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




  • pinitbutton Domenico Selections and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting at Park Avenue Autumn
wine tasting 300x225 Domenico Selections and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting at Park Avenue Autumn

Domenico Selections and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting at Park Avenue Autumn

by Michelle Kwan

There is a wine for every season, so it made perfect sense that this year’s Domenico and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting was hosted at the seasonal Park Avenue Autumn where the menu changes four times a year to highlight the flavors of Winter, Spring, Summer and now Fall. The Domenico Selections portfolio is centered on local Italian wines derived from regional grapes produced in family owned vineyards. The results are balanced, versatile vintages with good acidity and fruit. Their versatility makes them great candidates for pairing with a variety of cuisines and culinary flavors.

Ice Bucket Selections, established in 2008 by wine writer Todd M. Wernstrom, imports worthy vintages predominantly from California, Oregon, France and the still often-overlooked Hudson Valley region. The focus revolves around local, family owned and operated wineries that employ the purest and most authentic wine production methods.

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  • pinitbutton A James Bond Getaway at DUKES Hotel, London   Travel Special
dukes hotel aston martin 300x162 A James Bond Getaway at DUKES Hotel, London   Travel Special

An Aston Martin outside the DUKES hotel in London

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film “Dr. No,” DUKES hotel in London is rolling out two red-carpet-worthy package specials. Now through January 13, 2013, guests can live out their 007 fantasies at the legendary hotel that author Ian Fleming used to frequent.

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  • pinitbutton RelayRides Offers Peer to Peer Car Rental Service   Car News
relayrides logo 300x171 RelayRides Offers Peer to Peer Car Rental Service   Car News

RelayRides provides a safe and easy way for car owners to rent their vehicles

Rent Out Your Car for Extra Cash

With urban dwelling on the rise and gas prices sitting stubbornly above the four-dollar mark across much of America, car sharing is catching on as a smart alternative to traditional vehicle ownership. While services like Zipcar have helped pave the way for by-the-hour car rentals, San Francisco-based start-up RelayRides has taken things one step further by providing a platform for vehicle owners to rent out their rides to other licensed drivers. Launched in 2010 by Harvard Business School grad Shelby Clark, RelayRides boasts some 20,000 members sharing 1,000 vehicles — and hopes to continue expanding its fleet as more and more drivers open up to the possibilities of peer-to-peer car rentals.

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The Food Event

on October 26th, 2012
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  • pinitbutton The Food Event
camechana 300x225 The Food Event

Camechana from Public School

by Jeff Hoyt

The heavens were threatening, but blue sky prevailed over clouds high above the hills of Malibu where The Food Event by Los Angeles Magazine was held this past Sunday. At Saddlerock Ranch — home to Malibu Family Wines and producers of Saddlerock and Semler Wines — thousands of diners queued up to try the latest creations from more than forty LA-area restaurants washed down by wine, beer, vodka, Veev, and even Sri Lankan spirits!

We certainly didn’t get a chance to try every dish, but our favorite was David LeFevre’s sword squid from Manhattan Beach Post (M. B. Post) served over fava beans. We also enjoyed smoky fried chicken from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, live prawn from The Royce at the Langham, lamb chops from The Strand House, squash blossom tamales with mole from Malo and Más Malo and adobo short rib tacos and smoked camechana — a spicy Mexican seafood cocktail made with shrimp, scallops and halibut — from Public School, which will be opening soon in Culver City after a successful downtown launch.

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  • pinitbutton St. Regis New York Introduces Bentley Suite   Travel News
The Bentley Suite at The St. Regis New York entryway 300x205 St. Regis New York Introduces Bentley Suite   Travel News

The entryway of the Bentley Suite at the St. Regis New York

Following collaborations with Tiffany and Dior, the St. Regis New York has turned to the automotive industry for inspiration in designing its latest signature suite — and found an ideal partner in Bentley Motors. The Bentley Suite, which debuted September 19, 2012, showcases a stylish synthesis of the iconic British badge’s unique aesthetics with the luxury hotel’s discerning eye for quality and comfort. Featuring one bedroom, one-and-a-half bathrooms, an entryway foyer, a spacious dining room and a living room replete with floor-to-ceiling windows on the fifteenth floor, the suite isn’t cheap at $9,500 a night; however, the fees also include access the St. Regis’ opulent array of amenities. Guests staying in the Bentley Suite are treated to an in-suite Champagne bar, butler service, and complimentary chauffeur service within a ten-block radius of the hotel.

