Is it really possible that west-siders will crawl through three congested highways to Studio City just for a pretty restaurant/lounge? Maybe. Possibly. Well, probably not. But… XEN Lounge, an inviting and versatile space put together by actor/producer Duane Martin, has everything you want in a West Hollywood or Santa Monica lounge. There’s an elegant private dining room, a glitzy bar, flat screens dedicated to NFL Sunday, and three outdoor spaces that include an intimate rooftop lounge and a rustic backyard spot dominated by a giant Buddha statue. Even if the coast crowd may shy away (they shouldn’t), the stars have already come out in full force. Will Smith, Stevie Wonder, and Lady Gaga have been by for the specialty cocktails and new American comfort food, like the mac and cheese muffins.
Speaking of Lady Gaga, the designer of Sixty-Six, the Thursday- and-Saturday-night only nightclub that opened last week in West Hollywood, has designed videos for the mega pop star – and it shows. Mirrors and golden hues and centrally-located DJ booth, oh my. This is an after-midnight kind of place. And then in Santa Monica, raw-food god Matthew Kenney opens M.A.K.E., a rooftop restaurant promising nothing cooked over 105 degrees.
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