A TOP Chef, for Sure

by Sophie Gayot

My assistant has typed up hundreds of photo captions of menu items. But after typing the captions for the gallery below, he couldn’t help but comment for the first time, “That menu seems very interesting.” He is right. And more than that, the wild game menu created by Chris Crary, chef de cuisine at Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica, was creative, intelligent and sexy; pretty much what we look for when we go out for a fine dining experience.

By chance, the evening of the dinner was right after Chris Crary was voted off season 9 of the TV show Top Chef, where he was competing. Trust me, the dinner I enjoyed was created by a chef who is at the top of his game. I foresee a great future for Crary!

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Top 40 Time

by Sophie Gayot

Our team of writers and editors are working hard to compile the 2012 edition of the GAYOT.com Restaurant Issue, which includes GAYOT.com’s Top 40 Restaurants in the US, to be published soon. Subscribe now to be among the first to learn about the latest culinary trends, rising chefs, the restaurateur of the year, and much more.

Mélisse in Santa Monica has been on our Top 40 list since 2006. Take a look at the video interview above with chef/owner Josiah Citrin to see what it takes to rank consistently as one of the best restaurants in the country. Then join our community and post your ideas for what restaurants you believe should be on this select list.

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Molecular Extravaganza

by Sophie Gayot

Have you ever wondered: “What exactly is molecular gastronomy?” Read GAYOT.com’s guide to this avant-garde cuisine or taste it for yourself by dining at one of GAYOT.com’s Top 10 Molecular Gastronomy Restaurants in the U.S.

If you are in the Los Angeles area this month, you can try chef Ryan Carson’s molecular creations during four pop-up dinners at Tiato in Santa Monica on January 18, 19, 25 & 26.

To see what you might expect, watch my exclusive video interview with chef Carson, filmed at Tiato during a December pop-up dinner. You can reserve seats for the upcoming events by calling Tiato at 310-866-5228. The dinners get booked very fast, so if you are not able to join this series there will be more in February and March, with some in Orange County. 

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Viva Celestino Drago!

by Sophie Gayot

For whatever reason, Celestino Drago is closing his restaurant Drago in Santa Monica at the end of January. We are sad to see it go, but we are happy because Celestino is working on some new projects.

His Angeleno story started when he arrived in Southern California from Sicily at the age of 22. His restaurant Drago rapidly became a success, and has been Celestino’s flagship for twenty-one years! He later went on to open Enoteca Drago and Il Pastaio, both in Beverly Hills, and DRAGO Centro in a gorgeous space downtown LA.

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A Newborn in Santa Monica

by Sophie Gayot

For my “official” last meal of 2011, I chose to go to Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan’s new restaurant Milo & Olive, named after their one-year-old son Milo. The place is as cute and small as a baby, and the parents can be proud of it.

Watch my exclusive video interview with them, filmed in the bakery located in the back, to discover this new venue; and read the just-published review in our restaurant section.

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