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Wolfgang Puck Cafe Another Triumph for You-Know-Who

TIMES RESTAURANT CRITIC

The wraps are off and the latest Wolfgang Puck Cafe is already packed. With outdoor seating, a larger-than-life entrance and eye-popping facade, Puck’s popular cafe animates the entire Laemmle Theatres Sunset 5 complex at Sunset and Crescent Heights.

The menu is pretty much business as usual: Chinois chicken salad, Puck’s signature pizzas, appealing pastas, a handful of specials like rosemary garlic rotisserie chicken and meatloaf and garlic mashed potatoes. There’s a short, reasonably priced wine list that finds Domenico Clerico’s Barbera d’Alba at just $24, and for dessert, an ice cream sundae topped with a vertical chocolate-covered frozen banana.

A long, open kitchen framed by jazzy broken-tile mosaics with a pizza-slice motif flanks the wood-burning pizza oven, yet another variation on Barbara Lazaroff’s design. No opening-night jitters here: The staff is experienced and personable. And like every one of the superstar chef’s ventures, Wolfgang Puck Cafe is a totally professional deal.

* Wolfgang Puck Cafe, 8000 Sunset Blvd., (213) 650-7300. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Appetizers and salads $3.50-$8; pizzas $9.50; pastas $8.50-$11.50; entrees $9.75-$12.50. Valet parking.

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