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






  • pinitbutton Caviar and Much More…
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West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land cutting the ribbon with the Petrossians, the Martinons and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

After months and months of remodeling, the West Hollywood Petrossian Paris Boutique & Café finally reopened last night. Armen Petrossian and his son Alexandre made the trip from Paris to unveil a totally new space, where the boutique and the café each now have their own dedicated space.

The mayor of West Hollywood, Abbe Land, held the scissors for the red ribbon ceremony, also attended by the French Consul General David Martinon, and his wife Karen. Petrossian farm-raised American caviar, paired with Champagne, disappeared as soon as it came out of the kitchen.

Petrossian Paris was established by Armenian brothers Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian. The two were the first to introduce caviar to Paris, then to the rest of the world after fleeing Russia for the City of Lights in the early 1920’s. Today, Petrossian Paris offers an array of packaged goods including their signature smoked salmon, a variety of smoked seafood, fine chocolates, mustards, olive oils, specialty vinegars and fruit preserves along with the comprehensive collection of Petrossian caviar. You can find Petrossian boutiques, restaurants and cafés in Paris, Monaco, New York, Las Vegas and West Hollywood.

minilogo Caviar and Much More…



  • pinitbutton A Dinner with Nobu at Nobu
sophiegayotnobumatsuhisa 300x204 A Dinner with Nobu at Nobu

Master chef Nobu Matsuhisa; Richie Notar, Managing Partner of Nobu with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Looks like there have been a few restaurant anniversaries around town lately (Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, Michael’s, BLT Steak). Last night it was Nobu Los Angeles‘s first year celebration.


Master chef Nobu Matsuhisa himself was there cooking a special dinner, paired with saké from the Hokusetsu brewery. Sitting down in the restaurant, I could not help thinking of the days of L’Orangerie. Nobu’s smile and precise cuisine brought me back to today’s reality of this prestigious address on La Cienega. Out of the beautiful eight-course meal, the Wagyu beef was the winner. It had been roasted in the oven, and seasoned with a truffle teriyaki sauce.


Happy Birthday Nobu!

minilogo A Dinner with Nobu at Nobu



  • pinitbutton Anniversary on Sunset
sopiegayotlaurenttourondel 300x191 Anniversary on Sunset

Chefs Laurent Tourondel, Brian Moyers, Christophe Bellanca with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Last night, to celebrate the first anniversary of his Los Angeles restaurant BLT Steak, chef Laurent Tourondel made the trip from the East Coast. During the occasion, he and his corporate chef, Christophe Bellanca, formerly at L’Orangerie and Le Cirque, introduced the new chef de cuisine, Brian Moyers, who just moved into the kitchen from The Blvd at the Beverly Wilshire, and the sommelier Jared Heber.

The trio cooked together in the kitchen and served us squash blossom stuffed with burrata, pistou and roast tomato pomodoro; hamachi with marinated white asparagus, avocado and pickled red onions; olive oil-poached halibut in artichoke barigoule, fennel and spring onion in a blood orange sauce; dry-aged NY strip on a bed of beef short ribs accompanied with ricotta gnudi, a morel fricassée and fava beans; and ending with strawberry rhubarb crumble pie with lemon thyme ice cream. Hollywood celebrities Sharon Stone and Victoria Recano were seen here that evening.

Note: In honor of the Lakers’ continued success in the NBA playoffs, BLT Steak’s bar is offering chef Tourondel’s signature BLT Burger—a first in LA (the offer is for a limited time only, while LA is in the playoffs). The “Kobe” burger ($17) or the “Jackson” burger ($14) can be accompanied by fries and a brew for $11 more. A flat screen captures the game action.

minilogo Anniversary on Sunset

  • pinitbutton Mother’s Day with Our Mom in L.A.

sophiegayotalexandremeiers 300x261 Mother’s Day with Our Mom in L.A.

Sophie Gayot and her son

By Sophie Gayot




Mother’s Day is just around the corner and Alain and I are so happy to have our mom visiting with us now. Of course the Gayot family tradition is to have a fabulous Mother’s Day meal in one of the world’s great restaurants.


Throughout our travels we have found many wonderful places to enjoy a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch. Even at the last minute, there are lots of great restaurants taking Mother’s Day reservations all across the U.S.


In France, we celebrate Mother’s Day at the end of May and I am looking forward to another great meal with my mother and with my own fabulous son.



  • pinitbutton An Evening at Drago Centro
sophiegayotdragocentro 225x300 An Evening at Drago Centro
Partner-general manager Matteo Ferdinandi with Sophie Gayot in the wine tower

By Sophie Gayot



Yes, I go out very, very often and sit at many different restaurant tables. My fondest memories occur when I am surprised, either by the food, the décor, the ambience, the wines, the view, the service or a combination.


