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






  • pinitbutton One More Point for Eva Restaurant

by Sophie Gayot

We had dinner at Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles soon after it opened in 2009. Since then, we kept running into chef/owner Mark Gold at different charity events where he donated his time and food. He kept telling us to come back to his restaurant, saying, “Things have changed, I have a new kitchen, I have done some remodeling, blah, blah, blah….”
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  • pinitbutton The Winners Are Double Winners!
winners sophie gayot 300x170 The Winners Are Double Winners!

The winners, from left to right: Sommelier Mark Sadr, Mixologist Tricia Alley, Sous-chef Alexandre Derenne, Pastry chef Matthieu Chamussy, Culinary Student Mark Wheeler with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot
I was lucky to be a judge at the Los Angeles Epicurean Festival held today at the Sofitel Los Angeles, as I did not have to stand in line to enter the event. The line stretched from the second floor all the way to the hotel’s driveway. The Festival brought together culinary specialties and wines & spirits for visitors to discover or rediscover. There was also a competition where I had to pick the winning team along with my fellow judges: sommelier Mark Mendoza (Comme Ça), Josiah Citrin (Mélisse), Franck Savoy (director of restaurants for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas), Michel Richard (Citronelle) and Michel Cornu (Hospitality Culinary Director for Boisset Estates).

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Do Not Try This at Home

on August 26th, 2011
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  • pinitbutton Do Not Try This at Home

by Sophie Gayot

After stops in Spain (Jaleo) and Greece (Estiatorio Milos), my culinary tour of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas took me to Japan at the Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill. I decided to sit at the sushi bar in the back dining room so I could be close to the sushi chef and watch him cut elegantly through the flesh of the fishes that are flown in daily from distant places like Japan and the Atlantic. After a while, I had to tell him to stop so we could try dishes from the grill, prepared by another chef. Watch my exclusive video interview with both of them, and read my just published review of Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill to learn more.

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A Whale of a Meal

on August 24th, 2011
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  • pinitbutton A Whale of a Meal
Turbot tempura N pickerel topped W whitefish caviar N Haida Gwaii herring roe on kelp 300x199 A Whale of a Meal

Turbot tempura: pickerel topped with whitefish caviar, Haida Gwaii herring roe and kelp

by Patricia Mack

“Madam, would you care for whale?” the waiter asked.

“Whale? Really?”

Yes, really, a “duet of whale” actually, beluga and bowhead with Davis Strait shrimp caviar served on a silver charger, as elegantly as at any top-of-the-line restaurant.

I hesitated.
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  • pinitbutton Magical Moments Along the Pacific

by Sophie Gayot

Yesterday, I found a great way to finish my weekend. I drove along the Pacific on Route 1, also called Pacific Coast Highway or PCH by the locals, heading to Beau Rivage restaurant in Malibu, California. You are saying, “Another restaurant?” Yes, but not quite. I was going for a night of “Magic & Wine.”

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The Best Deal in Town

on August 19th, 2011
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  • pinitbutton The Best Deal in Town

by Sophie Gayot

After a taste of Spain at Jaleo, part two of my culinary trip to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas took me to Greece for lunch at Estiatorio Milos. I was looking forward to it; I knew that the restaurant featured a shaded terrace overlooking The Strip, as I had toured it back in the December when the hotel opened. Take a video tour with Adam Rand, the Director of Operations of Estiatorio Milos restaurants, which was shot at that time.
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  • pinitbutton Lines for Chef Zarates Peruvian Cuisine

by Sophie Gayot

The first time I discovered chef Ricardo Zarate’s Peruvian cuisine was at his original restaurant Mo-Chica which was lost somewhere in downtown Los Angeles. It looked more like a food court than an actual restaurant. But when I saw the plates of other patrons as they passed by my table, I knew it was going to be good. At the end of dinner, Zarate told me that he was going to open another style of Peruvian restaurant in West Los Angeles. After my dinner at Mo-Chica, I had high expectations for his new place. A few weeks ago I headed to Picca on Pico Blvd., and I was not disappointed at all. Watch my exclusive video interview with chef Zarate to get a first glimpse at what he has created at his new restaurant. Also, read my just published review of Picca restaurant.

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¡Más Tapas Por Favor!

on August 15th, 2011
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  • pinitbutton  ¡Más Tapas Por Favor!

by Sophie Gayot

After my very good tapas dinner at José AndrésJaleo restaurant at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas last week, I wanted to try more Spanish small plates. I decided to head to Bar Pintxo, chef Joe Miller’s restaurant in Santa Monica, California.

I had a disappointing meal when I first visited soon after its December of 2007 opening, but hadn’t been since the arrival of chef David Plonowski about a year and half ago. On my return, I just did not want to leave and wanted to try more and more of his dishes. They are small, so it is easy to ask for more.

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  • pinitbutton Barbecue on the Beach for Charity
sophie gayot barbara lazaroff 194x300 Barbecue on the Beach for Charity

Barbara Lazaroff & Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot


UPDATE 7/10/13: This year’s event will be on August 1, 2013. For more information, visit the Los Angeles Culinary Events calendar

UPDATE 7/23/12: This year’s event will be on July 26th. To buy tickets, go to


For the past few summers, event manager Joan Wrede has been gathering Los Angeles chefs for “An Evening on the Beach.” The toques bring their barbecue grills right on the sand at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica. The evening finished around a huge bonfire where the attendees roasted marshmallows which no less than pastry chef Sherry Yard of Spago combined with graham crackers and chocolate to make s’mores.

We were also able to enjoy the cuisine of:
Celestino Drago, Drago Centro
Michael Fiorelli of mar’sel at Terranea
Mark Gold, Eva
– Tim Guiltinan, The Raymond
– Michael McCarty, Michael’s
– Joe Miller, Joe’s
– Mark Peel, Campanile
- Piero Selvaggio, Valentino
– Mako Tanaka of Robata-Ya

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Tapas & Zapatos

on August 12th, 2011
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  • pinitbutton Tapas & Zapatos
sophie gayot lucas paya 300x208 Tapas & Zapatos

From left to right: Sophie Gayot, pastry chef Quentin Welch, sous chef Mario Medina, Lucas Paya

by Sophie Gayot


I just returned from an intense culinary trip at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Part one of my eating journey started with dinner at chef José Andrés’s restaurant Jaleo. As it’s an Andrés restaurant, you can expect Spanish cuisine, but be sure that something unusual will happen during the course of the evening.


Find a seating area to suit your mood — note that the bar is not for sushi but for tapas. One of the dining tables is actually a foosball table with players from F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid all dressed up.. The choices on the menu are quite numerous, so let the staff guide you in making your selections.

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