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




Party at the Palms

on October 30th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Party at the Palms
maloof on ghost skydeck 225x300 Party at the Palms

Owner of Palms Casino Resort George Maloof on the deck of Ghostbar

By Dylan Nugent


Earlier this month, we were invited to the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, owner George Maloof gave us a guided tour of the themed suites. The newest is the Barbie Suite, which fans of the iconic doll will love. The 2,350-square-foot space features unique artwork, and is well-suited for bachelorette parties.


For bachelors, the Playboy Suite, our favorite, features a cantilevered deck and Jacuzzi with panoramic views of the city. The suite was approved by Hugh Hefner himself, and is filled with a personal massage room, sauna, and seductive artwork and furnishings. There’s also a Playboy Club on the property.

Continue reading “Party at the Palms” »

Shots All Around!

on October 28th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Shots All Around!
gun Shots All Around!

A new gun law passes in Arizona

By Jeff Hoyt


Better be careful about rooting too loudly for your favorite World Series team Wednesday if you’re in an Arizona bar… especially if someone favoring the other team isn’t drinking.


Just in time for the first World Series game between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, a new law in the state of Arizona takes effect Wednesday, October 28, that allows patrons with concealed weapons permits to carry their loaded guns into bars.


Continue reading “Shots All Around!” »

KAHLÚA, Old and New

on October 23rd, 2009
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  • pinitbutton KAHLÚA, Old and New
kaluabottle 90x300 KAHLÚA, Old and New

KAHLUA coffee liqueur

by Jeff Hoyt


We grew up with the iconic coffee liqueur, and remember walking back across the border with a newly-purchased bottle the first time we visited Mexico. But we were surprised to learn that the more-than-70-years-old brand had diversified greatly.


While the original flavor has been around since 1936, there are currently five other KAHLÚA’s available for cocktails, spiking coffee and even cooking. (Not to mention two pre-mixed cocktails for lazy bartenders).


We recently enjoyed a dinner at the Lotería Grill in which each of the dishes was prepared with KAHLÚA, including a flaming cheese and chile botana on which KAHLÚA Especial had been poured and set aflame. 

  Continue reading “KAHLÚA, Old and New” »

  • pinitbutton A Gold en Bistro on Beverly Boulevard
marcgoldevarestaurant 300x165 A Gold en Bistro on Beverly Boulevard

Chef/owner Marc Gold (right) of Eva Restaurant and his kitchen team

By Sophie Gayot


Our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week is the newly opened Eva Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard, in the space left vacant by Quinn and Karen Hatfield. Hatfield’s is moving to Melrose Avenue to the former Citrus location where mega-chef Michel Richard started.


Marc Gold, the chef/owner, likes to run the show—both in the kitchen and in the dining room—with lots of enthusiasm. View our dinner in pictures below and read our review of Eva Restaurant in our Los Angeles restaurant section.

Continue reading “A Gold-en Bistro on Beverly Boulevard” »

  • pinitbutton Gayot Visits Hell’s Kitchen for the Finale of Season 6

By Jeff Hoyt


Our own Alain Gayot appeared as a judge on the season finale of Hell’s Kitchen on FOX-TV on Tuesday October 13, and showed that his taste matched that of chef and host Gordon Ramsay. In the first showdown between the final two competitors, filmed outside of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles, Alain preferred Dave Levey’s rack of venison with sour cream and chive parsnip purée over Kevin Cottle’s petite clambake with poached lobster and clam pudding. Despite fracturing his wrist during the production, Dave went on to win this sixth season of competition, and the position of head chef at Araxi Restaurant in Whistler, British Columbia.

Time to Cover Kobe

on October 13th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Time to Cover Kobe
sophiegayotkobebryant 300x219 Time to Cover Kobe

Kobe Bryant with chef Philippe Chow and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


Kobe Bryant took a break from Lakers training camp to attend the opening of Philippe Los Angeles last night. Was it due to his love for contemporary Chinese food, which flowed generously out of the Melrose Avenue kitchen? No, Kobe was celebrating his appearance on the cover of L’Uomo Vogue magazine, and his new watch collaboration, the Black Mambo, by Nubeo.


