Magic Before My Eyes and In My Mouth

Golden Road Hefeweizen and crab cakes
Golden Road Hefeweizen and crab cakes

by Barnaby Hughes


When I was invited to a Wine & Magic show the prestidigitation started before the event did. Somehow, the wine element disappeared, and — presto chango — The Federal Bar in North Hollywood ended up hosting a Beer & Magic show instead.


Showcasing the talents of magician Anthony Asimov, the event began with a magic show lasting perhaps thirty minutes in a small room of the bar’s spacious upper floor. I sat in the front row, just a few feet from Asimov and participated in some of his card tricks. Yet, even from my vantage point I could not discover how he did what he did; it was an impressive show.

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Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Comes to Caesars Palace Las Vegas

by Sophie Gayot


Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his partners Robert De Niro and Meir Teper like to keep themselves busy. So after opening two dozen signature Nobu restaurants around the world, they have partnered with Caesars Palace to open the first Nobu Hotel along with their twenty-fifth restaurant.


Since the trio has had a long history with designer David Rockwell and his firm Rockwell Group, Rockwell is in charge of both Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and Nobu Restaurant Caesars Palace.

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TY KU Adds Coconut Nigori to Sake Lineup

TY KU Coconut Nigori Sake
TY KU Coconut Nigori Sake

You may have seen Cee Lo Green on TV’s “The Voice”, but don’t be surprised to see him at a sushi bar near you. The recording artist and self-proclaimed “sake professor” is the new spokesman for TY KU Sake & Spirits, praising their beverages as naturally low-calorie and gluten-free alternatives to wine, beer and spirits. He sees it as a good opportunity to educate the American public about sake, which is sometimes incorrectly described as rice wine, and soju, a Korean spirit traditionally distilled from rice.


TY KU’s current color-coded lineup of sakes includes the ultra premium White (Junmai Daiginjo), the super premium Black (Junmai Ginjo) and the premium Silver (Junmai). In mid-August, TY KU will release its Coconut Nigori in a cream-colored bottle. Made from Junmai sake infused with coconut, TY KU Coconut Nigori is partially unfiltered, giving the beverage a cloudy appearance and a creamy mouthfeel. Enjoy it chilled or in a cocktail, such as the Lo-Cal Colada. Simply mix 2 ounces of TY KU Coconut Nigori and 2 ounces of pineapple juice over ice and garnish with a slice of pineapple.

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Bastille Day – 14 Juillet 2012 Los Angeles

by Sophie Gayot


The anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison which led to “La Révolution Française” on July 14, 1789 has become the French National Day. This year in Los Angeles, the French people also celebrated the inscription in November 2010 of “The Gastronomic Meal of the French” on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


With Consul General David Martinon, I invited local French and French-trained chefs to display their cuisine at a special Bastille Day event in Santa Monica. The crowd was able to enjoy dishes from:
Frédéric Castan, Motif of St. Regis Monarch Beach, who prepared a perfect boeuf bourguignon
Josiah Citrin, Mélisse in Santa Monica, rillettes de canard
Alain Giraud, Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades, goat cheese mousse with pesto and toasted hazelnuts and assorted cookies
Akira Rose, Maison Akira in Pasadena, cauliflower mousse with bay shrimp and tomato vinaigrette; duck pâté maison with green peppercorn and raisin; roasted marinated bell pepper oni crispy toast, and house smoked salmon with caper on mini crispy toast
Olivier Rousselle, On Sunset at Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, pains bagnat and gazpacho.

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Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco Reopening – Travel Special

Newly renovated guest room at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco
Newly renovated guest room at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco

Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco Debuts Fresh Look and Special Reopening Offer


Following an extensive refurbishment, including a new brasserie, the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco is celebrating its silver anniversary with a sumptuous “Fresh Look” package.


As part of the Mandarin Oriental’s fresh new look, each of the 158 guest rooms and suites has been completely redesigned by local interior designer Michael Booth of BAMO. The new custom-designed furnishings with hints of French Deco style help to create a memorable setting for the hotel’s special reopening offer Continue reading “Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco Reopening – Travel Special” »