Drai’s Hollywood Heats Up With LMFAO, Far East Movement

In tough economic times, people want to escape, and no city does escapism better than Los Angeles. This week, the charts are owned by L.A. artists that produce guilty pop pleasures (Ke$ha reigns atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart followed by downtown L.A.’s Far East Movement, who held the top spot last week), haters be damned. Last night, Far East Movement were still feeling “Fly Like a G6,” and hit up Hollywood’s most escapist club, Drai’s, to celebrate. So what does the foursome think about penning the surprise guilty pop pleasure of 2010? We braved tragic “electro-hop” groupies to find out.

“It’s a trip because we made the song just for fun,” FEM’s Kev Nish said backstage before a packed show at the Key Club. “We never expected it to ever get on any chart.” Yet chart it has, and not only is the infectious single receiving airplay nationwide, but it’s selling big, with nearly 1.8 million paid digital downloads sold this year.

Last night at Drai’s, the foursome held court at kindred electro-rap spirits LMFAO’s “Party Rock Wednesdays” after their gig, and were treated as L.A. royalty despite dashing the crowd’s hopes that they’d break into their hit. (Instead, DJ Skeet Skeet simply played it.) ”There definitely is an L.A, sound,” yelled Nish over his own track. “It comes from the spirit of the clubbing culture in L.A. and we’re inspired by the scene.”

Inside Drai’s, it’s easy to see what inspires Far East Movement to pen their club-ready bangers. The vibe was straight out of a music video, replete with the proverbial “video hoes.” But the energy was infectious and no night at any club in Los Angeles has the kind of energy Drai’s is bringing right now on Wednesdays.

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The rooftop action at the W Hollywood (where Drai’s is located) is ridiculous, straight-out-of-Vegas cheese, but the bar is beloved by thousands (many of whom drive in from the suburbs) all over SoCal for its hedonistic feel and emphasis on fun over pretense. Recently, the club seems even busier than it had been under the stewardship of Cy Waits, who made headlines a few months ago for a high-profile, drug-related arrest in Las Vegas with girlfriend Paris Hilton.

Drai’s is betting its new Friday night party, hosted by Jamie Foxx, will take weekend evenings at the W Hollywood to the next level this fall and into 2011, but in the meantime, it’s finding surprising success courting crowds with the sound Far East Movement helped popularize.

As the band’s next single, the more traditional pop-leaning “Rocketeer,” rockets up the charts, Nish has a message to all the would-be haters out there: “If it’s not for you, don’t worry about it, we don’t take offense,” he said. “At the same time, we’re proud of our work. You might like ‘G6‘ and might not like ‘Rocketeer,’ or you might like both, but as long as you love music, that’s all that matters.”

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LA’s Redbury Celebrates Grand Opening with Opulence

The recession is over. At least it felt that way last night inside Hollywood’s Redbury hotel. SBE, the nightlife giant and growing hospitality player in L.A., held a grand opening celebration Wednesday evening, toasting the new boutique long-term stay property with a bash that was as opulent as it was blissfully economically tone deaf.

A full banquet in addition to tray-passed appetizers from their new restaurant Cleo (which received an early nod of approval from the Los Angeles Times’ famously picky food critic) won over the 800 or so invited guests, who also indulged in elaborate cocktails (the Lotus Flower in particular was a winner, with Krol Vodka, muddled fresh blackberries, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur and soda).

The event was surprising to some locals, considering SBE has had well-publicized economic problems in late 2009 and early 2010. But SBE’s CEO Sam Nazarian and the real money behind the hotel, the CIM Group, know they have a winning hand to play with The Redbury, and last night, they played it Vegas-style.

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The party’s vibe was playful, with models’ garb landing somewhere between Marie Antoinette and an acid trip. Several guests commented on what a nice job it might be to be paid to sit and look pretty. SBE secured permits to have Dave Navarro’s “hip” cover band Camp Freddy play inside a ballroom, and Macy Gray sang a tune with the band. But most people (everyone from Los Angeles’ Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to Lance Bass) seemed content to simply drink, eat and meander throughout the hotel across the street from the iconic Capitol Records building.

