A Delicious New Start at XIV

Chef Michael Mina and Sophie Gayot
Chef Michael Mina and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

When I went to XIV in November, I was not totally convinced by Michael Mina’s first restaurant in Los Angeles. When the names Mina and Sam Nazarian (SBE Group) are on the door, you have high expectations.

Did the team sense  it? What I am sure of is that they have worked very hard to create a totally new dining experience which, I feel, now works. From Michael Mina, whose eponymous restaurant in San Francisco has been one of our Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. for four years in a row, to executive chef Steven Fretz, pastry chef Jordan Kahn and to general manger Ryan Cole, they had all realized that they could make things better, and they succeeded.

 

Note that on Mondays, a three-course market menu is offered for $49, and that you can enjoy the restaurant’s best wines, including Château Cheval Blanc and Domaine de la Romanée Conti, at half price, for any bottle over $100.

You can read our review of XIV restaurant and add your comments in our restaurant section.

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Meet Meat Not Scary to Eat

Organic Beef
Organic Beef

By André Gayot

 

On bumper stickers we often read this straightforward formula: “War is not the answer.”


That should be the motto of the World Trade Organization (WTO) when the officials of this International entity try to reconcile the US Department of Commerce with the European Commission of Brussels. For now, the battle is raging.

 

 The European Union does not want to buy American beef because of the (legal) use in the US of the growth hormone to raise cattle faster by some farmers. Indeed, not all the farmers. Apparently the EU is not sensitive to the difference and parks all of these American animals in the same corral. In response, the US retaliates with the threat of raising custom tariffs on European food items such as French Roquefort and Italian mineral waters so popular on this side of the Atlantic. Continue reading “Meet Meat Not Scary to Eat” »

A Tasty Gathering at Jaan

Chef Karim Razgallah presenting his desserts to Sophie Gayot
Chef Karim Razgallah presenting his desserts to Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Last night chef Karim Razgallah of Jaan at L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills prepared an elegant dinner, under the toque of the Club Culinaire of French Cuisine, presided by Jean-François Meteigner of La Cachette restaurant. Chef Karim, former private chef to Karl Lagerfeld, is half Tunisian (from his father) and half French (from Bourgogne). He loves to mix the two cultures while cooking and uses spices wisely.

The evening began with a cocktail party in the hotel’s garden accompanied by bubbles from G.H. Mumm Champagne. Then we moved into the dining room for a five-course meal: lobster bisque (very tasty); roasted sea bass (perfectly cooked) with braised veal sweet breads; truffle chicken cannelloni (quite interesting); crusty lamb loin (more traditional); pear-almond feuillantine in a chocolate sauce (great orange blossom flavor).

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Modern Mexican Experience Downtown LA

Chef Nick Albrecht and Sophie Gayot toasting over tuna ceviche tacos
Chef Nick Albrecht and Sophie Gayot toasting over tuna ceviche tacos

By Sophie Gayot

Downtown Los Angeles is sprouting with new, elegant restaurants. CASA on South Grand Avenue is one of them. Located at the foot of one of the towers of California Plaza, it is as beautiful as the buildings, though in a very different style. You can choose to sit outside or inside to sip on great house-made cocktails, before moving onto chef Nick Albrecht’s interpretation of Mexican cuisine.

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Bistro Fare at La Cachette

Chef Jean-François Meteigner presenting his whitefish to Sophie Gayot
Chef Jean-François Meteigner presenting his whitefish to Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Chef Jean-François Meteigner from La Cachette is celebrating the soon-to-come summer with a new “HYBRID MENU.” Within the restaurant he has created much more casual dishes at reasonable prices, under “La Cachette Bistro.” Look for them on the menu, marked with a bistro chair. Last night I tried a refreshing red papaya salad with brandade of homemade salted cod, corn blinis and cream; North Sea whitefish in a saffron broth with mussels, clams and mixed market vegetables, and floating island.

Besides dining at La Cachette, you can spend time with Meteigner during his cooking classes, the next ones to be held on May 2, June 27 and August 29.

 

 

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