Madame Sylvia Wu, whose Chinese restaurant in Santa Monica served generations of Southern Californians and many celebrities, died Sept. 29 at 106, her family confirmed.
In her later years, Wu stayed in the West Side spirit with cookbooks, television shows, and charity work, especially at the City of Hope cancer center.
Her restaurant was one of the first in Southern California to offer stylized cuisine beyond Chop Suey (though she also took conventional flavors into account). She was a fixture in her business and even took phone orders for takeout while working in the room.
Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Mae West, Paul Newman, Princess Grace and many more dined at Madame Wu’s over the years. She closed the original Wilshire Boulevard restaurant in 1998, but then opened Madame Wu’s Asian Bistro & Sushi in the newly opened Grove. That venture was not that successful, but Madame Wu remained dear to her loyal customers.
Survivors include sons George and Patrick and numerous grandchildren. Her husband died in 2011. The two had been married for 67 years.