The Redbury, awash in red both outside and inside the hotel, boasts large rooms with kitchens that feel more like suites. At around $250 a night, the hotel is a steal for anyone coming to Hollywood in search of luxury. Rates at the W across the street are about the same, but the rooms are half the size, darker and none of them come with the whimsical touches that make the Redbury unique, like record players with actual LPs inside each room.

To be sure, you’ll want to request a higher floor if you book a room here; the hotel is right next door to the massive Avalon nightclub and some rooms on low floors have a view of the Avalon’s trash area. In an area with surprisingly few hotel choices, The Redbury looks set to do well this Fall with leisure travelers, but luring the business set will be a tougher nut for Nazarian and SBE to crack.

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The Cult of Christina Ricci

My obsession with Christina Ricci started well over a decade ago. What follows is a brief, incomplete, and admittedly twisted chronology: In September 2001, a 21-year-old Ricci premiered Prozac Nation, her first film as star and co-producer, at the Toronto International Film Festival. Eighteen at the time, I sat front row at the screening, gawking despite my better judgment. One year later, Ricci and the late Dennis Hopper appeared in “Two White Shirts,” a black-and-white Gap campaign directed by the Coen Brothers. I prowled the local mall late one night and hid behind a dumpster, waiting to steal a discarded poster. (I got one.) Also in 2002, Ricci starred in and produced Pumpkin, the bleakly hysterical story of Carolyn McDuffy, a sorority sister who falls in love with a mentally disabled man. That summer, I tended bar at an Irish pub that sold pizza, where one of the servers knew about my odd fascination. She gave me a Selfridges receipt she’d asked Ricci to sign for her friend, with whom she’d since lost touch. It stayed framed on my home office desk for the next few years, an orphaned, crumpled piece of paper that read, “Dear Phil—happy birthday!”

There were also collages put together from photographs of Ricci (made for me, but also by me); a cardboard cutout of her face glued to the end of a Popsicle stick; a VHS copy of her little-watched 1998 film, Desert Blue; framed photos from magazine editorials. And although it pains me to put this down on record, I even began to mimic the way she claps her hands, the tips of her fingers repelling one another while her palms slap together.

But Ricci, casually radiant at 30, doesn’t know any of this when she invites me into the passenger seat of her black Mercedes on a balmy August afternoon. We’re cruising through Los Angeles in search of a drive-thru, and despite her total disregard for traffic lights, and traffic for that matter, the journey is quite pleasant. Ricci needs a cigarette, but before she’ll take a Parliament from her pack, she needs a Diet Coke, which we find, along with two cherry cola slushies, at a gas station in Pasadena. When we get back into her car, drinks in hand, Ricci, wearing a black sleeveless dress and matching flats, apologizes. “Sorry,” she says, “but my car’s really dirty and it’s starting to smell like bad feet or ass crack. I don’t know what’s wrong with it!”

Passing a 24-hour gym, Ricci changes gears. “I’m obsessed with Pilates,” she says. “I wasn’t working this summer, so I was like, I’m going to be one of those women who doesn’t have a job and goes to seven exercise classes a day.” She lights a cigarette and then rolls down her car window.

Later that day, Ricci and I find ourselves in San Marino exploring the Huntington Library, a sprawling estate with lush grounds and an indoor exhibition entitled “The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs.” Although we’re here because Ricci loves home décor, the surrounding bellows and ebonized oak tables aren’t exactly begging for commentary, and we retreat to a tranquil Japanese garden.

