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MY FAVORITE WEEKEND

Craig Susser

Maitre d', Dan Tana's

January 17, 2008|Vicki Jo Radovsky

"It's like New Year's Eve every night," Susser says of the see-and-be-seen scene at the perennially packed WeHo institution. "The phone rings 180 times from 4 to 9 p.m.-- I've counted," says Susser, 42, who is also the restaurant's general manager. Beginning as bartender and waiter 20 years ago and working his way up, the Brooklyn-born Susser handles the high-profile clientele with the skill of a diplomat. He lives in the Hollywood Hills with his wife, Lisa, an event planner he met at Tana's five years ago.

HELLO DELI Saturday morning I sleep until 10:30 or 11 and meet Lisa for lunch at Nate 'n Al. I love their whitefish salad -- an East Coast thing. Then I'd take our terrier, Lucy, up to the Laurel Canyon dog park or the little trails off Nichols Canyon. You can see a panoramic view from Dodger Stadium to the ocean and it's quiet, not a scene like Runyon Canyon. PAR FOR THE COURSE Or I might play golf. Southern California has the greatest golf courses in the world -- Bel Air, Riviera, Hillcrest. I'm lucky enough to be a guest of some Dan Tana clients. The Hillcrest has a tuna melt that's not to be believed! WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME For dinner we love quiet little places like Hirozen, at Beverly and Orlando, for sushi. It's the best salmon and albacore you've ever tasted. I gravitate toward restaurants that remain the same over the years, with personal attention from the same waitress, the same sushi guy, who know you and what you like -- Musso & Frank for sand dabs; langoustines and fresh, homemade bread at Caffe Carrera on La Cienega. Sunday we'd have breakfast at Jan's, an old-school diner. I'd have eggs over easy or Greek style. GET OUTTA TOWN Relaxing with my wife is a luxury. For a weekend escape we love the St. Regis Monarch Beach. It's peaceful, and you never have to leave -- there's a spa, restaurant, golf course. It's a chance to work out, get a massage and eat well -- they have great lobster salad and cold poached salmon. You feel like you've been away for a week.

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the guide@latimes.com

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