Last night, my GPS took me to Drago Centro in downtown Los Angeles. I don’t know how much work and effort Celestino Drago and partner-general manager Matteo Ferdinandi invested in the project, but it had to be A LOT! In one word: stunning.




minilogo An Evening at Drago Centro



  • pinitbutton Michael (almost) Angelo
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Husband and wife Michael and Kim McCarty with father and daughter André and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Michael‘s, the eponymous restaurant of Michael McCarty in Santa Monica, California, was packed yesterday with faithful clients, friends and colleagues celebrating the 30th anniversary of this landmark house with Michael and his artist wife Kim. The buffets were stupendous, up to the stainless reputation of this regarded table.


Indeed, three decades of consistent success in Tinseltown, where the life span of an eatery is often times shorter than that of a cactus flower, can be considered an historical achievement worthy of merited kudos. Michael and Kim were justly entitled to appear radiant in their “ravishing” garden as we described it in our review of Michael’s in 1982, and the charm still floats on the patio.

Continue reading “Michael (almost) Angelo” »



  • pinitbutton Happy Birthday Mr. Zwiener!
sophiegayotwolfgangzwiener 300x225 Happy Birthday Mr. Zwiener!

Wolfgang Zwiener showing Sophie Gayot his custom designed meat aging fridge

By Sophie Gayot

Last night, Wolfgang Zwiener and his son Peter celebrated the first anniversary of their restaurant in Beverly Hills, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener.


The red carpet was deployed on Canon Drive to welcome more than three hundred guests for a cocktail reception. Beef, and lots of it, in various cuts, was passed around, still sizzling on the plates, grilled to perfection. I have to admit, I cannot recall the last time I had such delicious, tender and tasty meat.


I was lucky to be let in on part of the secret: the custom-designed, temperature/humidity controlled aging box where all meat is dry-aged on the premises for 28 days.  I am, also, guessing that Zwiener uses only top-quality, hormone-free beef.


Other locations include the original in New York, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, and spin-offs in TriBeCa and Hawaii.


minilogo Happy Birthday Mr. Zwiener!



  • pinitbutton A Delicious New Start at XIV
sophiegayotmichaelmina 300x270 A Delicious New Start at XIV
Chef Michael Mina and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


When I went to XIV in November, I was not totally convinced by Michael Mina’s first restaurant in Los Angeles. When the names Mina and Sam Nazarian (SBE Group) are on the door, you have high expectations.

Did the team sense  it? What I am sure of is that they have worked very hard to create a totally new dining experience which, I feel, now works. From Michael Mina, whose eponymous restaurant in San Francisco has been one of our Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. for four years in a row, to executive chef Steven Fretz, pastry chef Jordan Kahn and to general manger Ryan Cole, they had all realized that they could make things better, and they succeeded.


Note that on Mondays, a three-course market menu is offered for $49, and that you can enjoy the restaurant’s best wines, including Château Cheval Blanc and Domaine de la Romanée Conti, at half price, for any bottle over $100.

You can read our review of XIV restaurant and add your comments in our restaurant section.

minilogo A Delicious New Start at XIV

Continue reading “A Delicious New Start at XIV” »



  • pinitbutton A Tasty Gathering at Jaan
sophiegayotchefkarimrazgallah 300x225 A Tasty Gathering at Jaan

Chef Karim Razgallah presenting his desserts to Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Last night chef Karim Razgallah of Jaan at L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills prepared an elegant dinner, under the toque of the Club Culinaire of French Cuisine, presided by Jean-François Meteigner of La Cachette restaurant. Chef Karim, former private chef to Karl Lagerfeld, is half Tunisian (from his father) and half French (from Bourgogne). He loves to mix the two cultures while cooking and uses spices wisely.

The evening began with a cocktail party in the hotel’s garden accompanied by bubbles from G.H. Mumm Champagne. Then we moved into the dining room for a five-course meal: lobster bisque (very tasty); roasted sea bass (perfectly cooked) with braised veal sweet breads; truffle chicken cannelloni (quite interesting); crusty lamb loin (more traditional); pear-almond feuillantine in a chocolate sauce (great orange blossom flavor).

minilogo A Tasty Gathering at Jaan

  Continue reading “A Tasty Gathering at Jaan” »

  • pinitbutton Modern Mexican Experience Downtown LA
sophiegayotnickalbrecht 300x225 Modern Mexican Experience Downtown LA

Chef Nick Albrecht and Sophie Gayot toasting over tuna ceviche tacos

By Sophie Gayot

Downtown Los Angeles is sprouting with new, elegant restaurants. CASA on South Grand Avenue is one of them. Located at the foot of one of the towers of California Plaza, it is as beautiful as the buildings, though in a very different style. You can choose to sit outside or inside to sip on great house-made cocktails, before moving onto chef Nick Albrecht’s interpretation of Mexican cuisine.

minilogo Modern Mexican Experience Downtown LA

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