“I guess I wasn’t in love with that stuff,” Ricci says, laughing. Over the next two days, however, she will reveal a laundry list of personal obsessions: crime novels (“I love crime so, so, so much”), walking, theories about Jack the Ripper, Red Bull, hair makeovers, Showgirls, the television show Wicked Attraction, and, perhaps most relevant to our discussion, Eric Bogosian, the actor with whom she co-stars in Time Stands Still on Broadway this month.

Nominated for Best Play at the Tony Awards last year, Donald Margulies’ Time Stands Still centers on the strained relationship between Sarah, a war photographer (Laura Linney), and James, a journalist (Brian d’Arcy James). Taking over for Alicia Silverstone in the role of Mandy, Ricci plays the much-younger girlfriend of a photo editor (Bogosian). Mandy, Ricci says, “appreciates art even if she’s not from their world. After some time with these people, though, she’s like, ‘Really? Maybe we’ve been dwelling in misery for too long now.’ She’s not ditzy, she just doesn’t understand why everybody has to be miserable all the time.”

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Ricci tackled the challenge of starring in her first theater production much like a high school senior approaches the SATs. “I made flashcards!” she says, with self-effacing laughter. “Learning my lines was kind of like learning the periodic table.” But she’s less nervous about remembering the words, and more concerned with their delivery. “I’m sure I’ll have to learn how to speak on stage,” she says. “I just have visions of me doing a really bad stage whisper, and Eric Bogosian standing backstage, like, ‘Okay, so, did anyone talk to you about how we use our voices in the theater?’”

Anyone who’s seen Ricci on late-night talk shows knows what she’s getting at. “When I have to speak in public, my voice gets really shaky, which is so embarrassing. Presenting at awards shows is a nightmare, because it sounds like I’m crying, and it’s like, I really don’t care that much about this award.”

This isn’t to say that Ricci, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in Don Roos’ 1998 film The Opposite of Sex, doesn’t care about any awards. “An old roommate and I were watching Mommie Dearest one night, and in it Joan Crawford accepts her Academy Award from home. Her speech is amazing,” Ricci says, before entering into full-on Crawford histrionics. “‘I would rather be here with you than anywhere else in the world…’ He offered to pay me a thousand dollars to repeat that speech verbatim.”

On Ricci-related message boards, couched between questions about nude scenes and her friendship with Johnny Depp, is this: “If you had to give Christina an Oscar for just one performance, which performance would you reward?” With the exception of a few votes for The Opposite of Sex and Sleepy Hollow (and one mysterious nod for her participation in Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain opposite Anna “My Girl” Chlumsky), the overwhelming majority chose Black Snake Moan, from 2006, in which Ricci convincingly portrays Rae, a rape victim who has been objectified for so long that she begins to view herself through the eyes of the men who abuse her. After a brief pause to consider the question, she says, “I guess I’d pick Black Snake Moan, too.”

No matter how proud she was of her performance, possibly the darkest in a career of dark roles, she wasn’t thrilled with how it was marketed. “Blake Snake Moan was about a rape victim,” she says. “The whole point of the movie is how she objectifies herself and is objectified by the world, and then the entire campaign was pretty much meant to objectify me as that character. I was like, Did any of you guys see the movie?” Samuel L. Jackson, her co-star in that film, agrees. “Craig [Brewer, the director of Black Snake Moan and Hustle & Flow] and all the crew guys had ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Nymph’ hats, which is kind of strange because it’s a story about something else entirely,” he says, adding, “Christina’s was one of the braver performances I’ve seen a young actress give in a very long time.”

Jackson also noticed that, despite their obvious differences, Ricci and Rae share at least one similarity. “Some people don’t see Christina as a classic beauty, and nobody saw Rae as a classic beauty,” he says. “She internalizes that when people talk about other actresses like Scarlett Johansson. But I find Christina’s beauty classic in a Raphaelic way, and when she gets dressed up, she’s as pretty as any girl in Hollywood—I just don’t think she sees herself that way.”

