Sunday, August 08, 2004

This from the LA Times today:

"Sometimes, brunching off the beaten path simply means going completely out of your element. That's part of the allure of the Renaissance Restaurant, the dining spot housed in the Church of Scientology's imposing Celebrity Centre on Franklin Avenue.

The exquisite building was built in 1929 as a replica of a French Normandy castle and at that time served as a luxury residence for some of Hollywood's most famous: Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Gracie Allen, George Burns, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant all stayed there, according to the church, which bought the building in 1973. Tours are available all day Sundays.

The restaurant is open to the public for brunch and for dinner during the week. Food and beverage director Pancho Calvillo says all of his staff are Scientologists, but Hollywood Hills residents make up the biggest brunch contingent. The buffet offers the usual fare, with a few highlights from chef Philip Christoudoulou: His sausages are handmade and the fluffy Belgian waffles are from a 30-year-old recipe.

On a recent Sunday, the garden patio is an oasis of calm in the middle of Hollywood. A small band and jazz vocalist play in a gazebo on the lawn. Across the patio, there's a table of hip-looking thirtysomethings. They look a little uncomfortable, and it turns out they're on a brunch adventure. "We set this brunch up because we thought it would be a freaky thing to do," says Mitch Winston, a 34-year-old entertainment executive. You get the impression he's a little disappointed. "The only thing I thought was weird was the lady who brought the coffee asked if I wanted some coffee to wake up my mind. I thought that was kind of weird. But otherwise, it's a good brunch."

The Manor Hotel, where the Renaissance Restaurant is located, is home to a once-a-year celebration: the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International's annual Gala, in celebration of the founding of the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre.

This year's gala was a total blockbuster.

Here are some photos from it:


More information about Scientology:

Yahoo! Directory Religion">Church of Scientology
Scientology - Find a Church of Scientology
Church of Scientology Human Rights Office - Germany: Religious Freedom
Scientology Effective Solutions
Church of Scientology Buffalo
Church of Scientology International Human Rights Office - France 2004
Church of Scientology of Tampa, Florida
Scientology Volunteer Ministers
The Creed of the Church of Scientology
Church of Scientology and Dianetics Foundation of Washington D.C.
Church of Scientology of Salt Lake City

No comments: