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01

Aug

Chef Stefan Richter with chef de cuisine Leandro Bongarra with Sophie Gayot
Chef Stefan Richter with chef de cuisine Leandro Bongarra with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

The kitchen team must have received lots of training by chef Stefan Richter and chef de cuisine Leandro Bongarra to turn out the delicious hors d’oeuvres that were served during last night’s opening party at Stefan’s at L.A. Farm. The noise in the dining room was such that I stood in the kitchen to try the lemon grass/coconut lobster bisque, the fried risotto, veal meatballs and crème brûlée.

 

If you think you have heard the name Stefan Richter before, it is because you would have seen him on TV during season 5 of “Top Chef.” Richter was born in Finland, and then cooked in Germany, Switzerland, Thailand and Canada, before arriving in the U.S. and working in Michigan, Nevada and then California. He chose the old location of the celebrated L.A. Farm to open his first restaurant, and mixed the two names.

 

 

Stefan's at L.A. Farm on Urbanspoon



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

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.

Mexico Restaurante y Barra on Urbanspoon



30

Jul

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

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” »



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

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.

Boa Steakhouse on Urbanspoon



Chef William Bradley of the Addison Restaurant
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” »



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

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! 

Le Saint Amour on Urbanspoon



Burgers Worth Finding

on July 14th, 2009
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14

Jul

One of Gayot's Top 10 LA Burgers

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.

 

 

Hole in the Wall Burger Joint on Urbanspoon



Happy Hour in Malibu

on July 08th, 2009
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08

Jul

Charlie DiLorenzo at Happy Hour with Sophie Gayot
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.

Charlie's on Urbanspoon



Chefs Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger with Sophie Gayot

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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26

Jun

Matt Erickson, Director of Operations, with Sophie Gayot

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.

 

 

Katsuya on Urbanspoon



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