As a teenager, Ricci struggled, on and off, with an eating disorder. “I had been really anorexic until I was like 16,” she says. “They were going to hospitalize me, and I was worried about people force-feeding me through a tube. I didn’t want that, so I fought the disease.” Although she has long since recovered, anorexia will always be a part of her reality. “I still think about it, but I could never do it again,” she says. “I remember the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness when I was in the middle of it. My brain had basically become my biggest tormentor. I’d become afraid of myself.”

Her personal struggle quickly became chum for tabloid sharks. “I was outed in a magazine article when I was, like, 17, even though I’d been in recovery for about a year,” she says. “The interviewer talked to a producer, who, being a total jerk, said I wasn’t eating on set. I think that was the thing that caused me to be ridiculously open about everything, so that I never again felt ashamed or embarrassed, or like someone was holding something over me.”

It was that openness, mixed with more than a tinge of adolescent sarcasm, for which Ricci became known during her reign as the queen of independent cinema. When doing press for The Opposite of Sex, Vincent Gallo’s Buffalo ’66, Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm, and John Waters’ Pecker (all released between 1997 and 1998), Ricci would joke about her interest in incest and serial killers, which didn’t do much to dispel her reputation as an angst-ridden anti-ingénue. “I wasn’t very… marketable back then,” she says, laughing. “I always said crazy shit. I was living in New York, and I was uncomfortable and angry. I was going clubbing all the time, partying with Chloë Sevigny and the cool kids. I woke up one day when I was 19, and it was like I hadn’t seen the sun forever. So I moved to L.A., where it was okay to be responsible, so that I’d stop acting like a crazy maniac.”

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Look at that lizard doing push-ups!” Ricci says, squealing with delight as dusk coats the Huntington Library gardens with an orange glow. “That’s what they do when they stop walking!” She has been an animal lover—some might say animal collector—since she was a child living in New Jersey with her mother, Sarah (who, according to Ricci, is “the most fabulous WASP who ever lived”), and her father, Ralph, from whom she is estranged.

She now lives in the hilly district of Los Feliz, Los Angeles, with her boyfriend, 29-year-old photographer Curtis Buchanan, and their three dogs: Ramón Novarro, a French bulldog named after a Mexican film star; Walter Matthau, a German shepherd/boxer mix formerly known as Walter Murch, after the film editor (“When I first got Walter, I thought he liked editing, but now that he’s older, it turns out he’s into broad comedy”); and Karen Carpenter, a dachshund/chihuahua mix. (There was a time, however, when Ricci and the animal world butted heads: In 2006, after appearing on the cover of W wrapped in reindeer fur, Ricci briefly became an Olsen-level target of PETA vitriol. “I’m sorry, but I was being shot by Mert & Marcus,” she says. “I wore what they told me to wear, and guess what? So would you. But I didn’t realize I was wearing reindeer. Of all the things I could have worn, I wore Rudolph.”)

When I suggest that some people have preconceptions about actors being narcissists who sit around talking about “the cinema” for hours each day, she cries through an eruption of laughter. “Oh, god no!” she says. “The level of trash that’s consumed in my house is incredible. It’s like, Next Friday’s on—definitely record. Let’s make some Kraft dinner! Sometimes, all of a sudden, Curtis and I are like, ‘Are we going too far with this?’” Despite the fact that Ricci seems to have more in common with Jeff Spicoli than André Bazin, the paparazzi who camp outside her house make it near-impossible to ignore her star power. “They go on day trips with me,” she says, visibly amused. “They love going to the gas station with me, and they quite enjoy grocery shopping. I like to take them for manicures. They love that, too.” They’re also fond of the ocean, apparently. “Curtis and I got in a huge fight this summer because he wouldn’t go hiking with me. He didn’t want paparazzi pictures of him hiking, and I was like, Ugh, none of my girlfriends care about this shit! Curtis hates paparazzi.”

