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




The Volvo Drive-E engine offers improved performance and efficiency

The Volvo Drive-E engine offers improved performance and efficiency

Gambling on the Superturbo Engines

Since taking control of the Swedish brand several years ago, Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Geely has been hard at work reinventing Volvo as an automobile for the 21st century. The product of several years’ and billions of dollars’ worth of research and development, Volvo’s new line of Drive-E powertrains is the first step toward that goal, utilizing forward-thinking technology to provide improved performance and fuel economy. Continue reading “Volvo Introduces New Drive-E Powertrains — Car News” »


Bose Active Sound Management software works with your car's existing sound system to cancel unwanted engine noise

Bose Active Sound Management software works with your car’s existing sound system to cancel unwanted engine noise

Drivers looking for a quiet ride will be happy to hear that Bose noise-cancelling technology is now available in all vehicles, including those without Bose sound systems. Bose collaborated with NXP Semiconductors N.V. on the noise-cancelling chip, which blocks unwanted engine and powertrain sounds. Using cabin-mounted microphones, Bose Active Sound Management targets a narrow band of low-frequency engine sounds and cancels them via acoustically opposite signals sent through the car’s existing stereo system. The program responds only when necessary, and is uniquely configured for each vehicle. While the chip can work with any sound system in the appropriate frequency range, car owners will also need to install the necessary noise-capturing microphones.

Continue reading “Bose Offers Noise-Cancelling Technology in All Vehicles — Car News” »


Toyota's Automated Highway Driving Assist allows cars to communicate information on speed, braking and more

Toyota’s Automated Highway Driving Assist allows cars to communicate information on speed, braking and more

Toyota unveiled a slew of new active safety systems at a recent Tokyo event. Focusing on collision avoidance and reducing driver workload, the intelligent new technology is still in the development stage; however, the systems should see widespread distribution in many Toyota models in coming years. Among the upgraded amenities are 180-degree front and rear cameras with cross traffic detection and a parking assist system that automatically directs vehicles into parking spaces without the need for driver steering. The improved pedestrian collision avoidance system not only automatically stops the car in the event of an emergency; it also steers the vehicle away from the pedestrian as much as possible without leaving the lane.

Continue reading “Toyota Introduces New Safety Technology — Car News” »

Used-car MPG labels display EPA ratings and emissions for vehicles from the 1984 model year and newer

Used-car MPG labels display EPA ratings and emissions for vehicles from the 1984 model year and newer

The U.S. Department of Energy and the EPA recently introduced stickers that show the fuel economy and emissions of used cars and trucks, similar to those found on new vehicles. Available for download from, the web-friendly labels can also be posted online, and are designed for use by both dealerships and private sellers. Users can search for vehicles from the 1984 model year and newer; unfortunately, information for used plug-in hybrids and electrics is not yet unavailable.

Continue reading “EPA Develops MPG Window Stickers for Used Cars — Car News” »



Chef Jon Shook and chef Vinny Dotolo

Chefs Vinny Dotolo, Michelle Berstein and Jon Shook with Adrian Si, Events & Paternship Manager at Lexus, with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Working in the world of chefs and restaurants, I see the name “Lexus” very often. The car company, which started with two luxury sedans in 1989, loves food. Over the years, it has become a sponsor of major culinary events throughout the country.

To reinforce that passion, the Lexus Culinary Masters team was created in 2011. Two new chefs have just been added to the circle: Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo from Animal restaurant on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. They joined Daniel Boulud, chef/owner of Daniel (one of GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. since 2004); Michael Chiarello, chef/owner of Bottega and Coqueta; Dean Fearing, chef/partner of Fearing’s restaurant; Christopher Kostow, executive chef of The Restaurant at Meadowood (one of GAYOT’s 2013 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.); Masaharu Morimoto, chef/owner of Morimoto restaurants; Michael Symon, chef/owner of Lola Bistro; and Michelle Bernstein, chef/owner of Michy’s.

Continue reading “When the Animal becomes a Master” »


A three-quarter front view of the BMW i3 at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show

After previously experimenting with electric power for the ActiveE Concept, BMW is finally ready to enter the EV segment with the all-new i3, a lithium-ion battery-powered hatchback set for commercial release in the second quarter of 2014. Continue reading “BMW i3 Hybrid Electric Vehicle Set for Production — Car News” »




Mothers LeatherTech Moisture Infusion Gel Cream

by Nick Winfrey

While we’ve all put in the hours—and the elbow grease—buffing hoods and waxing wheels and spritzing windshields with streak-free solutions, few of us take the time to care adequately for our cars’ interiors. However, upholstery upkeep is an essential part of any vehicle cleaning regimen, especially for those of us with leather or vinyl surfaces that can quickly crack or fade when neglected. Thankfully, Mothers has your seats (literally) covered with its line of LeatherTech car care products.

Continue reading “Mothers LeatherTech – Product Review” »

The Toyota Prius c is one of a number of available hybrids in the Toyota Rent a Car program

Whether you’re looking to take an extended test drive, or are simply in need of a cool car to tool around town in while on vacation, Toyota has you covered with its new rental car program. Offering a total of 27 models that cover a broad spectrum including sedans, SUVs, trucks and hybrids, Toyota Rent a Car is available at over 85 percent of Toyota and Scion dealerships across the country. Toyota does not have rental stations at airports; however, dealerships do offer off-site pick-up service. Rates are competitive, and 24-hour roadside assistance is complimentary, making the service a viable alternative to traditional rental car companies. Afraid of falling in love with your rental? No worries! Most vehicles are available for sale after four months of service.

Continue reading “Toyota Offers Extended Test Drives with Rental Car Program” »

An Aston Martin DB9 Plug-In Hybrid Prototype

While Aston Martin has long been known for its fast and fuel-thirsty luxury vehicles, a pair of recent partnerships hint at the British badge’s increasing interest in alternative fuels. In May, Aston Martin made racing history by entering the first hydrogen-powered car in an FIA-sanctioned event at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. The result of a collaboration with powertrain specialist Alset Global, the Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S was also the first car to complete emission-free laps in an international race—at times at speeds of up to 160 mph. Fitted with the same 6.0-liter V12 as the base model Rapide, the four-door sports car can run on pure gaseous hydrogen, standard gasoline, or a combination of both. Although it has already proven itself road-worthy after this grueling event, a production version of the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide is at least another five years away.

Continue reading “Aston Martin Introduces Alternative Fuel Vehicles — Car News” »

Armor All Custom Shield Coating

Armor All Custom Shield Coating is available in black, white and clear

by Michael Gately


Three Months of Stylish Paint & Body Protection

Let’s face it: auto bras, those pesky pieces of vinyl that protect the front-end of your car from road debris, are ugly and quite expensive.
Besides, what guy wants to suffer the embarrassment of squeezing his car into a “bra”?

Continue reading “Armor All Custom Shield Coating – Product Review” »

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