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




  • pinitbutton Delicious Home Style Mexican Cuisine
larrynicolamexicanrestaurantwesthollywood 248x300 Delicious Home Style Mexican Cuisine

Owner/chef Larry Nicola at his new restaurant Mexico in West Hollywood

By Sophie Gayot

Want to go to Mexico for its food and ambience but don’t have the time for it? Just drive to the heart of West Hollywood and push the green doors of Mexico Restaurante y Barra open.

As soon as you see the patio, the décor will make forget you’re on Santa Monica Boulevard. Owner Larry Nicola, who is also the proprietor of Nic’s Martini & Lounge in Beverly Hills, has created a number of specialty cocktails, and a menu based on a tasty, home-style Mexican cuisine.

Mexico Restaurante y Barra is our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week.

minilogo Delicious Home Style Mexican Cuisine



  • pinitbutton News from Avenue of the Stars
cheffranktoshisugiurajonathanwood 300x265 News from Avenue of the Stars

Chefs Frank Toshi Sugiura (middle), Jonathan Wood (right), and

By Sophie Gayot


It looks like we don’t always have to be surrounded by a Japanese décor to eat sushi. The InterContinental Hotel Los Angeles Century City has partnered with chef Frank Toshi Sugiura to offer sashimi, rolls and sushi in the hotel’s cozy lounge.

You can trust the expertise of Sugiura since he is the CEO of the California Sushi Academy and the chef-owner of Bar Hayama on Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

  Continue reading “News from Avenue of the Stars” »

  • pinitbutton A Dream Patio on Sunset Boulevard
sophiegayotboasteakhouse 300x225 A Dream Patio on Sunset Boulevard

Partner-owner Lee Maen on the patio of new BOA Steakhouse on Sunset with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

When I went to dinner last week at the relocated BOA Steakhouse on Sunset, I was expecting to get a table inside to immerse myself in the vibrant décor of the room and the bar.

Partner-owner Lee Maen kindly showed me the way to the patio. And yes, he was right: that is the place to be. It is one of the largest restaurant patios in town (except for maybe those in some hotels), and a hip, ritzy, glitzy clientele has already made it one of heir favorite spots for lunch, dinner or drinks.

BOA Steakhouse is our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week.

minilogo A Dream Patio on Sunset Boulevard

  • pinitbutton The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist
williambradley 300x200 The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist
Chef William Bradley of the Addison restaurant

By André Gayot

To count how many places in the entire world belong in the same class as The Grand Del Mar hotel near San Diego, you probably won’t need all ten of your fingers. Perched in the foothills of the Sierras, hidden within the rolling hills, this domain is nothing but majestic beauty.


Good enough, but how can we spend—without drastically breaking the bank — an unforgettable evening in this palatial Moorish style Kasbah spiced with a good ladle of Florentine art where no effort (nor money) was spared to erect this paramount of handsome hospitality? Follow me. Let’s walk to your table in the Addison restaurant, between the Porphyry columns sustaining the caisson ceiling over the encrusted marble floor.


Continue reading “The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist” »

  • pinitbutton Celebrate True French Cuisine in Los Angeles
sophiegayotfrenchrestaurantlosangeles 300x261 Celebrate True French Cuisine in Los Angeles

Chef Bruno Herve-Commereuc (right) , with chef de cuisine Hugues Quintard and Sophie Gayot holding house-made boudin noir

By Sophie Gayot


Very often, I hear “Where is a real French restaurant in Los Angeles?” Well, recently I found the perfect answer: Saint Amour restaurant in downtown Culver City, our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week.

Bruno Herve-Commereuc, an expert charcutier, and his wife Florence are very happy to welcome you to their brasserie. The most adventurous eaters will order Bruno’s delicious boudin noir (blood sausage), andouillette, escargots, foie gras, merguez and crispy boneless pigs’ feet. If you don’t belong to this first group, you will be happy with the soupe à l’oignon, the thin-crusted leek tart, monkfish, and grilled rib-eye with pommes frites. Finish le diner with la mousse au chocolat à l’orange. Bon appétit! 

minilogo Celebrate True French Cuisine in Los Angeles

Burgers Worth Finding

on July 14th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Burgers Worth Finding
burgergayot 300x233 Burgers Worth Finding

One of Gayot's Top 10 LA Burgers

By Sophie Gayot

Craving a very good hamburger on a Saturday afternoon, I headed to the Hole in the Wall Burger Joint for my very first visit.


