Malibu Seen

Brooke Wolofsky cuddles up with Charlie Sheen at the Butterfly Ball. Photo by WireImage


Mandeville Canyon was all aflutter as the Chrysalis organization put on its annual Butterfly Ball. With Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey, Eric “McSteamy” Dane, Ellen Pompeo, T.R. Knight and Kate Walsh mixing with the crowd, it almost looked like a scene from “Grey’s Anatomy.” Or was it “American Idol?”

Turn the corner and you ran into Jennifer Hudson and Randy Jackson. Jackson reflected on the most recent season of TV’s biggest phenomena. “The way it turned out was pretty much what I was expecting,” the Idol judge told Malibu Seen. “But I loved Sanjaya. He really added a lot of color.”

Other TV notables in the fashionable crowd included “Desperate Housewives” Marcia Cross, “Sex and the City” Darren Star and “Las Vegas” star James Caan.

By the time Charlie Sheen arrived, the cocktail hour was well underway with guests enjoying Grey Goose Pear-tinis and platters of perfectly prepared fritto misto. DJ Keith set the tone with some classic ’60s Stan Getz, while stilt walkers lumbered around wearing butterfly wings. As the sun went down, the well-connected crowd made their way to the outside dining area where the tables were done up in purple and white, and fragrant hyacinths added perfume to the canyon air.

Mary J. Blige wowed the crowd with a performance of U2’s “One Love.” And so did honoree Hudson, who proved herself Oscar worthy indeed. Saving the best for last, Tom Cruise made a surprise appearance (sans Suri and Mrs. C.). The “Lions for Lambs” star dropped in to present an award to his agent Rick Hess. Other honorees included Starr and Christopher Gardner, who penned the inspirational memoir-turned-movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

The event raised nearly $1 million for Chrysalis to help L.A.’s homeless through vocational training and job opportunities.


Can’t get away this summer? Well, a short trip to Studio City might have you feeling like you’re visiting the Russian Imperial Court. The destination is called Romanov. It’s the sister restaurant to the swanky celebrity hang Republic, but with a totally different look and feel. With its regal red velvet drapes and its ornate gold leaf, the opulent dining room is a setting worthy of Catherine the Great.

Owner Mikayel Israyelyan even managed to lure executive chef Mark Murillo from Saddle Peak Lodge. Instead of antelope, Murillo is serving up Russian specialties like pozharsky croquettes, caviar, beef stroganoff and, of course, borscht. “It’s been a challenge,” Murillo said, “but I’ve been doing my research.” The tastemaker also likes the uniqueness of his new digs. “It’s totally different,” he observed. “It’s not exactly like you can say there’s another Russian restaurant in town.”

So if you’re looking for a little culinary diversion, say “na zdorovye” to Romonov. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing czars!

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