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




  • pinitbutton Delicious Home Style Mexican Cuisine
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Owner/chef Larry Nicola at his new restaurant Mexico in West Hollywood

By Sophie Gayot

Want to go to Mexico for its food and ambience but don’t have the time for it? Just drive to the heart of West Hollywood and push the green doors of Mexico Restaurante y Barra open.

As soon as you see the patio, the décor will make forget you’re on Santa Monica Boulevard. Owner Larry Nicola, who is also the proprietor of Nic’s Martini & Lounge in Beverly Hills, has created a number of specialty cocktails, and a menu based on a tasty, home-style Mexican cuisine.

Mexico Restaurante y Barra is our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week.

minilogo Delicious Home Style Mexican Cuisine



  • pinitbutton News from Avenue of the Stars
cheffranktoshisugiurajonathanwood 300x265 News from Avenue of the Stars

Chefs Frank Toshi Sugiura (middle), Jonathan Wood (right), and

By Sophie Gayot


It looks like we don’t always have to be surrounded by a Japanese décor to eat sushi. The InterContinental Hotel Los Angeles Century City has partnered with chef Frank Toshi Sugiura to offer sashimi, rolls and sushi in the hotel’s cozy lounge.

You can trust the expertise of Sugiura since he is the CEO of the California Sushi Academy and the chef-owner of Bar Hayama on Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

  Continue reading “News from Avenue of the Stars” »

  • pinitbutton A Dream Patio on Sunset Boulevard
sophiegayotboasteakhouse 300x225 A Dream Patio on Sunset Boulevard

Partner-owner Lee Maen on the patio of new BOA Steakhouse on Sunset with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

When I went to dinner last week at the relocated BOA Steakhouse on Sunset, I was expecting to get a table inside to immerse myself in the vibrant décor of the room and the bar.

Partner-owner Lee Maen kindly showed me the way to the patio. And yes, he was right: that is the place to be. It is one of the largest restaurant patios in town (except for maybe those in some hotels), and a hip, ritzy, glitzy clientele has already made it one of heir favorite spots for lunch, dinner or drinks.

BOA Steakhouse is our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week.

minilogo A Dream Patio on Sunset Boulevard

  • pinitbutton The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist
williambradley 300x200 The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist
Chef William Bradley of the Addison restaurant

By André Gayot

To count how many places in the entire world belong in the same class as The Grand Del Mar hotel near San Diego, you probably won’t need all ten of your fingers. Perched in the foothills of the Sierras, hidden within the rolling hills, this domain is nothing but majestic beauty.


Good enough, but how can we spend—without drastically breaking the bank — an unforgettable evening in this palatial Moorish style Kasbah spiced with a good ladle of Florentine art where no effort (nor money) was spared to erect this paramount of handsome hospitality? Follow me. Let’s walk to your table in the Addison restaurant, between the Porphyry columns sustaining the caisson ceiling over the encrusted marble floor.


Continue reading “The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist” »



  • pinitbutton Recipes for a Stylish Barbecue
sophiegayotcurtisstone 276x300 Recipes for a Stylish Barbecue

Chef Curtis Stone showing his new book to Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

What better way to experience a cookbook than to cook with the author himself? Since it is summer and we all enjoy the outdoors, celebrity chef Curtis Stone put on his apron last week to show us some of his barbecue recipes.


From his latest release, Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone, we enjoyed the baby-back ribs. I am sure it was due to the barbecue sauce, both sweet and sour (page 192); it was so good I used the leftover the next day on chicken, and vegetables. Stone suggested seasoning lobster with a white sauce, lemon and parsley before putting it on the grill (page 183).


For a light, sweet finish, he had prepared lemon curd tarts topped with fresh raspberries (page 250). He likes to tell the story that lemon curd is one of the first things his mum taught him to make.

Continue reading “Recipes for a Stylish Barbecue” »

  • pinitbutton Celebrate True French Cuisine in Los Angeles
sophiegayotfrenchrestaurantlosangeles 300x261 Celebrate True French Cuisine in Los Angeles

Chef Bruno Herve-Commereuc (right) , with chef de cuisine Hugues Quintard and Sophie Gayot holding house-made boudin noir

By Sophie Gayot


Very often, I hear “Where is a real French restaurant in Los Angeles?” Well, recently I found the perfect answer: Saint Amour restaurant in downtown Culver City, our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week.

