Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.






  • pinitbutton My Dinner with Mick Fleetwood
sophiegayotmickfleetwood 300x281 My Dinner with Mick Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood and Sophie Gayot with a glass of 2005 Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Reisling

By Sophie Gayot


From rock & roll to wine? But why? And how come? This is the question I posed to Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac while dining with him at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at L.A. Live. Both Jonathan Todd, the drummer’s manager, and longtime friend producer Michael Shapiro commented on Mick’s involvement in the wine-making process. Mick, who offers a selection of seventeen American wines (red and white), is the sole decider of the wine’s blend as well as the winery that will carry his label on the bottle.


Although this was great information, it wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for. I turned to Mick himself to help me put the pieces of this puzzle together. Of course, Mick has the means to produce wine, but what drove him to become so tremendously involved? I finally had him reveal, with his gorgeous voice and elegant British accent, his secret: he is a “nose” and has always had a heightened sense of smell. It allows him to create the blends that he likes—hoping that he won’t be the only one to enjoy them. If a winery produces great wine one year, but not so great the next, Mick’s nose knows! He just selects another winery. The drummer’s next blend will be a Bordeaux. You can find Mick’s wine in the sixty-nine Fleming’s restaurants and at Costco with an average price of $20.




  • pinitbutton Caviar and Much More…
sophiegayotabbeland 275x300 Caviar and Much More…

West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land cutting the ribbon with the Petrossians, the Martinons and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

After months and months of remodeling, the West Hollywood Petrossian Paris Boutique & Café finally reopened last night. Armen Petrossian and his son Alexandre made the trip from Paris to unveil a totally new space, where the boutique and the café each now have their own dedicated space.

The mayor of West Hollywood, Abbe Land, held the scissors for the red ribbon ceremony, also attended by the French Consul General David Martinon, and his wife Karen. Petrossian farm-raised American caviar, paired with Champagne, disappeared as soon as it came out of the kitchen.

Petrossian Paris was established by Armenian brothers Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian. The two were the first to introduce caviar to Paris, then to the rest of the world after fleeing Russia for the City of Lights in the early 1920’s. Today, Petrossian Paris offers an array of packaged goods including their signature smoked salmon, a variety of smoked seafood, fine chocolates, mustards, olive oils, specialty vinegars and fruit preserves along with the comprehensive collection of Petrossian caviar. You can find Petrossian boutiques, restaurants and cafés in Paris, Monaco, New York, Las Vegas and West Hollywood.

minilogo Caviar and Much More…



  • pinitbutton The Artist and his Painting
sophiegayotalexeysteele 300x237 The Artist and his Painting
Artist Alexey Steele with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

What better way to spend Memorial Day weekend in the Golden State than by attending the California Art Club exhibition: on location in Malibu 2009 at Pepperdine University. The showing featured paintings of landscapes that capture the community of Malibu from the Pacific Coast Highway to the beaches and mountains. The fall 2007 wildfires ravaged much of the city and the artists wanted to record the positive changes of rebirth and renewal since then.


The highlight of the exhibit was Alexey Steele‘s Water and Fire, which depicts a graceful woman walking on the beach at sunset. Steele’s vision of the landscape was moving and the lighting he used added a dramatic effect. From his style, look, behavior, and the way he dresses and talks, Steele, who was born in the Ukraine in 1967, is an artist in the full sense of the word. His magnificent studio, located in Carson, is filled with books and the sounds of classical music which inspire him to create wonderful figurative paintings. His area of expertise includes multi-figure compositions, portraits, nudes and plein-air landscapes.


Continue reading “The Artist and his Painting” »



  • pinitbutton Breakfast for President Obama
obama pancake breakfast Breakfast for President Obama
President Obama at Pamela’s P&G Diner in Pittsburgh, PA

Even though we haven’t had the chance to sit down to a stack of hotcakes at Pamela’s P&G Diner, we think its great that President Obama found the place so memorable that he has asked the owners to cook for eighty war veterans at The White House Memorial Day breakfast. The president made a stop at the Pittsburgh outpost during his campaign and it seems like those pancakes make quite the impression.

We invite our readers to try the flapjacks (stamped with the seal of approval from the president himself) at one of the Pamela’s P&G Diner locations and tell us what you think on our restaurant listing page using our “Write Your Own Review”.

minilogo Breakfast for President Obama


  • pinitbutton A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef
sophiegayottopchef 300x235 A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef

Top Chef Contestants Betty Fraser and Stefan Ritcher with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Last night, American Idol was not the only event getting people excited. A fierce battle ensued at The Grove in Los Angeles between two former contestants from the television show Top Chef.


After cooking demonstrations from The Grove eateries The Whisper Restaurant & Lounge, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Morels, Betty Fraser (season 2) and Stefan Richter (season 5) had fifty minutes to prepare a meal, each with a different mystery basket of ingredients.


The pair was playful behind the stoves and used knives, spoons, olive oil, salt, pepper and their words to tease one another. They sure did know how to work the crowd! Stefan was throwing red roses and ladies underwear (yes, underwear) to the women in the crowd, while Betty used her great smile to woo the audience. All the while, radio host Merrill Shindler commented on all the action.


When it was time to taste the food, a panel of unbiased judges was selected from the audience. They preferred Stefan’s steak atop an amazing potato purée over Betty’s fried pork with caramelized peaches. Congratulations to the winner!


