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




Testing Out the Test Kitchen

on September 16th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Testing Out the Test Kitchen

by Sophie Gayot

Last night, I parked by chance in front of Test Kitchen for an appointment I had in the West L.A. neighborhood with Hollywood’s favorite publicist Michael Levine. So I decided to pop in to the pop-up restaurant afterwards. I wanted to find out what exactly the restaurant is and to see who was cooking. The chef turned out to be John Sedlar of Rivera.


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  • pinitbutton Enjoy San Diego Restaurant Week
SDRES050704 01 Enjoy San Diego Restaurant Week

Jsix restaurant in downtown San Diego, CA

 by Jeff Hoyt 

San Diego Restaurant Week features more than 180 of San Diego’s best restaurants offering fixed price, three-course meals for $20, $30 or $40. Starting this Sunday, San Diego-area diners can save money while dining out. Choices range from A.R. Valentien and The Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines in North County to Vincent’s in Escondido to Downtown’s Bice Ristorante and Jsix. Reservations are recommended, but not necessary.

San Diego Restaurant Week occurs twice a year. Besides September 19-24, it is also scheduled to be held January 16-21, 2011. For more information and a complete list of participating restaurants, visit

Stay on top of the San Diego dining scene with San Diego Restaurant Reviews, News, Culinary Events and Wine Dinners.



  • pinitbutton And One Burger for the President
andre tony blair burgers 240x300 And One Burger for the President

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s memoirs, A Journey: My Political Life

by André Gayot

On this proposition, scientists are, at least, unanimous: “We are what we eat.” Fine, but even if I trust the verdict, I am not sure of what it means and entails exactly.

For example, in what capacity could we, with the content of our plates, supersede or contradict the Darwinian theory of evolution? Would it be possible via eating to transform ourselves into creatures different than the ones pre-determined by our genes? Without digging too deeply into this philosophical comestible matter, one sure thing is that eating is the most common and frequent act of our lives. We all — including the Pope, the Kings and the Presidents — do eat, but some of us do it better than others. As to ourselves, if we are smart enough in that endeavor, the Presidency of the United States could very well be in our lunch box. Continue reading “And One Burger for the President” »

Berry, Berry Good

on September 13th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Berry, Berry Good
Sept TFP Berry, Berry Good

Since strawberries are available all year round, mix it up with our recipe for a light strawberry milkshake, which is featured in our September Edition of The Food Paper Newsletter

by Jeff Hoyt

The traditional strawberry season ended last month, but due to new farming methods, you can still enjoy fresh strawberries at grocery stores and farmers markets today. Why not try a light strawberry milkshake? The healthy recipe is featured in our latest edition of The Food Paper newsletter. If you want something lighter, it also details why drinking matcha tea is good for you as well as the top 25 brands of bottled water!



  • pinitbutton After All a Classic is a Classic

by Sophie Gayot

At the end of July, I finally discovered Lawry’s The Prime Rib. It seems that time has stopped at this 1938 Los Angeles institution, but customers haven’t stopped flocking there. The valet parking was so crowded, I ended up having to park in the street.

I have no idea how the food was there over 70 years ago, but I am sure it has not changed too much. Its founders, Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Kamp, should be proud of their creation. But it is a daring challenge in 2010 for the third generation of owners with the evolution of the cuisine and the décor of restaurants in Los Angeles and other parts of the world. Continue reading “After All a Classic is a Classic” »

  • pinitbutton When the American Dream Has a Taste of Brie

by André Gayot

Who wasn’t bewildered by the magnitude and the architectural riches of the South Coast Plaza in Orange County, California, when it first opened in 1967? We were among those filled with admiration for the shining, marble-tiled, majestic alleys of what was then one of the largest shopping malls of the world. (Of course, that is now dwarfed by The Dubai Mall). Today, we remain impressed with the flamboyant style of this cathedral of consumption adorned with the names of the luminaries of the chicest commerce of the globe. Overwhelmed by the Gucci’s, the Tiffany’s and the Louis Vuitton’s, we like to pause and seek some relief from grandeur in a human proportioned asylum, with the reassuring French name, “Marché Moderne.”
Continue reading “When the American Dream Has a Taste of Brie” »



