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




by Sophie Gayot

From Montage Beverly Hills Luxurious Private Residences, 90210

Last night I got together with our special reporter inside Wolfgang Puck’s kitchen, where the master-chef was preparing the feast for the 1,500 guests who on Sunday will be attending the world’s ultimate after-party: the Oscars
® Governors Ball.

As that connection I mentioned was Alison Crary, the red winemaker of Sterling Vineyards, she first told me about the wines that will be poured to the A++ crowd. Watch the exclusive video above to hear about the selections and how Crary paired them with the food and desserts.

Continue reading “What Guests Will Be Drinking at the Oscars Governors Ball” »



by Sophie Gayot

To celebrate the Year of the Snake, I had many dining options available. I chose to go to Joss Cuisine/Traditional in Beverly Hills, CA. It was a good pick! The restaurant has improved its cuisine, and now bears a rating of 14/20, which is one point higher than it was at my last visit. It has also been added to the Top 10 Chinese Restaurants in Los Angeles list.

Continue reading “Celebrating Chinese New Year!” »

Peter Madrigal - Sophie Gayot

SUR Restaurant & Lounge Peter Madrigal with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

It looks like Peter Madrigal, the general manager at SUR Restaurant & Lounge, is going to have to do lots of hand holding after last week’s episode of “Vanderpump Rules,” “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Lisa Vanderpump’s new TV show. Stassi, a server, invited some of the waiting staff to go to Las Vegas to help celebrate her birthday. But the trip to Sin City turned into a big fiasco after an incident at the Moroccan Marrakech restaurant.

As SUR Restaurant & Lounge has just been named one of’s 2013 Top 10 Places to Kiss in the U.S., we believe that Madrigal will have even more work to do. SUR Restaurant & Lounge is FULLY booked for Valentine’s Day. But I hear that they might extend the special “love” menu to the next evening. I’ll keep you posted.

Continue reading “Lots Happening at SUR Restaurant & Lounge” »



by Sophie Gayot

There is sunny Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and there is the Champs-Élysées in Paris, which is buried under snow as I write this. Each of these prestigious streets has only a single hotel directly located on them: the Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Élysées and Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel. While there are many restaurants with terraces on the most beautiful avenue in the world (“la plus belle avenue du monde”), there is only one on the walk of style: On Rodeo Bistro & Lounge.

Discover the restaurant with my exclusive video interview of hotel general manager Marcus Mueller and French executive chef Olivier Rousselle. Read the just published review of the restaurant to learn its rating and more.

Continue reading “French Restaurant on Rodeo Drive” »

by Sophie Gayot

Vanderpump Rules, the new television show that debuts on Bravo tonight, features Lisa Vanderpump Todd from “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills“, and is set in her business, SUR Restaurant. The reality show focuses on the drama that goes on between the bartenders and the servers, six friends who have real moments. It is a real-life soap opera taking place in a restaurant where Lisa makes the rules.

Watch the video above for a sneak peak of the restaurant. In my exclusive interview with her partner Guillermo Zapata (yes, he does look like George Clooney), I bring you a more harmonious story about the décor and the food. The décor — created by Vanderpump herself — is why we named this restaurant to’s list of Top 10 Sexy Restaurants in Los Angeles. The lounge, which is actually as large as the restaurant, is on’s Top 10 Lounges in Los Angeles. You should make a reservation before you head there, as the restaurant is already one of’s Hot 10 Restaurants in Los Angeles before the show even airs!

Continue reading “The Real SUR Restaurant of Lisa Vanderpump Todd” »

Sophie Gayot - Shanon Ferguson - Christian Philippo - Philip Spee - Holly Jivin - Aitor Zabala - Heather Denehy

In the kitchen at The Bazaar at SLS Beverly Hills – From left to right: Aitor Zabala (Assistant Director R&D Think Food Group); Holly Jivin (SAAM Chef & The Bazaar Sous Chef); Christian Philippo (General Manager The Bazaar), Philip Spee (F&B SLS outlet); Heather Denehy (Server); Shanon Ferguson (F&B Director SLS); with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Since there are so many restaurants offering dinner to celebrate 2013, we have put together lists of the best restaurants near you. The best of the best made GAYOT’s Top 10 New Year’s Eve Restaurants in the U.S.!

Last night I headed to The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills to see what they were planning for the big night: be prepared for a Spanish Masquerade Ball. For $250, you will have unlimited access to the tapas and desserts that make Andrés’ cuisine so different, as well as drinks. Quite a deal for this restaurant!

If you choose to stay at home, make sure to pick the right bubbles with our sparkling wine guide.




Rene  Baez - Javier Lopez - Vincent Cachot - Benjamin Bailly - Sophie Gayot

Pastry chef Rene Baez, sous-chef Javier Lopez, executive chef Vincent Cachot, chef de cuisine Benjamin Bailly, LAPD officer with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel has dressed up its historic lobby with holiday decorations that will be on view until December 30th. Last week, for the first time, it held a ceremony for the lighting of the Christmas tree. And since we were in glitzy Hollywood, snow fell on us from the ceiling (watch the video). The evening was dedicated to the LAPD’s Police Activities League (PAL), a youth crime prevention program, so guests deposited presents for the children underneath the tree.

Newly appointed chef Benjamin Bailly at Public Kitchen & Bar was busy with his team making sure that the guests’ appetites were satisfied. (I will leave chef Bailly some time to implement his own menu before reviewing the restaurant.)

Continue reading “Where to Dine Out for Christmas” »

Mehdi Eftekari - Marines - Sophie Gayot

Marines with general manager Mehdi Eftekari & Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

It is that time of the year when Mehdi Eftekari, the general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, organizes an evening to collect toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The foundation then distributes them as Christmas gifts to needy children. Last week, I joined hundreds of other guests bearing unwrapped toys to enter the worthwhile event.

“This fund-raiser and charity are very personal to me, and I am committed to putting smiles on children’s faces as long as I can. I appreciate all of the support that friends and clients have given to me in order to achieve my goal,” said Eftekari.

Continue reading “2012 Toys for Tots at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills” »

Balls & Bubbles

on December 14th, 2012
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Susan Sarandon - Sophie Gayot

Actress Susan Sarandon with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

As guests walked in André Balazs’ hotel The Standard Downtown LA for the opening party of SPiN Standard, they were welcomed with mini bottles of Chandon Brut Classic and Chandon Rosé.

At the top of the escalator near the entrance to this new “ping pong social club,” a floor-to-ceiling picture of President Barack Obama playing ping pong (in a tie, no less) put everybody in the mood for a bit of sport. Many celebrities, including Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon, socialized at the bar, which was serving more Chandon (in flutes this time) and a custom cocktail — the Spin-tini made with Chandon, lychee purée, lemon juice, honey, ginger and Belvedere vodka.

Continue reading “Balls & Bubbles” »



by Sophie Gayot

Thomas Keller is the only chef to have two restaurants with’s highest rating of 19/20: The French Laundry and Per Se. Yesterday at Bouchon Beverly Hills, I had the pleasure to talk with him about his just-released dessert book, Bouchon Bakery. Sébastien Rouxel, the book’s co-author and the executive pastry chef of The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, joined the conversation.

I had not seen the book until the three of us flipped through the 400 pages. If you haven’t had a chance to see Keller’s first recipe book for sweets either, watch the exclusive video above to discover it the same way they showed it to me. Coming from the masters directly, it is surely the best way to do so. The experience was quite fun, and, of course, a sweet moment to remember!

Continue reading “Sweet Times with Thomas Keller” »

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