Ricci has shared screen time with Hollywood heartthrobs her entire life—Depp (on three separate occasions), Justin Timberlake, and Orlando Bloom—but the collective scream reached fever pitch earlier this year when she filmed Bel Ami, an adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s story of corruption and social climbing, with Twilight superstar Robert Pattinson. Featuring a stacked deck of formidable actors, including Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas, Bel Ami tells the story of George Duroy, a scheming, power-hungry womanizer brought to life by Pattinson. Ricci plays Clotilde de Marelle, one of Duroy’s many conquests. “I read the book when I was 13,” she says. “It was one of my tutor’s favorite stories, so there was a lot of discussion about it my entire life. Getting the part was one of those things that made me sort of believe in…” Realizing she’s stumbled dangerously close to earnest territory, she cuts herself short, and then, with a slight eye roll, says, “Well, fate. But, yeah, Rob’s fans are crazy. We filmed in London, and they were always around base camp, gathered at the barriers.” Actor Eva Mendes, who lives just up the street from Ricci, can’t believe how detached she is from that type of unwanted attention. “Eva’s always like, ‘How can you live right on the street with those big bay windows?’” says Ricci, who recently wrapped production on California Romanza, a short film directed by Mendes. Taking a break from the editing room, Mendes says of its star, “Not only is Christina funny, which I want more people to know, but she’s also the most beautiful thing on the planet.”

Inspired partly by Martin Scorsese’s After Hours, Mendes’ directorial debut follows Ricci’s character, Lena, on Christmas Eve as she looks for love in all the wrong places. “Before there was even a script, Christina was like, ‘I’ll be there for you. Count me in,’” Mendes says. “But since we’re neighbors, I have a feeling I would have just walked down to her house and hounded her anyway.” We drive past Ricci’s neighborhood en route to the W Hollywood, where she has kindly agreed to drop me off. “Sorry again about the smell in here,” she says when we reach our destination. “My backyard smells like this, too. I found some dead thing there last night. I couldn’t sleep, because I was lying in bed thinking it was some sort of message, like Leatherface was hiding somewhere.”

After a few hours in her company, having discussed dead things and eating disorders and personal hang-ups, I decide to tell her, more or less, that I’m a crazy, psycho fan-nerd. The admission comes out sounding less creepy than I’d initially feared, less aloof than I’d hoped. Pumpkin is one of my absolute favorites, I tell her, leaning a little too heavily on the word “favorites.” She looks over and, smiling, says, “Aw, that’s so sweet. The people who don’t hate that movie really love it. It’s so weird and awkward.” But it’s also really funny. “Yeah,” she says, “But like everything I do, I took the joke way too far.” Believe me, Christina, I can relate.

Photography by Yu Tsai. Styling by Christopher Campbell.

Cy and Jesse Waits, Two of a Kind

“It’s the Godzilla of nightclubs.” That was the reaction of our nightlife guru Steve Lewis when I asked him about XS, the mega club at casino maven Steve Wynn’s Encore hotel in Las Vegas. But unlike the fictional Japanese monster who stomped on citizens and cities with uncontrollable glee, XS is a tightly controlled, carefully calculated environment designed to redefine nightlife and provide customers with the ultimate Vegas experience. As Lewis later put it, “This is the machine.”

The operators of this machine (which at $100 million, makes it one of the most expensive nightclubs ever built), are identical twin brothers Cy and Jesse Waits. Growing up in a dusty Southern California town, they had no inkling that by the age of 34, they’d be sitting atop one of the biggest nightlife empires in the country. But that’s exactly where the brothers find themselves, after forging a lasting partnership with legendary club impresario and film producer Victor Drai on a number of amazingly successful endeavors, including XS, Tryst nightclub at the Wynn, Drai’s after hours inside Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon, and Drai’s Hollywood, which recently opened in the W Hollywood. “We grew up in such a small town, I never even thought I’d meet anyone that I saw on TV,” says Cy, who now schmoozes on the regular with stars from the film, music, and sports worlds.