It’s hard to find, since its official address is on Santa Monica Boulevard, but its actual entrance, hidden behind a donut shop, is on South Bentley Avenue. I finally arrived and ordered a medium rare beef burger with a pretzel bun, onion mayonnaise, red leaf lettuce, sliced onion, tomato, and topped with provolone cheese, all for a very reasonable $7.95.


A few moments later, I was enjoying it on the outdoor patio, which is covered with old sails belonging to chef-owner Bill Dertouzos, accompanied by great fresh-cut French fries ($2.00). I’m happy to report he makes a VERY good hamburger, and have added the spot to our top 10 Burgers in Los Angeles list.



minilogo Burgers Worth Finding

Happy Hour in Malibu

on July 08th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Happy Hour in Malibu
sophiegayotcharliesmalibu 300x203 Happy Hour in Malibu
Charlie DiLorenzo at Happy Hour with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

I suggest you time your arrival to Charlie’s, our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week, in Malibu to enjoy the sunset along Pacific Coast Highway.


But if you were to get there earlier, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., you could relax at the bar and lounge during happy hour, “Charlie’s @ 5:00”, sipping beer priced between $4 and $5, wine ($5) or house cocktails ($8), and nibbling on fried calamari, roasted beet salad or the tasty mac and cheese seasoned with sage.




Note that the lounge menu is also offered late at night, to 11:30 p.m. on Fri.-Sat.; 10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., and 10 p.m. on Sunday, which is good to know considering that there are not too many dining options in Malibu.

minilogo Happy Hour in Malibu

  • pinitbutton A Perfect Spot for the Summer, and for the 4th of July
sophiegayotsusanfenigerstreet A Perfect Spot for the Summer, and for the 4th of July

Chefs Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


Despite the economic situation, quite a few new restaurants have opened in the Los Angeles area. I think Susan Feniger’s STREET is a very interesting one—and it’s also perfect for this time of the year.

Located in the middle of the city, in the Hollywood/Hancock Park/Larchmont/Fairfax area, it has a great outdoor patio guarded by two immense palm trees. Feniger and her chef, Kajsa Alger, have created a menu based on street food from around the world. The restaurant was chosen as our Los Angeles Review of the Week at the end of May.

 It will be open on July 4 from 5 p.m. until midnight. And during Sunday Brunch on July 5, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., you can continue celebrating with unlimited hand-crafted Bloody Marys or Nectarine Bellinis for just $10.


The Katsuya Kiss

on June 26th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton The Katsuya Kiss
sophiegayotkatsuyadowntown 300x159 The Katsuya Kiss

Matt Erickson, Director of Operations, with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


The lips of our favorite geisha have resurfaced for the fourth time at the newest Katsuya, scheduled to open next Monday, June 29th, at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.


Last night I got an exclusive tour of the restaurant by Matt Erickson, the director of operations of the four Katsuya restaurants (Brentwood, Hollywood, Glendale, L.A. Live), and a tasting from chef Daniel Elmaleh. I liked the room, decorated like the others by Philippe Starck: it’s large and rectangular, with the sushi in the center. Wherever diners sit, they will not miss any of the action, nor the other photos of the Japanese lady. The cocktails and dishes available are basically the same as offered at the other Katsuyas, except for the Kobe flat iron steak served with wild mushrooms and white truffles, exclusive to this location.



minilogo The Katsuya Kiss



  • pinitbutton Don’t We All Love Hot Bread?
sophiegayottavernrestaurantbread 300x219 Don’t We All Love Hot Bread?
Sophie Gayot in the bakery of Tavern restaurant in Brentwood

By Sophie Gayot


When I went to Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s (Lucques, A.O.C) new restaurant Tavern in Brentwood last week, I had to stop myself from filling up on the bread.


It was so good, but I had to save room for the actual meal. At the end of the dinner, I asked where it had come from. Easy enough: it is baked on premises daily. Every night, three bakers arrive at 8 pm and bake ten different varieties of delicious breads until 5 am. The good news is that they are available for purchase to take home.


We are currently featuring Tavern as the Los Angeles Restaurant of the Week.



minilogo Don’t We All Love Hot Bread?

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