Who’s going where to sip Champagne and dine and dance away the night of March 24? So far, here’s the Oscar party watch: Guest chef Wolfgang Puck and Restaurant Associates will cater the 1997 Governors Ball for the third year in a row. The elaborate multi-course, sit-down dinner for 1,650 will be held at the Shrine Exposition Center following the Academy Awards presentation. . . . Morton’s will host Vanity Fair’s splashy black-tie dinner for 160 and post-awards reception for the fourth time. . . . Le Dome’s Eddie Kerkhofs isn’t naming names, but he will say, “We get a few statues here. And the event organizers. They show their faces at the other parties but come here to sit down, take off their ties and relax.”
He’s Back (Sort Of): Chinois’ and Zenzero’s former chef Kazuto Matsusaka moved to Paris four months ago to open the chic Buddha Bar behind the Hotel de Crillon in the eighth arrondissement. But he hasn’t abandoned Los Angeles for good. Come spring, he’ll be commuting.
The Japanese chef has just signed a lease with his French business partner, Gerard Cuez, to take over the space at 8730 Sunset Blvd., formerly occupied by Nicky Blair then, briefly, by the all-night deli Ziggy G’s.
The two plan to open Bar Fly, a clone of the wildly popular watering hole Cuez opened two years ago in Paris on the Avenue Georges V.
Late July or August is the proposed opening date for their Los Angeles venture, a 250-seat restaurant and bar with an international menu. Matsusaka says he’s looking for an executive chef, or maybe two, capable of doing something innovative with a menu of such large scope. Bar Fly will serve food until 2 a.m. seven days a week.
Ox Tales: Celebrate the Year of the Ox Saturday at the Topaz Cafe in Santa Ana with Chinese beer, California wine and a four-course Chinese New Year menu served family-style. $40 per person. Reservations required. 6 p.m. Topaz Cafe at the Bowers Museum, 2002 Main St., Santa Ana. (714) 835-2002.
Valentine’s Day Redux: Peking duck and scallops with heart-shaped vegetables highlight Jade West’s five-course Chinese Valentine’s Day dinner. $20 per person. Jade West Restaurant, ABC Entertainment Center, 2040 Avenue of the Stars, Century City. (310) 556-3388. . . . A three-course menu by Chef Russell Jackson, of the Regent Beverly Wilshire, includes heart-shaped chocolate mousse cake and a complimentary rose to each guest. The menu is available at two seatings, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. $55 per person early seating; $75 second seating. Reservations required. Regent Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 274-8178. . . . Leek and truffle tart, roast grouper, herb roasted lamb and a surprise dessert are choices from the three-course menu at Pinot at the Chronicle. $49.95 per person. 897 Granite Drive, Pasadena. (818) 792-1179.
Such a Deal: Every Thursday is Stogie Night at Geoffrey’s/Malibu. Bring your own or purchase something from the restaurant’s humidor. Specials of the evening include appetizers like focaccia and vegetarian sausage designed to complement the flavors of cigars. Not obvious choices, granted, but the chef must think they work. Prices on cigars and food vary. 7 p.m. Geoffrey’s/Malibu, 27400 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 457-1519. . . . Toast the spirit of Saint Valentine all month at Barron’s Family Restaurant with a complimentary glass of house wine. Just order any of the Blue Plate Specials or 35th Anniversary Specials, from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Barron’s Family Restaurant, 4130 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank. (818) 846-0043. . . . This month’s Crabfest at Gladstone’s features (thawed) Dungeness crab and Alaskan King and Queen crab legs. $14.95 and up. Gladstone’s 4 Fish, 17300 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. (310) 454-3474.