in debates about favorites. But the big buzz was about several lesser known labels, such as the Chardonnays of Sarah's Vineyard and newly launched H.W. Helms and the Pinot Noir from Stonestreet.

Tuesday at the Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Center in Costa Mesa, Peter Ventura of the education department and chef Sarah Scott explore classic wine and food pairings at a 7 p.m. seminar featuring a sampling of six wines and crab cakes, poached salmon, duck breast, leg of lamb and tart tatin ($35). . . . Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., Pascal Epicerie focuses on five new French wine lines from importer Neal Rosenthal, including wines from the Loire, Rhone and Burgundy regions ($12, with hors d'oeuvres); March 22, tastings continue with a range of wines from Burgundy. . . . Mon Chateau in Lake Forest hosts Jim Concannon and his wines at a five-course prix-fixe dinner Sunday at 6 p.m.; on the agenda are asparagus souffle, lobster sausage with crayfish butter, loin of lamb, goat cheese and caramelized onion tart, and hazelnut profiterole Charles. The event is $60 all-inclusive.

Sunday from noon to 3 p.m., for $20, Alisan Restaurant in Anaheim offers a Chinese vegetarian banquet lunch followed by a talk called "Simple, Healthy Lifestyle for a Long, Happy Life" presented by self-styled "angel of health and healing" Patricia Bragg. . . . Spring cooking classes with chef Jean Pierre Lemanissier continue at Antoine in Newport Beach this month, Saturdays at noon ($45 each, includes light lunch); the next class focuses on rillettes of smoked and fresh salmon, baked trout with Riesling, and Genoise of white and dark chocolate mousse with sponge cake. . . . And it's never too early to learn: China Palms Restaurant Oak Tree Village in Mission Viejo introduces Chopsticks Tuesdays. Children 5 to 12 will receive lessons in the art of using chopsticks and complimentary dinners Tuesdays through April 25. Parties of up to three children accompanied by at least one adult will be accommodated from 5 to 8:30 p.m.; mention Chopstick Tuesdays when making your reservation.

Alisan Restaurant, 115 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim. (714) 772-4160.

Antoine, in the Sutton Place Hotel, 4500 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach. (714) 476-2001, Ext. 2158.

China Palms, 23162 Los Alisos Blvd., Mission Viejo. (714) 455-4178.

Hi-Time Wine Cellars, 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa. (714) 650-8463.

Mon Chateau, 23642 El Toro Road, Lake Forest. (714) 830-3812.

Pascal Epicerie, 1000 Bristol St., Newport Beach. (714) 261-9041

Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Center, 1570 Scenic Ave., Costa Mesa. (714) 979-4510.

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