Closing of Ma Maison Restaurant End of an Era
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) _ Ma Maison Restaurant, the celebrated gathering place for such stars as the late Orson Welles, will shut down Thursday, but its owner promises to reopen at a new location.
Ma Maison, located in an old house and covered patio on Melrose Avenue, opened 10 years ago and immediately attracted Hollywood’s brightest luminaries. Welles was a regular and dined there up until his death last month. Books and movies such as ″Hollywood Wives″ had scenes set at the restaurant.
″It’s the end of an era in the Hollywood dining scene because things have changed so much,″ owner Patrick Terrail said Tuesday. ″When we started the dining scene here was a desert. Many of the best restaurants in Los Angeles today are offshoots of Ma Maison’s. Their chefs and owners learned here.
″If we went another decade at this location the restaurant would have to be completely refurnished,″ he said. ″When we started people were looking for quiet, elegant, sophisticated dining. But things change about every decade. Now people are looking for restaurants that are brightly lit and gimmicky, which I don’t believe in.″
The end of an era, however, is not the end of Ma Maison. Terrail said Tuesday he will reopen Ma Maison in a different form in 17 months as part of a $26 million new hotel and restaurant across from the Beverly Center.
″I think I have another restaurant in me,″ he said. ″I want to re- evaluate what my new restaurant will be. It will definitely be French, but it has to find its place in the market.″
Ma Maison was itself a kind of offshoot of Paris’ Tour D’Argent, owned by Terrail’s uncle, Claude Terrail. Terrail also flies to Tokyo every three months to supervise the Tour D’Argent there.
Terrail, who said he got his early training in hotel management, said he will spend two months studying with the Regent Hotels in such places as Bangkok, Australia, Fiji and Hong Kong.
″I don’t think our diners will forget us,″ he said. ″I think we’re just adding a new dimension.″