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06

May

  • 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



04

May

  • pinitbutton Michael (almost) Angelo
sophiegayotmichaelmccarty 300x198 Michael (almost) Angelo

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” »



01

May

  • 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!



30

Apr

  • 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” »



28

Apr

  • 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



23

Apr

  • pinitbutton Bistro Fare at La Cachette
sophiegayotlacachetterestaurantlosangeles 264x300 Bistro Fare at La Cachette
Chef Jean-François Meteigner presenting his whitefish to Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Chef Jean-François Meteigner from La Cachette is celebrating the soon-to-come summer with a new “HYBRID MENU.” Within the restaurant he has created much more casual dishes at reasonable prices, under “La Cachette Bistro.” Look for them on the menu, marked with a bistro chair. Last night I tried a refreshing red papaya salad with brandade of homemade salted cod, corn blinis and cream; North Sea whitefish in a saffron broth with mussels, clams and mixed market vegetables, and floating island.

Besides dining at La Cachette, you can spend time with Meteigner during his cooking classes, the next ones to be held on May 2, June 27 and August 29.

 

 

Continue reading “Bistro Fare at La Cachette” »



  • pinitbutton A New Restaurant at SLS at Beverly Hills
sophiegayotgiadadilaurentiis 291x300 A New Restaurant at SLS at Beverly Hills
Chef Michael Voltaggio smoking salmon with TV star chef Giada de Laurentiis and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

A birthday celebration last week took me to dinner at The Bazaar by José Andrés. Two pieces of good news came from the kitchen where chef Michael Voltaggio was cooking that evening. First, the meal was as good as the previous ones we’ve had.

 
The second was the announcement of the opening of restaurant Saam at The Bazaar by José Andrés tomorrow, April 9th. Saam is a secluded dining room in The Bazaar, which is also decorated by Philippe Starck. In a very private and stylish atmosphere, José Andrés will offer a fine dining version of 20-plus “tastes” or small courses for $120 per person, or $170 including wine pairings. We are very much looking forward to dining there!

  

minilogo A New Restaurant at SLS at Beverly Hills



  • pinitbutton Another Dining Experience at L.A. Live
sophiegayot3 268x300 Another Dining Experience at L.A. Live

1992 Olympic Champion in women's singles Kristi Yamaguchi with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot
Besides trying many different foods, I also very much enjoy ice skating. So last night what better place could I have been than at Staples Center to attend the first day of the World Figure Skating Championships. Of course I had to have dinner first and decided to head to the new Rock ‘N Fish restaurant at L.A. Live. I enjoyed sampling the signature dishes made famous by its parent location in Manhattan Beach.

Accompanied by two former world competing figure skaters, Danielle Carr McGrath (1992, 1994, 1998 Olympic Competitor, 14-time World Pairs competitor, 19-time Australian National Pair Champion) and Lily Lee Fugier (1994 Olympic Competitor, 6-time World Figure Skating Competitor, 5-time Korean National Champion), I watched the Pairs Short Program, (2 minutes and 40 seconds with 7 required elements) in complete and utter amazement. I’m glad we stayed until the very end as the winners, German skaters Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, performed last.

Click here to see the winners of the 2009 Pairs Short program of the World Figure Skating Championships.

Continue reading “Another Dining Experience at L.A. Live” »



  • pinitbutton Win a 5 Course Dinner for 4 with Paired Wine
sophiegayot1 249x300 Win a 5 Course Dinner for 4 with Paired Wine

General manager Jeff Haber with Sophie Gayot

 

 When I received a picture accompanying the announcement of the new Chaya in downtown Los Angeles (which opened on Monday), I was wondering what the pink mass was on the top. Last night, I had dinner there and I can now tell you what it is.

 

Truly, I could never have guessed if general manager Jeff Haber hadn’t explained to me that it is a lamp fixture designed by English artist Stuart Haygarth made of flotsam and jetsam hanging on strings. Haber absolutely refused to give me more details about the objects, since if you are able to guess how many there are you will win a 5-course dinner for 4 with paired wine. Good luck and don’t drink too much before counting!

minilogo Win a 5 Course Dinner for 4 with Paired Wine



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