Hooray for Club Hollywood

  • Charlie Laughtland<br>Enterprise writer
  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:48am

Lights … camera … sushi?

Only in Hollywood.

Or better yet, star-gazers can find all three a bit closer to home at Red Crane Steak &Sushi Cafe, inside the recently-unveiled Club Hollywood Casino.

Red Crane brings a taste of Tinsel Town to Shoreline. And every celeb imaginable is present and accounted for, from headliners to has-beens.

Where else can you sip a Shirley Temple with Shirley Temple, share a chicken yakisoba lunch with “The Wild Bunch,” or taste a caramel-orange prawn with James Caan and Goldie Hawn?

Club Hollywood doesn’t skimp on any of the key ingredients you’d expect from a plush, motion picture-themed mini-casino/lounge/Pan-Asian restaurant: glitz, glamor and garlic.

Even for a mid-week lunch, Red Crane comes through with red-carpet treatment.

Doors were held open for us and every employee we passed by acknowledged our apparent A-list status with a smile and a warm “hello.”

After checking out Marilyn Monroe’s sparkling Cadillac limousine parked in the upstairs foyer, we were greeted by the hostess (a bona fide femme fatale in her own right), who informed us food can be ordered anywhere throughout the two-story, 20,000-square foot establishment.

Upon her recommendation, we were seated in the lounge. Since it was just after noon, there were only a handful of other parties. But our server explained that the piano bar comes to life in the evening.

There’s live piano music in the bar seven nights a week and in the four weeks the casino has been open the lounge has proved to be a hotspot, especially for the Friday and Saturday night crowd.

“If you’re not here by 7, it’s tough to get in,” we were warned.

Though we weren’t gutsy enough to partake in the sushi on this trip, as the menu suggests, we ordered a couple dishes to share: the halibut fish and chips ($13.85) and sweet and sour pork ($13.65).

We made quick work of the fish, which was caked in a refreshingly light batter and still steaming when it arrived.

And Red Crane puts an unusual, and highly enjoyable, spin on sweet and sour pork, adding mango and yellow and red sweet peppers to the mix.

Some of the other more colorful-sounding items include: “Dragon’s Breath” (the first three ingredients are garlic, hence the name), soy glazed beef satay with chili-spiked cucumber salad, and lemon grass beef and bamboo shoots with rice noodles.

While the small plates run from $3.85 to $9.45, the noodle and wok dishes are $10.85 to $14.65. Grilled salmon, chicken and pork are all under $14 and steaks start at $17.65.

The extensive sushi menu provides a slew of seafood options, such as tuna, scallops, crab, octopus, eel and squid to name a few.

A wide variety of wines and beers are available and be sure to check out the specialty martinis, like “The Blue Lagoon,” “Gone With the Wind,” and “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.”

For cinema buffs, it’s hard to top Red Crane’s razzle-dazzle atmosphere. Club Hollywood owner Mark Mitchell has put his multi-million dollar movie star autograph collection on display, giving the casino a museum-like feel.

Peering down on our table were such motion picture dignitaries as Leslie Neilsen, Doris Day, Mark Hamill, the Marx Brothers and Dirty Harry himself.

Between the Marilyn, the munchies and the memorabilia, we were left saying “hooray for Club Hollywood.”

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