3 Reasons To Visit Duane Martin's Xen Lounge
Want to make like a super rich kid without breaking a hundred? Frequent this swank spot that offers Throne-style indulgence for middle-class wallets
10628 Ventura Blvd. | Studio City, CA 91604
After copping this residential property in 2005, screen OG Duane Martin and wife Tisha Campbell-Martin spruced up the space and turned it into a prime Hollywood haunt. Despite its VIP visuals, Xen—whose Feng Shui-inspired red doors swung open to the public this past September—welcomes the average and A-level, from Will Smith to Stevie Wonder to Queen Latifah, with cocktails and health-conscious dishes under $20. “We created the perfect place where everybody can exist in the same space,” says Martin. “If you walk inside, there’s energy.”
Xen’s detailed décor includes umbrellas dangling from palm trees and an exterior wrapped in greenery. For leisure, patrons can loaf on the patio to the refrains of a live DJ, or swap cool stories outdoor next to a seven-foot Buddha. Designed for private meetings, the venue’s polka dot room takes sartorial cues. “When people wear business suits, they’ll usually wear a polka dot tie. I wanted to [recreate that],” says Martin. “The room has a Louis Vuitton mirror and different things that constitute a business suit, but very Euro.” A strict dress code is enforced, so put your kicks and snapbacks on pause.
Don’t be shocked to spot Mariah Carey in the courtyard humming her own hits—the diva partied till dawn for Nick Cannon’s b-day bash. But the mood here is more Babyface than “Birthday Song.” “The DJ plays adult music, from Boyz II Men and New Edition to Jay-Z and Beyoncé,” says Martin. The Buddha area meanwhile calls for a more placid playlist. “It’s meant to be calm with feel-good music.”
→ Visit guide.vibe.com for a thorough rundown of restaurants, hotels, bars, shopping listings and more around the country.