L.A. North
Press credentials for a restaurant opening? Welcome to Planet Hollywood, San Francisco, which opens its doors Monday, July 17. “The world's only dining experience inspired by the magic of film and television,” trumpets the announcement of the invitation-only grand-opening event on Sunday, July 16. Planet Hollywood, at the corner of Stockton and Market, will house “spectacular entertainment memorabilia.” While the exact artifacts for the San Francisco location have not been chosen, other outlets boast showstoppers ranging from Patrick Swayze's Dirty Dancing shoes to Marilyn Monroe's gown from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Shareholders of Planet Hollywood include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Demi Moore. Schwarzenegger and Willis are confirmed for the grand opening, along with Danny Glover, a shareholder in the S.F. franchise. In true L.A. “style,” grand-opening celebrity guests will walk a long red carpet down Stockton to the restaurant. Winners of radio promotional contests, says John Weaver of Bill Lanese Advertising/Public Relations/Marketing, the local firm hired for the opening, will get “preferred placement on the carpet.” What about the food? “It'll be more upscale than the Hard Rock,” says Weaver. Burgers, fries, and malts, but also “low-fat, heart-healthy stuff,” such as grilled meats and fish, salads, pastas, and gourmet pizzas, he tells Dish. Also, Mama Schwarzenegger's apple strudel. Chef Karl Marsh, a native of England, has impressive credentials for flipping those burgers, including stints at George's at the Cove in La Jolla and Seattle's Alexis Hotel. The 19,700-square-foot restaurant and retail shop is in the old Grodin's building, whose renovation includes a special “handprint wall” where celebs have imprinted their palms for posterity.

Vive la France
With the Fourth behind us, it's time to think about celebrating France's national holiday on Friday, July 14. At the Restaurant Jeanne d'Arc, at Bush and Powell, this year's Bastille Day celebration features a four-course French provincial dinner (with entrees of veal marengo or rabbit chasseur). The $39-per-person price tag includes French wine and champagne, plus French accordion music and singers. Over in Larkspur, waiters dressed in period costume will serve a $28 prix-fixe dinner at Left Bank restaurant to commemorate the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. The Bastille menu begins with an assortment of composed salads, followed by two appetizers. Main courses include roasted chicken with onions, roasted beef with fresh herbs, and lamb shank braised with onions, spices, and olives. For dessert, a puff pastry with fresh strawberries.

By Barbara Lane

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