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MY FAVORITE WEEKEND / Wolfgang Puck

Celebrity chef's recipe for a perfect Sunday

July 03, 2009|Mark Sachs

Wolfgang Puck burst upon the L.A. scene as Ma Maison's chef to the stars in 1975, and he's been feeding Angelenos in high style ever since. His latest restaurant creation, Wolfgang Puck's Bar & Grill, just opened a three-point shot away from Staples Center at L.A. Live. He's been busy getting his new signature line of frozen pizzas into stores as well.

But there's life outside the kitchen for Puck, who lives in Beverly Hills with wife Gelila and their sons Oliver, 4, and Alexander, 2 1/2 . Here's what he's up to when the toque and apron come off.

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Condensed version

For people who run restaurants, the weekend really consists of Sunday, because Fridays and Saturdays are so busy making sure other people are having a great time over at your place.

If we have friends in town, I might have my wife bring them by wherever I'm at, maybe the new Bar & Grill at L.A. Live or one of my cafes, and hopefully I'll get the chance to sit down and spend some time with them.

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A cup or two

I'm not really a breakfast guy. Breakfast for me is having an espresso, and I have a $6,000 espresso machine that's the most important thing in my house. I have it on all day long. When I get up, I don't even think of going out to breakfast -- all I want is some toast with a little marmalade, and then a beautiful cappuccino.

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Options abound

On Sundays, I like to go to the farmers market with Gelila and the kids and we buy vegetables and things and then have lunch at home.

If we're going out to eat in the evening, we might go to Angelini Osteria, where I like to order grilled branzino and a salad, and my wife loves the Roman artichoke. And if we're taking the kids, we can call up ahead of time and order, and then five minutes or so after we get there, the pizza and the pasta can already be at the table. That makes life easy.

If we're in the mood for some Japanese food, we'll go to Matsuhisa's. I'll have whatever they want to make me, or sometimes they give me a little menu. The miso cod is delicious, and I also really like the sweet shrimp.

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Music & more

For live music, the Nokia is a special place, because they have two venues, Club Nokia and the theater, but even the bigger one isn't too big, which is nice. Usher played there not too long ago and it was great. I went to the "American Idol" finals at Nokia, and it was fantastic too. I didn't really want to go at first, but I'm so glad I was there. They had Queen playing, Rod Stewart, Santana -- it was fantastic.

If we feel like seeing a movie, the theaters in Century City are good because they have valet parking, and that makes it so easy. I love the old theaters on Hollywood Boulevard, but with the kids, the newer ones make it a little less stressful.

Another great place for families is the Griffith Observatory, especially on a nice clear day. You can sit out on the terrace, or go inside and check out that huge telescope. You really don't hear people talking about the observatory that much, which is surprising because it's just beautiful up there.

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Art in his soul

For modern art, a good place for me is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They've got a great collection, and I have even gotten to know some of the artists, which makes it fun. And I love the Getty, and not just for the art, but it's just a wonderful place to stroll around. It's a beautiful setting.

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mark.sachs@latimes.com

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