Having heard oodles about how great and star-studded Mr.Chow (the restuarant) was last time I was in LA, this time around, we made reservations in advance and finally made it into foyer of Mr Chow in Beverly Hills. After being admitted, we were told to "chill" at the bar. And it wasn't until half an hour later when we were tired of waiting and was about to leave that we were finally seated in a tiny cramp booth near the front of the restuarant right next to this protrait of Mr Chow.

Of course, back then I didn't know that I had the honor of being seated right next to an Andy Warhol creation. Anyway, all that waiting and being seated near the entrance did give me a chance to observe my surroundings, and I must say, the atmosphere was faultless-exactly what one would expect of a celeb hotspot.

Energy buzzed throughout the restuarant as people stood at the cramp little bar space (shown above) happily sipping their drinks, chatting, seeing and being seen. Shiny outfits, big rocks, gorgeous models and all the bling. And yes, even celebs had to do the wait. Although I did not recognize who the celebs I saw that night were, I assume that they are because as soon as they enter/leave the restuarant the 2 paparazzi's standing outside immediately jumped into action.

The interior decoration of the restuarant is supposed to be very top of the notch too, with Mr Chow being one of the first designer restuarants around. And did I mention that Mr Chow himself is also a reknown designer responsible for the Armani store on Rodeo amongst others? Anyway, wasn't too impressed with the interior. A bit cramp with a little bit of an orient flair, but if it wasn't called Mr Chow, I wouldn't have guessed it was a Chinese restuarant. In fact, the settings of forks, knives, wine glasses were all very distinctively western.

As for the cuisine. . well, I like to think that I know my Chinese food and will know fine Chinese cuisine when I taste one. But radioactive orange shark fin soup, overcooked fried chicken strips and hard dry rice really isn't my idea of fine Chinese cuisine. And it amazed me that all the rich and famous around me were eating it all up with such enjoyment.

My verdict? Mr Chow is indeed a very talented man. Only someone so talented can induce the rich and famous of Beverly Hills to continuously go to his restuarant, wait in the bar for half an hour and eat questionable chinese cuisine at a ridiculously high price since 1974.