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






  • pinitbutton Kefir Lime on the STREET
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Chef Susan Feniger with Sophie Gayot at STREET restaurant

by Sophie Gayot


How popular is Susan Feniger? So many people showed up at her latest venture STREET last night to watch her appearance on the TV show Top Chef Masters that the LAPD had to dispatch a traffic officer to Highland Avenue to handle the crush.  STREET private parking behind the restaurant was transformed into a party playground to handle the more than three hundred guests. Luckily, the walls of the parking are decorated with the same graffiti art as the inside.


We got to taste Feniger’s street food for the modest sum of $25, with half of the proceeds benefiting the Scleroderma Research Foundation. For me, the winning dish was the pork slider. Made with braised pork in licorice, sweet soy and oyster sauce, pickled carrots, daikon radish and cilantro, it also had a secret ingredient: kefir lime aioli that brought a smart touch.

minilogo Kefir Lime on the STREET



  • pinitbutton Make a Perfect Pairing in LA
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General manager Jacob Shure and chef Steven Fretz of XIV, Perfect Pairings founder Kevin Mark Lodie with Sophie Gayot and a glass of Nicolas Feuillate Champagne

by Sophie Gayot

A few days ago, chef Steven Fretz and general manager Jacob Shure of restaurant XIV in West Hollywood opened their kitchen and bar to launch the Los Angeles portion of the Perfect Pairings campaign.

Perfect Pairings, founded by Kevin Mark Lodie, is a program benefiting local Meals-on-Wheels programs like St. Vincent Meals on Wheels that deliver food and other vital services to thousands of people in need every day.

Continue reading “Make a Perfect Pairing in LA” »



  • pinitbutton Cotton Candy Foie Gras for a Cause
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Chef de cuisine Jorge Chicas of The Bazaar with Sophie Gayot eating cotton candy foie gras

by Sophie Gayot

In my eyes, any excuse is good enough to go to The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills for a cube of foie gras wrapped in cotton candy.

So I was especially pleased to find executive chef Jorge Chicas serving it at the second Los Angeles March of Dimes Annual Chefs Event.

Over 300 guests gathered last week on the private patio at the SLS to taste food and wine from more than 25 restaurants and wineries.

Continue reading “Cotton Candy Foie Gras for a Cause” »

  • pinitbutton An Exceptional Evening at Spago Beverly Hills
sophiegayotthomaskellernobu 300x260 An Exceptional Evening at Spago Beverly Hills

Chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Thomas Keller with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot



Fresh off the plane from Paris, I had only a few minutes to change before heading to Spago Beverly Hills for the 10th Annual Chefs Grand Tasting Dinner, held last night. Benefiting Meals-on-Wheels Programs of Los Angeles, it is one of the most prestigious charity dinners in the country.


Wolfgang Puck, Lee Hefter & Barbara Lazaroff, along with chef de cuisine Thomas Boyce and executive pastry chef Sherry Yard, welcomed six very fine chefs into their kitchen to prepare an elegant six-course dinner.




Continue reading “An Exceptional Evening at Spago Beverly Hills” »

Eating to Feed Others

on October 04th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Eating to Feed Others
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The American Wine & Food Festival

By Tara de Lis



It’s arguably the biggest annual Epicurean event on L.A.’s culinary calendar, the penultimate send-off to a long summer season of fabulous food and wine fêtes. Now in its 27th year, the event featured spectacular dishes from some of the nation’s top chefs, such as American Wine and Food Festival co-founder Wolfgang Puck, Kerry Heffernan (South Gate, New York) and Charles Phan (Slanted Door, San Francisco) as well as an esteemed selection of wine and spirits.
Among our favorite dishes of the evening were Alex Stratta’s (Alex, the Wynn Las Vegas) delightfully savory-sweet, crispy Kurobuta pork belly with dried fruits and toasted almonds on a bed of mascarpone polenta; Thomas Keller’s (the soon-to-be Bouchon, Beverly Hills) raw bar, where he was personally signing beach balls! Continue reading “Eating to Feed Others” »

  • pinitbutton GAYOT Partners with Perfect Pairings (SM)
perfectpairings 150x150 GAYOT Partners with Perfect Pairings (SM)
Perfect Pairings (SM) Menu Campaign to benefit Meals-on-Wheels programs

By Sophie Gayot


We are happy to announce a partnership with the Perfect Pairings (SM) Menu Campaign, a new, pairing-based fundraiser taking place this October benefiting Citymeals on Wheels, Meals-on-Wheels of San Francisco and The Cooperative Feeding Program.

