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Sneak Peek: Drai's at the W Hollywood

The man who brought you Weekend at Bernie's is bringing you a nightclub. And not just any nightclub: a vast indoor/outdoor bar, restaurant and swimming pool perched on the roof of the W Hollywood with panoramic views that stretch from the Santa Monica mountains to downtown L.A. A collaboration between Victor Drai and twins Jesse and Cy Waits, the 20,000 square foot Drai's Hollywood aims to combine Las Vegas-style mega-club opulence with Hollywood exclusivity. Can it work in a venue that holds 1,000 people, especially in this economic climate? No one can accuse Victor Drai of thinking small.

Opening March 11, Drai's joins the W Hollywood's three ground-floor venues: French brasserie Delphine, outdoor bar Station Hollywood and lobby bar The Living Room.

The pool at Drai's at the W Hollywood
The pool at Drai's at the W Hollywood
Elina Shatkin

The indoor nightclub boasts mirrored floor-to-ceiling columns, circular VIP booths with snakeskin-embossed silver couches and oversized red lamps that double as stripper poles -- in case you feel frisky.

A vaguely Moroccan-themed restaurant bridges the transition to the outdoor pool area. The menu by former Ma Maison (and Pagani and Picnic) chef Claude Segal offers standard, high-end Euro-American fare. Appetizers like seared foie gras ($22) and smoked salmon-wrapped cucumber ($16). Entrees like Maine lobster risotto ($35), seared amadai snapper ($35) and an array of steaks ranging from a 6-oz. filet mignon ($29) to a 20-oz. chateubriand for two ($78). The restaurant seats 120 people, allowing patrons to dine inside or at tables on the outdoor patio.

If the centerpiece of Drai's is the swimming pool -- flanked on both sides by cabanas with varying degrees of ostentation and anchored at the south end by an outdoor bar -- the view runs a close second. On a clear day, it seems like you could step through the chest-high glass walls and into a cushion of blue sky. Not recommended for John Ferguson (see Vertigo) or anyone else suffering from acrophobia. Recommended for everyone else -- if you can get in.

The rooftop scene at Drai's Hollywood will be posh enough, but the VIPs among VIPs, the celebrities so famous they don't need to be photographed, will be ensconced in an über exclusive, ground-floor lounge still unseen by journalist and proletarian eyes.

Restaurant: Wed.-Sun., 6-10 p.m.

Nightclub: Wed. - Sun., 10 p.m.-3 a.m.

Pool: 6 a.m.-5p.m.; food and beverage service 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Not just a decoration: A lamp doubles as a stripper pole at Drai's Hollywood
Not just a decoration: A lamp doubles as a stripper pole at Drai's Hollywood
Elina Shatkin
The north patio at Drai's Hollywood
The north patio at Drai's Hollywood
Elina Shatkin
Booths and mirrored columns at Drai's Hollywood
Booths and mirrored columns at Drai's Hollywood
Elina Shatkin
A north-facing view of the pool at Drai's Hollywood
A north-facing view of the pool at Drai's Hollywood
Elina Shatkin

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