So how did the Waits’ find themselves at the forefront of West Coast nightlife? After all, there isn’t a school that teaches you how to master the inner workings of a mega club. The answer is experience. Growing up, they were the kids in the neighborhood who threw the house parties. “We were always trying to make everyone comfortable, making sure everyone is set up and feeling good about themselves,” says Cy. “We were the social butterflies, walking around and getting everyone’s input.” Jesse was the first one to move to Vegas, leaving the sleepy beaches of Hawaii for the blinding lights and monolithic hotels of the Strip. There, he cut his teeth at some of the city’s best clubs, excelling at everything from bartending to promoting. Soon, he was joined by Cy, who initially planned to work in the industry for a year, before returning to California to pursue other endeavors. But Las Vegas is a revenue beast, with billions of dollars being sucked up by its nightlife and entertainment industries, and Cy quickly realized the boundless opportunity a partnership with his brother could bring. “We started from the bottom up. We did everything in the nightclub business so we get it. We understand the aspect of what it takes to bartend or what the door guy goes through. We get it,” he says.

Eventually, Jesse found himself managing the popular Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay, where they met Victor Drai. “We just kind of befriended each other,” says Jesse. “He was just a nice guy who would buy bottles. We started hanging out as friends and eventually, after three years of knowing him, decided to join him at Drai’s After Hours.”

Their big break came when La Bete, hotelier Steve Wynn’s first nightclub, failed to do the kind of business necessary to succeed in Vegas’ cutthroat landscape. “It was designed poorly for a nightclub,” says Jesse. “Their structure, management, and promotional team was not as well thought out as it should have been. To run a nightclub, it takes more personality than it does a corporate structure.” Drai and the twins stepped in, and after redesigning and rebranding the club, Tryst was born. Around the mid-aughts, Tryst nightclub at the Wynn rose to become Vegas’ premiere nightlife destination. (You might recall the infamous night when a pantless Britney Spears’ partied with Paris Hilton. That happened at Tryst. “It was pretty bizarre, she was asking for the attention” says Jesse.) With a hundred-foot waterfall cascading over the dancefloor, the never-seen-that-before opulence of Tryst was only the beginning.

image The waterfall at Tryst. image XS.

It’s difficult to fully grasp the scope of XS without experiencing it for yourself. Both Jesse and Cy seemed at a loss for words when trying to convey its epicness. They both told me it’s something I need to see to believe. At 40,000 square feet, XS is such a behemoth, it effectively stole its sister club’s clientele. “It’s a black hole, basically,” says Jesse, “not just for our business, but everybody’s business.” Indeed, as far as most are concerned, the extravagance on display at XS will be difficult to match. Lewis, who’s been designing nightclubs for over a decade, went as far as calling it “the best nightclub in the country.” With a capacity of 4,000, XS is designed with a high style and to allow a particular flow so that it never feels crowded. “It was not another building that we renovated to make into a nightclub. It was built for that purpose,” says Jesse.

XS’ unabashed extravagance is best bottled up (pun intended) in the Ono Cocktail, which, if ordered, is the equivalent of drinking liquid gold. Invented by Cy, the drink is more a muscle flex than a thirst quencher. When someone orders one, the XS staff makes sure the whole club knows it. At $10,000, it’s composed of Charles Heidsieck champagne and Louis XIII de Remy Martin Black Pearl cognac, and each glass comes with gold XS cufflinks for the men, and a black pearl. “I would say we have sold at least 12 or 15 of them in a year. I mean that’s pretty good for a cocktail that’s $10,000,” says Cy.

The twins admit the look of the place is mostly thanks to Victor Drai’s distinct vision. He’s the mastermind, they say. “He doesn’t think about how it’s going to work, all he focuses on is the look and flow,” says Cy. All of Drai’s spots are created to look like lush, dense paradises that avoid any tawdriness. Drai’s After Hours in Vegas is dotted with red velvet couches, leopard print carpeting, and Tamara de Lempicka prints. It all stems from his trailblazing sense of style. “He was popping his collar long before anybody else was doing it,” says Cy. “He’s got his boots and his swagger. He’s amazing. You have a conversation with him and you’d be surprised he’s 65. It feels like he’s 22.”