Restaurants in New York City, San Francisco and South Florida, almost 100 in total, will feature special food-and-beverage pairings on their menus, flagged by the Perfect Pairings logo. Each time one of these pairings is ordered, a donation ($1) is automatically made to local Meals-on-Wheels programs that deliver food and other vital services to thousands of people in need every day.

Continue reading “GAYOT Partners with Perfect Pairings (SM)” »



  • pinitbutton So Important for All of Us
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Concern Foundation 35th Annual Block Party at Paramount Studios

By Sophie Gayot


For its 35th annual block party, held Saturday, July 11, at the Paramount Studios backlot, the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research chose to add the number 2 to its logo to stress the fact that cancer is now a concern for the children and grandchildren of the founders of the foundation, which has been active for 41 years.


President Derek Alpert announced that $1.3 million dollars had been raised during the sold-out event, where over 3,000 participants were able to taste the food and desserts of over 40 local restaurants; to name just a few: Charlie’s, Chaya Brasserie, Il Cielo, La Cachette Bistro, Huckleberry Café & Bakery, La Provence Pâtisserie, Vibrato Grill.


Continue reading “So Important for All of Us” »

  • pinitbutton Coming Together for a Nationwide Cause
sophiegayotjorgechicasthebazaar 300x284 Coming Together for a Nationwide Cause

Chef de cuisine Jorge Chicas from The Bazaar with Sophie Gayot stirring a liquid nitrogen margarita

By Sophie Gayot


More than fifty Los Angeles chefs and restaurants combined their culinary talents last Sunday at Share Our Strength’s annual Taste of the Nation, a benefit to support organizations that feed hungry children.


Guests were able to meet the chefs and taste their dishes, as well as enjoy live entertainment and a special auction. The event, held in Culver City’s Media Park, was supposed to end at 4 p.m., but the ambience was so enjoyable that the crowd stayed much longer.

Continue reading “Coming Together for a Nationwide Cause” »

  • pinitbutton A Night Show with Jay Leno for a Cause
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Jay Leno & Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

More than three hundred guests attended Vintage Hollywood 2009, a charity event, held at a private estate in Bel-Air, California, last Saturday. Thanks to the hard work of Linda Daly and other members of the organization, many Los Angeles restaurants and wineries from across California as well as from Oregon, New Zealand and Argentina came together in a gorgeous garden. In addition, a silent auction took place.


But the highlight of the evening was the appearance of Jay Leno, who was in charge of the live auction. And trust me, it was an auction like no other. Leno’s celebrated humor was behind each of his words. I just wish there would have been more items to keep the show running. A private tour of the comedian’s “Garage,” guided by Leno himself, went for $29,500 for four lucky bidders. More than $200,000 was raised at this year’s event. Jay’s generosity brought even more support than expected.


Continue reading “A Night Show with Jay Leno for a Cause” »



  • pinitbutton So Many Chefs, So Little Time
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Chef Curtis Stone with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

One and a half million dollars was raised Saturday at the 20th Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters, which benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event took place at the “Midwest Street” set lot at Warner Brothers in Burbank. Forty-five celebrity chefs prepared an amuse-bouche which was paired with wine donated by over 65 wineries.


There were so many chefs and wineries that I didn’t have the chance to talk with everyone, even though I was there for over four hours. I started my tour with John Cuevas from Muse at Montage Beverly Hills, who prepared a salad of local watermelon, marinated green beans, feta and anchovy. I tasted Curtis Stone’s chicken liver parfait after waiting in line behind a crowd of fans getting his autograph (some even had Stone tattoo their arms!). Much later in the evening I ended my tour with chef Warren Schwartz of Westside Tavern (our current Los Angeles Review of the Week). Unfortunately I didn’t get to try his grilled hanger steak with brown butter béarnaise because it was too late in the evening.

Continue reading “So Many Chefs, So Little Time” »

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