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Sam Nazarian: Emperor of Cool

His L.A. nightclubs and restaurants may be A-list only, but Nazarian makes sure business sense isn't lost in all the glitz. Up next: boutique hotels
Sam Nazarian's club, the 90-person Hyde, attracts a defiantly A-list clientele—and is a regular feature in celebrity gossip Web sites such as TMZ.com as a result.
Sam Nazarian's club, the 90-person Hyde, attracts a defiantly A-list clientele—and is a regular feature in celebrity gossip Web sites such as TMZ.com as a result.

A bouncer clad in black stands guard at the door. Sushi knives, dipped in white plastic and encased in Plexiglas, serve as cocktail tables. Huge photos of models with bright red lips cover the walls. Below, stylishly dressed diners indulge on pricey treats such as Kobe beef filets with foie gras and watermelon cucumber mojitos.

Katsuya, at the legendary intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles, is the latest trendy stop in a mini-empire of cool created by entrepreneur Sam Nazarian. The 32-year-old Los Angeles native now has four nightclubs, two Katsuya sushi restaurants—with two more opening this year—and a movie production company (Down in the Valley, Mr. Brooks) under his SBE Entertainment Group holding company banner.