But after 12 years in the nightclub industry, the Waits brothers have also developed a sixth sense for what makes a club work. Once Drai has exercised his particular brand of showmanship on the place, Cy and Jesse will work on the club’s personality. They’re after the little things, the details customers don’t notice, but nevertheless that enhance their experience. Says Cy, “We’ll sit down in booths and make sure everything is comfortable. Everything needs to have a feeling to it. Where are the table sides? How big is the booth? How far are your knees from the ground? How many stripper poles should there be?”

Once the club is open, it’s the twins’ job to make sure it has legs. And, like any cohesive partnership, they’ve adapted and split their duties to play to their particular strengths. As Jesse tells it, he’s on the “marketing” side of things. He’s at the door every night greeting clients, whether it’s the governor of Nevada or someone looking to spend their roulette winnings on a bottle of Goose. At a club with thousands of people, personal attention from its top personnel can make nights. That’s what Jesse, and to some degree his brother, provide. He sees himself as the club’s diplomat, on the front lines with the clientele. Cy, on the other hand, thinks of himself as the problem solver, the fix-it guy. He handles the staff and ensures all the cogs of the machine are running in unison. Neither brother is ever without his BlackBerry, except while practicing martial arts.

Cy and Jesse are constantly traveling between their permanent homes in Vegas (they live in mansions on a golf course, Cy on the 8th hole, Jesse on the 2nd) and their temporary ones L.A. (they have neighboring penthouses at the W). Cy had eighty thousand tons of sand installed in his yard, a personal beach in the middle of the desert. Both brothers have multiple motorcycles, the product of a riding, hippie father of the Easy Rider ilk. They’ve made several Most Eligible Bachelor lists, although Jesse is now in a long term relationship with former Playmate of the Year, Jayde Nicole. They rarely, if ever, drink. Their sobriety is part dedication to a healthy lifestyle, but also, it’s impossible to control a nightlife empire after you’ve had seven gin and tonics.

Most siblings have a competitive edge, but for identical twins, that edge is sharpened. “When we were kids, it used to be who can throw the biggest rock through the window,” says Cy. That they work so closely together is an achievement, even if they admit to butting heads occasionally. “It’s war sometimes,” Cy says. “A couple of years ago, there were times when we almost got into fist fights over the most ridiculous things. We’ve gotten past that. When we first started working together again, we were in each other’s face. If Jesse’s really emotional about something, or I’m really emotional about something, one of us will just back off and we’ll just not talk for a few days until we cool down, and then it’s like nothing ever happened.”

Adds his brother, “The best thing about working with my brother is that out of anybody I know, I can trust him because he has my best interest at heart. If anything went down, I know that he would protect me and back me one hundred percent. And in a work environment where people are constantly trying to move up, that’s hard to find.”

LA Openings: McCall’s Meat and Fish, W Hollywood, Hatfield’s

McCall’s Meat and Fish (Los Feliz) – Old-school butcher shop in new-school Los Feliz. ● W Hollywood (Hollywood) – Will undoubtedly be Hollywood’s premiere hotel, catering to celebrities and the wealthy. ● Hatfield’s (Mid-City West) – An already very up restaurant gets upgraded.

LA Previews: Butter Tart Bakery, Agura, W Hollywood

Butter Tart Bakery (Eagle Rock/Eastside) – Andre Guerrero focuses on good coffee and pastries. ● Agura (West Hollywood) – French-Japanese in overly-stimulating atmosphere: chandeliers and a gigantor Buddha. ● W Hollywood (Hollywood) – Will undoubtedly be Hollywood’s premiere hotel, catering to celebrities and the wealthy.