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






  • pinitbutton Fig & Olive And Its Presidents
sophie gayot laurent halasz 300x261 Fig & Olive And Its Presidents

Laurent Halasz, president of Fig & Olive restaurants, with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Last Monday, September 26, 2011, traffic was impossible in West Hollywood, California, as President Obama was holding a private fundraising campaign dinner at Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Place. I was not able to attend the $17,900 per person event, as I was on a plane flying from Paris to Los Angeles.

So last night, I decided to go there for dinner with the president… not Obama, but Laurent Halasz, the president of the Fig & Olive restaurants! I wanted to know all of the details of the evening of the 26th, which had became national news. I kept trying, but basically got nothing besides the fact that all went very well and that Obama was very courteous. After dinner, I headed into the kitchen, smiled at the chef de cuisine Mitchel Ramos, and got a happy face as the only form of response.

Continue reading “Fig & Olive And Its Presidents” »



  • pinitbutton Talking About Good LA Restaurants...
sophie gayot susan irby 300x263 Talking About Good LA Restaurants...

Co-host Denice Fladeboe, Susan Irby The Bikini Chef with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Besides writing about restaurants, I frequently get the opportunity to talk about them on radio and television. On September 11th, I was a guest on chef Susan Irby’s radio show on 790 KABC-AM Los Angeles. If you missed it, here is a chance to listen to the conversation I had with The Bikini Chef about new restaurants in the Los Angeles area

If you take the time, you will find out which local chefs impressed me recently: Ricardo Zarate at Picca Peruvian Cantina, Jeff Mahin at Stella Rossa Pizza Bar, David LeFevre at M.B. Post, Adam Horton at Raphael and Scott Conant at Scarpetta at Montage Beverly Hills.

Keep coming back to for more Los Angeles Restaurant News, Restaurant Reviews, Culinary Events and Los Angeles Wine Events.

Celebrating All Things Pork

on September 26th, 2011
Print This Post Print This Post



  • pinitbutton Celebrating All Things Pork
waffles 300x195 Celebrating All Things Pork

Bacon-in-the-batter waffles

by Bob Barnes

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas recently hosted the inaugural All-Star Cochon, bringing together leading chefs, butchers and 14 different heritage breed pigs for the best of all things pork. A snout-to-tail menu was prepared by the chefs, which showcased over forty unique pork dishes like proscuitto cotto tremazzini and braised pork & peanut soup. The event also featured cured meats, a butchery demonstration, craft brews, cocktails and a variety of pig-infused desserts such as the bacon-in-the-batter waffles, bacon cotton candy and pork belly + pineapple tarte tatin. Continue reading “Celebrating All Things Pork” »



  • pinitbutton La Fête de la Gastronomie in France
sophie gayot frederic lefebvre1 300x208 La Fête de la Gastronomie in France

Mr. Richard Galy (center), mayor of Mougins & Mr. Frédéric Lefebvre, French Secretary of State for Trade, SMEs, Services, Tourism, the Professions and Consumption with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Gastronomy is a very significant part of French culture, but it’s even more important today than ever before. For the first time, on September 23, 2011, the country is holding a national day dedicated to gastronomy. Frédéric Lefèbvre, French Secretary of State for Trade, SMEs, Services, Tourism, the Professions and Consumption, created La Fête de la Gastronomie to celebrate the rich diversity of the French gastronomic tradition. Each year, the Fête de la Gastronomie will be based on a theme. For 2011, it is “the Earth.”


All over the country, restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, producers, government agencies, and amateurs will showcase French cooking, French produce, and the art of entertaining à la Française. As I am writing these lines, there are over 4,400 scheduled events — and there are sure to be impromptu ones as well, such as chefs coming out of their kitchens to cook in the streets. The objective is to bring people together and inspire them to get cooking.

Continue reading “La Fête de la Gastronomie in France” »

  • pinitbutton Les Espoirs de Mougins 2011: The Winner, Le Gagnant

by Sophie Gayot

This past weekend, the 6th Festival International de la Gastronomie was held in Mougins, France. Over eighty chefs from all over the world made the trip to the south of France to showcase their cuisine during Les Etoiles de Mougins. The highlight of the three days was Sunday’s chef competition.

