View Slideshow

Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford kicked off their Fourth of July festivities a little early with an intimate soiree Thursday night at the husband-wife duo’s Cuban-Mexican restaurant Cafe Habana in Malibu.

The couple arrived 10 minutes early where they found event planners still adding a few finishing touches to the Puerto Rican-inspired decor. “We’re on Malibu time,” joked an observer, as the production team scurried around adding lit candles. Barrels of rum, strung lights and stacks of fedora party favors added to the summer vacation vibe. For Gerber, the night proved to be a little pleasure and business — as one of his latest endeavors, Caliche Rum, sponsored the affair.

“We did a launch party in New York and Miami Beach, but we live here and wanted to do something low-key in Malibu for our close friends,” explained Crawford, whose 10-year-old daughter Kaia stopped by early for a quick hello. As for the family’s actual Independence Day plans, the model said they’ll stay local. “We’ll spend the summer at our lake, but Malibu is a lot of fun on the Fourth, so we’ll be here for it.” Gerber added, “It’s a great city to be a part of — very laid-back. People will show up tonight wearing jeans, you’ll see.”

As if on cue, the first arrival, Sean Penn, strolled up in a leather jacket. He said hello to his hosts, grabbed a martini, then got comfortable on a couch near the DJ booth, where Mr. Best provided the evening’s upbeat soundtrack. Trays of chicken tinga tacos and ceviche shooters circled as John Corbett, Fran Drescher, Daisy Fuentes, Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin, designer James Perse, Thea Andrews and Donovan Leitch arrived. Well into the night, Gerber joked, “The party hasn’t even begun!” True to his word, the group partied on until 1 a.m.

Author Gigi Levangie Grazer, who just completed her latest book “The After Wife,” relished the night out. “I’ve only had half a drink, but it’s like heroin,” she joked. “Just roll me home.”