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  • pinitbutton Foie Gras Under the Splendor of Baccarat Chandeliers
foie gras 162x300 Foie Gras Under the Splendor of Baccarat Chandeliers

Foie gras de canard des Landes, cuit en cocotte lutée – Pot-roasted duck liver from the Landes

by Sophie Gayot

UPDATE 10/30/12: The Crillon will close its doors for its renovation end of March 2013. That will leave you more time to try chef Christophe Hache’s cuisine.

After a recent dinner I experienced at Les Ambassadeurs at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, we awarded the restaurant a new rating of 17/20 which means the food is “Excellent”. You have a few more days to discover or rediscover chef Christopher Hache’s cuisine, as the hotel is about to close its doors for a two-year renovation.


Under light emitted by majestic Baccarat chandeliers, wall and side table lamps, diners can indulge in his good value dinner menus priced at € 150 or € 180, tax and service included. You can see below the photos of the dishes that composed my dinner. Le Foie Gras de Canard des Landes, cooked in a glass “cocotte”, is a Hache classic and requires a table side ceremony not to be missed in the magnificent eighteenth century dining room decorated by marble marquetry, paintings and mirrors, with views of the Place de la Concorde. For Californian foie gras lovers, this is a spectacular way to enjoy the delicacy, which has been illegal to sell in the Golden State since July 1st.

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Fruits de Mer in Paris

on October 20th, 2012
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  • pinitbutton Fruits de Mer in Paris

by Sophie Gayot

The InterContinental Paris Le Grand is celebrating its 150th birthday. Famous for its shellfish platter, the hotel’s restaurant Le Café de la Paix is offering its monster “le plateau de fruits de mer” at a price of €150 for two until the end of November.

Brush up on your culinary French or start practicing it by watching my exclusive video interview with executive chef Christophe Raoux. You will discover the wonders of the sea that will come to your table, and even get a lesson on how to open clams!

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  • pinitbutton Royal Caribbeans New Cruise Menus
main dining room 300x199 Royal Caribbeans New Cruise Menus

Royal Caribbean International is unveiling new restaurant menus throughout its entire 22-ship fleet

by Patricia Mack

To embark on a Royal Caribbean International cruise is to embark on a culinary voyage. This month the line unveils its new main dining room enhancements with an extensive and innovative menu on its entire 22-ship fleet.

The new dining program, the result of a multi-million dollar investment, focuses on freshness, contemporary preparation, increased dining choices and dishes inspired by regional flavors found in many of the cruise line’s ports of call. It is a veritable passport to some of the world’s best foods.

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  • pinitbutton The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Culinary Experience   Travel Special
cosmopolitan las vegas terrace suite 300x154 The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Culinary Experience   Travel Special

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Terrace Suite

Fans of the hit Bravo cooking TV show “Top Chef Masters: Season 4” may be lamenting that the season has already ended. And if you just can’t wait for the next season to begin, consider making a pilgrimage to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the place where chefs Missy Robbins, Chris Cosentino, Sue Torres and Art Smith, among others, attempted to cook each other off the show. Just to fire up your burners, the hotel is still offering a Top Chef-themed deal — book two nights at The Cosmopolitan and you qualify for the Top Chef Masters Culinary Package, which includes Continue reading “The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Culinary Experience – Travel Special” »

All About Germany

on October 17th, 2012
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  • pinitbutton All About Germany
axel cruau bernd fischer sophie gayot 300x209 All About Germany

Consul General of France in Los Angeles Axel Cruau, Sophie Gayot, Consul General of Germany in Los Angeles Dr. Bernd Fischer, Los Angeles Councilmember Tom LaBonge

by Sophie Gayot

One of Germany’s national holidays is the Day of German Unity (Tag der deutschen Einheit). It has been celebrated since October 3rd, 1991. It commemorates the anniversary of the German unification in 1990, a highly important event not only for Germans, but also the rest of the world.

As I was in Los Angeles that day, I attended the reception held by Consul General Dr. Bernd Fischer and his wife Mrs. Jutta Fischer. “The day of unification is one of the happiest in the history of the German people. Germany’s political miracle and the country’s unity also laid the foundation for the unification of Europe, all which would not have been possible without the help of the United States,” declared Dr. Fischer.

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