During the first step, five chefs were selected from a list of seventy: Francis Ogé (a cook in the kitchen at the Elysée Palace), Filipo Fiorentini (Arnolfo restaurant, Italy), Nelson Da Silva (Le Loom, Seignosse), Jessica Largey (sous-chef at David Kinch’s Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.) and Olivier Jean (Le Métropole, Monte-Carlo). They had two hours to prepare a “foie gras cuit servi chaud avec une garniture libre autour de la courge butternut” (warm cooked foie gras with butternut squash based garnish). To make it harder, at the last minute, the jury introduced a mystery ingredient: lentils.
Continue reading “Les Espoirs de Mougins 2011: The Winner, Le Gagnant” »

When Nothing Goes Wrong

on September 16th, 2011
Print This Post Print This Post



  • pinitbutton When Nothing Goes Wrong

by Sophie Gayot

When dining at a restaurant, things can sometimes go wrong. It could be a small detail, such as a fingerprint on the border of a black plate, or a big mistake, like the server accidentally spilling something on a customer.

When I dined recently at Café Pinot, I kept looking, searching, waiting for something wrong to pop up… and nothing happened. It was just a flawless evening, from the food of executive chef Kevin Meehan to the service. Watch my exclusive video with chef Meehan, and read the newly-updated review of Café Pinot, and learn why we raised the rating. The downtown Los Angeles restaurant now has a rating of 15 on our 20-point scale.

Continue reading “When Nothing Goes Wrong” »



  • pinitbutton Oktoberfest: Coming to a City Near You
Octoberfest2009 1054 199x300 Oktoberfest: Coming to a City Near You

German oompah band

by Barnaby Hughes

When Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig I married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in Munich, Germany, back in 1810, he probably couldn’t have imagined that he was beginning a new tradition – Oktoberfest. The original lasted for sixteen days and gave the world a new style of beer – Märzen, now often simply called Oktoberfest. Subsequent wedding anniversary celebrations evolved into Oktoberfest as we know it today, attracting millions to Munich every year. Fortunately, those of us on this side of the Atlantic don’t have to go all the way to Bavaria to observe Oktoberfest, since it is now celebrated in hundreds of cities throughout the U.S.
Continue reading “Oktoberfest: Coming to a City Near You” »

  • pinitbutton Andrea Restaurant   The Resort at Pelican Hill

by Sophie Gayot

Pure Luxury & Pasta

The Resort at Pelican Hill, located in Newport Coast, California, between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, is just pure luxury. Hidden away from the busy southern California buzz by 50,000 acres of permanently protected, natural open space, parks and trails, the resort makes you feel like you have arrived worlds away. There is no big hotel structure, but 204 bungalow guest rooms and suites, 128 villas (two-, three- and four bedrooms), and two Tom Fazio 18-hole golf courses on the 504-acre secluded property. Continue reading “Andrea Restaurant – The Resort at Pelican Hill” »

  • pinitbutton LAbeille Restaurant at the Shangri La Hotel, Paris

The Eiffel Tower on Your Plate

by Sophie Gayot

There is a French expression: “avec des si, on mettrait Paris en bouteille,” which means, “with ifs, you could fit Paris in a bottle.” But how can you fit the Eiffel Tower on a plate? Watch the exclusive video interview with executive chef Philippe Labbé of L’Abeille restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel Paris, to see how he does it. You will find out why Labbé is paying a tribute to La Grande Dame, as about half of the hotel’s 27 suites and 54 rooms have unobstructed views of the monument built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the World’s Fair.

Continue reading “L’Abeille Restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris” »

  • pinitbutton NYC Fashion Week Offers Up Prix Fixe Dining
NYRES061002 NYC Fashion Week Offers Up Prix Fixe Dining

Porter House New York in Time Warner Center

by Meryl Pearlstein

Along with haute couture, Fashion Week in NYC is also bringing special restaurant deals. Nearly two dozen New York City restaurants are serving it up in style, offering prix fixe meals for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week from Thursday, September 8 through Thursday, September 15. Enjoy a bistro break from the excitement with Bar Boulud’s three course prix-fixe lunch ($29) or go all out in elegance with Picholine’s four-course tasting menu ($92). The bad news: you may have trouble fitting into your clothes after Fashion Week is over! For more information and a list of participating restaurants, visit:
Continue reading “NYC Fashion Week Offers Up Prix-Fixe Dining” »

Older Posts »
Page 1 of 212