Continue reading “A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef” »



  • pinitbutton So Many Chefs, So Little Time
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Chef Curtis Stone with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

One and a half million dollars was raised Saturday at the 20th Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters, which benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event took place at the “Midwest Street” set lot at Warner Brothers in Burbank. Forty-five celebrity chefs prepared an amuse-bouche which was paired with wine donated by over 65 wineries.


There were so many chefs and wineries that I didn’t have the chance to talk with everyone, even though I was there for over four hours. I started my tour with John Cuevas from Muse at Montage Beverly Hills, who prepared a salad of local watermelon, marinated green beans, feta and anchovy. I tasted Curtis Stone’s chicken liver parfait after waiting in line behind a crowd of fans getting his autograph (some even had Stone tattoo their arms!). Much later in the evening I ended my tour with chef Warren Schwartz of Westside Tavern (our current Los Angeles Review of the Week). Unfortunately I didn’t get to try his grilled hanger steak with brown butter béarnaise because it was too late in the evening.

Continue reading “So Many Chefs, So Little Time” »



  • pinitbutton My Life as a [Molecular] Blog
cpkelco coulis My Life as a [Molecular] Blog

22nd century coulis

By Alain Gayot


With the world’s population expanding like a hot air balloon readying for flight, our food supply needs to be addressed at a macro level by huge food ingredient firms such as CP Kelco. Still at a macro level, this global company, owned by the J.M. Huber Corporation, is itself the result of a merger of the Danish company Copenhagen Pectin, the Finnish company Noviant, and the American Firm Kelco Company. CP Kelco is a leading producer and supplier of specialty hydrocolloids – a family of materials designed to control the rheology (flow behavior) of water in various systems.  


The products manufactured by CP Kelco include: carrageenan, cellulose gum, diutan gum, gellan gum, locust bean gum, microparticulated whey protein concentrate, pectin, welan gum, xanthan gum, and other novel biopolymers. These products can be found in applications spanning across the food, pharmaceutical, oral care, personal care, household and consumer product, paper coating and oil field drilling industries. Every day, you are using a product that contains hydrocolloids. They have more than 3,500 customers in over 100 countries worldwide. That’s big!  

Continue reading “My Life as a [Molecular] Blog” »

  • pinitbutton Tom Hanks brings Shakespeare to Life!
sophiegayottomhanks 300x221 Tom Hanks brings Shakespeare to Life!

Tom Hanks with Sophie Gayot after the reading of The Comedy of Errors

By Sophie Gayot

Last night, as I was leaving the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, I was trampled by a mass of frantic fans hoping for an autograph and a picture. The group was not looking for me, but rather Tom Hanks who was stepping out of the theatre to address the mob. I tried to get through the high-energy crowd by telling them, “Let me out”; their attention was ONLY focused on Hanks. But what were we all doing there?

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson had organized a “reading” of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” with a star-studded cast to benefit The Shakespeare Festival in Los Angeles. The proceeds from the event went to support operational costs of youth and education programming, as well as professional theatrical performances.

The performance was unique in that the actors read their lines from the script—an interesting outcome of their busy schedule!



  Continue reading “Tom Hanks brings Shakespeare to Life!” »



  • pinitbutton An Elegant Dinner for a Cause
sophiegayotflavorsoflosangeles 300x142 An Elegant Dinner for a Cause
The chefs who donated their time for the 2009 Flavors of Los Angeles Culinary Gala with Sophie Gayot, holding roses from Cherry Blossom 

By Sophie Gayot


Last night, the Greater Los Angeles Division of the American Liver Foundation held its third annual Flavors of Los Angeles culinary gala, where I was acting as honorary chair, also for the third time. The event took place at City National Bank Plaza in downtown Los Angeles and began with a cocktail reception and a silent auction. Afterwards, eight Los Angeles chefs prepared a five-course feast with wine pairings for their personal tables of ten guests. I had the pleasure of mingling and interviewing each of them as they were cooking right in front of the patrons. Each table had a different meal, and I can assure you that they were all good.


On behalf of the American Liver Foundation, I would like to thank the chefs who donated their time and talent to support an evening which benefits so many in Los Angeles (listed in alphabetical order): Andy Cook, The London West Hollywood; Celestino Drago, Drago Centro; Katie Hagan-Whelchel, Beso; Calvin Holladay, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Kevin Meehan, Cafe Pinot; Gabriel Morales, Provecho; John Rivera Sedlar, Rivera; Shigefumi Tachibe, Chaya Downtown.

Continue reading “An Elegant Dinner for a Cause” »



  • pinitbutton A Dinner with Nobu at Nobu
sophiegayotnobumatsuhisa 300x204 A Dinner with Nobu at Nobu

Master chef Nobu Matsuhisa; Richie Notar, Managing Partner of Nobu with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Looks like there have been a few restaurant anniversaries around town lately (Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, Michael’s, BLT Steak). Last night it was Nobu Los Angeles‘s first year celebration.


Master chef Nobu Matsuhisa himself was there cooking a special dinner, paired with saké from the Hokusetsu brewery. Sitting down in the restaurant, I could not help thinking of the days of L’Orangerie. Nobu’s smile and precise cuisine brought me back to today’s reality of this prestigious address on La Cienega. Out of the beautiful eight-course meal, the Wagyu beef was the winner. It had been roasted in the oven, and seasoned with a truffle teriyaki sauce.


Happy Birthday Nobu!

minilogo A Dinner with Nobu at Nobu

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