  • pinitbutton Chicago Locavore Challenge is On
GreenCity 300x225 Chicago Locavore Challenge is On

A bevy of tomatoes at the market, ripe for the annual Locavore Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Green City Market.)

by Jennifer Olvera

Chicagoans quest to eat seasonally — and, perhaps, more importantly — locally continues with the next installment of the Green City Market Locavore Challenge. The event features a series of activities at Green City Market during the two-week period of September 8-September 22, all aimed at increasing awareness of locally produced and grown food, getting to know farmers and encouraging individuals and those in the food community to steer clear of food from afar.

On September 11 from 9 a.m.-noon, a Locavore Fair will feature demonstrations from organizations, such as Slow Food Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium’s Right Bite program and Purple Asparagus. Meanwhile, September 18 ushers in a cook-off with Kendall College, Le Cordon Bleu, Washburne Culinary Institute, during which students prepare a two-course menu in 45 minutes using a “mystery basket” of ingredients. Celebrity judges will decide who walks away with a $500 scholarship. Continue reading “Chicago Locavore Challenge is On” »

  • pinitbutton Chef Walter Manzke is Cooking in Los Angeles Again
sophie gayot walter manzke 300x2121 Chef Walter Manzke is Cooking in Los Angeles Again
Chef Walter Manzke with Sophie Gayot and chef Mark Peel (left)

As I was speaking with chef Walter Manzke last Friday at Taste of Beverly Hills, chef Mark Peel of Campanile and The Tar Pit, came over and asked the former Church & State chef directly, “Are you moving to Chicago?”

Manzke, who had just arrived from Chicago that morning, replied “No. I am just going there one week a month to help the Melman brothers with the reopening of Brasserie Jo.”

Peel replied, “Good, because we want you to stay in Los Angeles,” quite a compliment coming from such a long-time celebrity LA chef. That’s all the information Peel got.

But I got more, much more, in what I believe is a exclusive. Walter Manzke will return to cooking in Los AngelesCulver City, to be precise—as of tonight.trans Chef Walter Manzke is Cooking in Los Angeles Again

Continue reading “Chef Walter Manzke is Cooking in Los Angeles Again” »



  • pinitbutton 9 02 10   Taste of Beverly Hills

by Sophie Gayot

Yesterday was a fitting day for Taste of Beverly Hills to begin, since the date was 9-02-10, matching the famous Beverly Hills zip code 90210. Taste of Beverly Hills is a 4-day event of food and wine, where many local restaurants offer tasting portions of their cuisine. Besides visiting, attending the event can help you decide where to go out for your next meal.

The winning chef last night was definitely Perfecto Rocher from The Blvd at The Beverly Wilshire. He prepared black “Fideua” with spot prawns, calamari, fideus noodles, and a honey aïoli, based on his grandmother’s recipe. It is a perfect illustration of why it is important that traditions survive.

Continue reading “9-02-10 – Taste of Beverly Hills” »

Hot and Spicy Cinema

on September 03rd, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Hot and Spicy Cinema
top 10 sexy movies 291x300 Hot and Spicy Cinema

Uma Thurman in Henry and June, one of our Top 10 Sexy Movies

by Jeff Hoyt

For some special dates, soft lights, a good bottle of wine and a romantic movie can help further the relationship. But other times call for a different kind of cinema: a sexy movie. Movies that titillate us have been around ever since man learned to capture images on film. In today’s more liberated times, men and women can openly enjoy and discuss a film that was designed for adults only.

We’ve compiled our choices for the Top 10 Sexy Movies (as well as a few extra), and we’d like you to weigh in on them. What have we missed? What do you think is a sexy movie worth sharing with others? We appreciate your feedback in our Community Forum.

To make the experience complete, check out our Top 10 Sexy Restaurants (in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, San Francisco and Washington, DC ) and our Top 10 Sexy Hotel lists. And before you turn the lights down, feel free to serve one of our Top 10 Aphrodisiacs!

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