We’ll give you a further report on the new Philippe Chow restaurant after we have dinner there next week. And, as for Kobe, we think his taste in jewelry is more along the lines of another NBA championship ring!

minilogo Time to Cover Kobe



  • pinitbutton Second Gayot Dinner Series
sophiegayotfelixsaam Second Gayot Dinner Series

Saam general manager Felix Meana with Sophie Gayot enjoying “Dragon’s Breath” popcorn

By Sophie Gayot

Due to overwhelming response for the GAYOT dinner at The Bazaar on November 6th, we are pleased to offer two additional evenings at Saam, the chef’s tasting room at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills: Friday, November 13th, and the following Thursday, November 19th. If you were not able to make a reservation originally, here are two more chances to join us. Call 310-246-5545.




From modern American cuisine at SIMON L.A. for the first GAYOT Dinner Series in September, we move to the even more modern style of chef José Andrés at The Bazaar for the next GAYOT Dinner to be held on Friday November 6th at Saam, the chef’s tasting room, located within The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.


Saam is an intimate space with its own décor separated by glass walls from the lively action of The Bazaar. For this occasion, chef José Andrés and his team will create a very special prix-fixe menu of twenty-plus “tastes” for $95 that will include delightful surprises and a complimentary glass of cava for each guest. Wine pairings come in four different categories — Sparkling, Spanish, Global and Sherry — and start at $45 for a flight of four tasting portions.


Among the items to expect on the menu are: olive oil bonbon, Dragon’s Breath (popcorn), Sea urchin with pomegranate air, tournedos Rossini,


During the evening, which will also be the celebration of the first anniversary of the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, I will be at Saam to discuss the meal, and why chef José Andrés’ inventive dishes are the talk of the town. I hope to see you there.


Space is limited. Please call 310-246-5545 for reservations.





  • pinitbutton Cotton Candy Foie Gras for a Cause
sophiegayotjorgechicas1 290x300 Cotton Candy Foie Gras for a Cause

Chef de cuisine Jorge Chicas of The Bazaar with Sophie Gayot eating cotton candy foie gras

by Sophie Gayot

In my eyes, any excuse is good enough to go to The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills for a cube of foie gras wrapped in cotton candy.

So I was especially pleased to find executive chef Jorge Chicas serving it at the second Los Angeles March of Dimes Annual Chefs Event.

Over 300 guests gathered last week on the private patio at the SLS to taste food and wine from more than 25 restaurants and wineries.

Continue reading “Cotton Candy Foie Gras for a Cause” »

Chocolate Only

on October 11th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Chocolate Only
republicadelcacaochocolate 200x300 Chocolate Only
Pair the chocolate from Republica del Cacao with Pinot

by Sophie Gayot

It was obvious this afternoon at the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon held at the Pasadena Convention Center that chocolate is not a standard foodstuff. It provokes a passion and love that not too many products can claim.

Each of the 35-plus exhibitors had a different story. Bernard Duclos from República del Cacao likes to tell you to pair his organic chocolate with Pinot. Chocolatier Christopher Michael makes its chocolate bacon bar sizzle (fun). Travel with the round metal tins of The Chocolate Traveler, which you can have customized with your own design. We also tried the chocolate-dipped pretzels hand-rolled in English toffee (not bad); and the leopard-printed chocolates from Susie Norris of Happy Chocolates. Helen Grace’s old-fashioned chocolates include truffles, specialty confections, assortments, and even dessert toppings. There were even chocolate body products from Sweet Beauty Organic Chocolate Spa Treatments.

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  • pinitbutton Best Escargots in Los Angeles
chefalexreznik 225x300 Best Escargots in Los Angeles

Chef Alex Reznik from Ivan Kane's Café Wa s in Hollywood

By Sophie Gayot


When dining at Ivan Kane’s Café Wa s, there is little chance that you will actually find the chef at the piano—though in the French culinary world “piano” is a nickname for gas range.


Last night I discovered chef Alex Reznik’s escargots for the first time. I have to admit they were the best I had tasted in a long time. The secret is the sauce, which is not the usual butter and garlic combination. Reznik has created a butter, lemon confit, capers and garlic confit mixture, which has a very distinctive taste. I discussed the recipe with him and figured out that the easiest way to taste it again would be to just come back to the restaurant.

Continue reading “Best Escargots in Los Angeles” »

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