Replacing the iconic Dolce on Melrose, renowned Chinese chef Philippe Chow's first west coast property has already hosted hordes of celebrities coming to chow down on chow fun.

Most will come for the scene, coordinating their clothes to match the stark black-and-white color scheme accented by blood-red leather booths and banquettes. Or settling in languorously at the long black bar where the booze is framed like works of art, perhaps later relocating under the perfect halo produced by the skylights in the secondary dining room. Those who come for the food, however, should ready their expense accounts for a big dent.

Appetizers include specialties like Maine lobster spring rolls, a separate noodle and dumpling menu, and chicken satay skewers turned a bright orange by a dip in carrot puree and then bathed in butterscotch-y peanut sauce.

The prices on the entrees might be alarmingly high, but in a throwback to the American Chinese restaurants of yesteryear, they're meant to be eaten family-style. Half-orders are available for practically anything, including the crispy Nine Seasons Spicy Prawns, the Drunken Sea Bass, Beijing Chicken with walnuts in savory brown sauce, and the nostalgically named Crispy Beef.

The real draw is the famous 7-lb. Peking Duck, every order of which takes nearly an hour to prepare. Just pass the wait by sipping one of the specialty cocktails like a Black Dragon with Bacardi Dragonberry, muddled raspberries, Triple Sec, lime juice and simple syrup. At least you know you'll look good doing it.

8284 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 951-1100