Bruno Herve-Commereuc, an expert charcutier, and his wife Florence are very happy to welcome you to their brasserie. The most adventurous eaters will order Bruno’s delicious boudin noir (blood sausage), andouillette, escargots, foie gras, merguez and crispy boneless pigs’ feet. If you don’t belong to this first group, you will be happy with the soupe à l’oignon, the thin-crusted leek tart, monkfish, and grilled rib-eye with pommes frites. Finish le diner with la mousse au chocolat à l’orange. Bon appétit! 

minilogo Celebrate True French Cuisine in Los Angeles

  • pinitbutton Budapest the “Paris of the East,” Really?
fourseasonshotelbudapestfacade 300x178 Budapest the “Paris of the East,” Really?

The Art Nouveau façade of the Gresham Palace in Budapest

By André Gayot


Mais oui! Even a hardcore Parisian would admit it. Beautiful grand boulevards, large avenues, handsome mansions, green parks, impressive landmarks, museums, opera house, lively streets and art life, all of these match the French model to recreate another Paris on the Danube closer to the original one than the Las Vegas cardboard elliptic version.


What about food, then? I am not so sure about eats, for I am not a big fan of goulash. You know that robust stew of beef, onions and potatoes more fit to sustain one’s efforts fighting the rigors of winter than the appetite of a modern city dandy. But, there are quite a few places that offer a more elaborate food with or without Paprika, the Hungarian national spice.

  Continue reading “Budapest the “Paris of the East,” Really?” »

Burgers Worth Finding

on July 14th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Burgers Worth Finding
burgergayot 300x233 Burgers Worth Finding

One of Gayot's Top 10 LA Burgers

By Sophie Gayot

Craving a very good hamburger on a Saturday afternoon, I headed to the Hole in the Wall Burger Joint for my very first visit.


It’s hard to find, since its official address is on Santa Monica Boulevard, but its actual entrance, hidden behind a donut shop, is on South Bentley Avenue. I finally arrived and ordered a medium rare beef burger with a pretzel bun, onion mayonnaise, red leaf lettuce, sliced onion, tomato, and topped with provolone cheese, all for a very reasonable $7.95.


A few moments later, I was enjoying it on the outdoor patio, which is covered with old sails belonging to chef-owner Bill Dertouzos, accompanied by great fresh-cut French fries ($2.00). I’m happy to report he makes a VERY good hamburger, and have added the spot to our top 10 Burgers in Los Angeles list.



minilogo Burgers Worth Finding



  • pinitbutton So Important for All of Us
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Concern Foundation 35th Annual Block Party at Paramount Studios

By Sophie Gayot


For its 35th annual block party, held Saturday, July 11, at the Paramount Studios backlot, the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research chose to add the number 2 to its logo to stress the fact that cancer is now a concern for the children and grandchildren of the founders of the foundation, which has been active for 41 years.


President Derek Alpert announced that $1.3 million dollars had been raised during the sold-out event, where over 3,000 participants were able to taste the food and desserts of over 40 local restaurants; to name just a few: Charlie’s, Chaya Brasserie, Il Cielo, La Cachette Bistro, Huckleberry Café & Bakery, La Provence Pâtisserie, Vibrato Grill.


Continue reading “So Important for All of Us” »

Happy Hour in Malibu

on July 08th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Happy Hour in Malibu
sophiegayotcharliesmalibu 300x203 Happy Hour in Malibu
Charlie DiLorenzo at Happy Hour with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

I suggest you time your arrival to Charlie’s, our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week, in Malibu to enjoy the sunset along Pacific Coast Highway.


But if you were to get there earlier, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., you could relax at the bar and lounge during happy hour, “Charlie’s @ 5:00”, sipping beer priced between $4 and $5, wine ($5) or house cocktails ($8), and nibbling on fried calamari, roasted beet salad or the tasty mac and cheese seasoned with sage.




Note that the lounge menu is also offered late at night, to 11:30 p.m. on Fri.-Sat.; 10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., and 10 p.m. on Sunday, which is good to know considering that there are not too many dining options in Malibu.

minilogo Happy Hour in Malibu

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