How To Enjoy Friday Lunch at Spago

Friday house-made spaghetti and veal meatballs at Spago Beverly Hills
Friday house-made spaghetti and veal meatballs at Spago Beverly Hills

by Sophie Gayot


Having lunch at uber chef Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills on a Friday requires much more time than on any other day. For some unknown reason, for many years now, when you enter on a Friday at noon or one o’clock, don’t expect to leave until 4 or 5pm. That is what everybody does and, please, don’t break the tradition. The restaurant becomes sort of a friendly club where everybody starts talking to each other, especially when Barbara Lazaroff starts going from table to table.

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A Punchy Evening

World champion Sugar Ray Leonard with Sophie Gayot
World champion Sugar Ray Leonard with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

 

Saturday night I attended the 2010 edition of Vintage Hollywood, an organization formed in 2002 to raise funds to support charitable organizations that work to promote the health and well-being of Southern California’s diverse community. This year the proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

 

The king of the evening was definitely world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard, whose Pacific Palisades house hosted the event. Food-wise, Christophe Happillon was the most popular with his Luna oysters from Carlsbad. The line to sample the dish was very long, as he was opening them “à la demande.” Don’t be fooled by the photo below; I was not really helping him. Readers can find him at Joe’s restaurant in Venice every Friday and at Church & State downtown Los Angeles every Tuesday.

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Grant Achatz’s Revolutionary Next Restaurant

Alinea, where there is a method to the culinary madness
Alinea, where there is a method to the culinary madness

by Jennifer Olvera  

People are growing comfortable with the idea of buying movie tickets in advance. But will they do the same for fine dining? Chef Grant Achatz is celebrating the fifth anniversary of his world-lauded Alinea. Perhaps as a nod to himself, he’s making what some alternately call a bold or narcissistic move.
 

 
This year, he’ll open the simply named Next Restaurant. To enjoy the privilege of visiting, diners will have to purchase advance tickets via its website, nextrestaurant.com. (If you want a sneak peek, that’s also where you can check out his “movie trailer.”)

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Air France: Paris / Los Angeles, Celebrating 50 years

Consul General of France David Martinon, Sophie Gayot, pastry chef Yvan Valentin, Christine Ourmières, Air France Vice President & General Manager USA
Consul General of France David Martinon, Sophie Gayot, pastry chef Yvan Valentin, Christine Ourmières, Air France Vice President & General Manager USA

by Sophie Gayot

It’s been fifty years since Air France became the first French airline to link to the West Coast of America. On April 4, 1960, the airline inaugurated twice-weekly flights of a Boeing 707, which took thirteen-and-a-half hours from Paris to Los Angeles, including a stopover in Montréal. Previously, the flight stopped in New York and lasted an extra 10 hours! Of course, things are even better today with three non-stop daily flights, done in eleven hours. From two classes of service (Luxe and Economy), there are now four: La Première, Business, the new Premium Economy (read a description of it in our Travel section) and Economy.

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Soccer Fever

Egidio Arevalo Rios and Mauricio Victorino of Uruguay challenge Franck Ribery of France
Egidio Arevalo Rios and Mauricio Victorino of Uruguay challenge Franck Ribery of France

 by Sophie Gayot  

   

America is not very versed in the game of soccer, but every four years, a pandemic sweeps the globe. Americans cannot really understand the effervescence that the rest of the world is experiencing. As I’m writing these lines, the game between France and Paraguay is in full swing in South Africa. From the reports I’m getting from Paris, the streets (and restaurants) have been deserted as everyone is at home watching.  

And, even though I am French, for tomorrow’s match against England: Go USA!  

If you want to be part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup excitement, here are some places to follow the 19th edition of the world’s largest sporting event.   

   

    

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