Why Larry Flynt Broke Up With L.A.'s Four Seasons
The mogul ended his daily dining ritual at restaurant Culina when management wouldn’t accommodate his repeated requests to turn the music down.
For decades, Hustler honcho Larry Flynt was a fixture at the Beverly Hills-adjacent Four Seasons Los Angeles, dining daily at the various iterations of its lobby-level hotel restaurant -- a short drive from his company headquarters on Wilshire Blvd. He was such a beloved regular, holding court at prominent tables in his gold-plated wheelchair, that the current incarnation of the power lunch sanctum, Culina, eventually named a seafood salad in his honor.
But as of five months ago, the mogul known for his enduring restaurant-monogamy started seeing other industry hotspots, from the Grill on the Alley to the Palm. Word circulated that he'd had a falling out with management over the newly cranked-up music level in Culina's dining room. Flynt confirms the reason for the rift.
"I made the decision to go someplace else," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm very good friends with the hotel's owners, the Cohens, and we're still very good friends. It's more of a Four Seasons corporate issue rather than a local one -- the Four Seasons has a consultant for everything, including what they're playing and how loud they're going to play it."
The way Flynt sees it, Culina simply isn't interested in catering to his particular demographic anymore. "I usually have a working lunch every day, so it's important to me that the atmosphere is conducive to the meeting," he says. "It's sad because there's a lot of people for whom business lunches are very important."
But Flynt isn't fretting too much, despite the fact that Culina has quietly removed his namesake salad from the menu since his departure. (The hotel declined to comment on the situation.) He's settled down of late with a new lunchtime beau: The Belvedere at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. "They're very, very accommodating, and the music is low enough so that you can have a conversation anywhere you're sitting."