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




The Tiato Kick

on July 30th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton The Tiato Kick


by Sophie Gayot


Last weekend, I went to have a family brunch with my brother at Santa Monica’s Tiato, the latest restaurant from the An family. Also known as the House of An, they own Crustacean in Beverly Hills, molecular gastronomy-influenced AnQi Gourmet Bistro in Costa Mesa, and Thanh Long and Crustacean in San Francisco, which is where it all started in 1971 after they moved from Vietnam.

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LudoBites: Take 5

on July 27th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton LudoBites: Take 5


by Sophie Gayot


It took me four days to get a reservation for LudoBites, which began its fifth incarnation last week, and even when I arrived last night I had to wait almost an hour to get seated—a party of two who had arrived at 6 p.m. (and finally left five hours later) was enjoying themselves so much that they would not free my table. But they weren’t the only ones there having a good time. Gram & Papas, the café Ludovic Lefebvre is renting for the second time, was completely packed with patrons on a Monday night. (And this in an area of downtown Los Angeles that’s desolate after dark.)

  Continue reading “LudoBites: Take 5” »



  • pinitbutton Food, Fun & Fighting Cancer
sophiegayotfarishhakim 300x219 Food, Fun & Fighting Cancer

Farshid Hakim, owner of La Provence Pâtisserie & Café with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

The winning dish at Concern Foundation’s 36th Annual Block Party, held on July 10 at the Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, was the sweet corn agnolotti by Savore Catering. But honestly, I could not try every single one served on that fun night. Out of the 63 restaurants and refreshment stations, an increase of six from last year, I only had time and room to try ten. My apologies to the rest.

  Continue reading “Food, Fun & Fighting Cancer” »



  • pinitbutton A New Fun Bar in Los Angeles


There were no villains last night at the opening of Villains Tavern, located in the middle of absolutely nowhere in the industrial part of downtown LA. But there was a happy crowd discovering this new bar owned and designed by famous interior decorator Dana Hollister, who has worked with top clients like Madonna. I spoke with her in the small kitchen where bar food will be prepared to accompany the long list of hand-crafted cocktails.

  Continue reading “A New Fun Bar in Los Angeles” »



  • pinitbutton Cooking with the Schaffers


by Sophie Gayot

I first met husband and wife chefs Charlie and Kathleen Schaffer when they catered a movie premiere I attended. Not only was I impressed with their falafel, but I learned their cooking had also pleased many celebs both in Hollywood (Barbra Streisand, Eddie Murphy, Martin Scorsese, Kate Beckinsale, Julie Andrews) and elsewhere (Martha Stewart, Heidi Klum, Tom Brokaw). They even cooked for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who probably didn’t know the two former busboys first met while working at the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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  • pinitbutton Formaggi, Salumi or Pasta?

by Sophie Gayot

Most of the time, when you find a retail section in a restaurant, it has been added so you can bring home some of the products you’ve had while dining. In the case of Cube restaurant on LaBrea avenue in Los Angeles, also known as Cube Market Place, it’s the other way around. From a retail store, first for pasta from The Divine Pasta Company, then imported cheeses and charcuterie, wines and olive oils, it has became a full restaurant with a chef. Continue reading “Formaggi, Salumi or Pasta?” »



  • pinitbutton B. B. B. B. in Beverly Hills

by Sophie Gayot

Enjoy a “bon” beef burger at Bouchon in Beverly Hills.  After all, Bouchon is a French bistro, and “bon” is French for “good.” In fact, I’d say it is a “très bon” burger. Though of German origin, the hamburger has now become an American food staple that chef Thomas Keller had to add to his menu next to the steak frites, le croque-Madame and les moules au safran.
Originally, it was only supposed to be offered Thursdays through Saturdays after 9pm at the bar of the bistro, but it is proved so successful, it is now also available for lunch from Monday to Friday. What makes it “très bon?” Watch our exclusive video to see executive chef Rory Herrmann explain how it is made. Of course, it starts with quality meat, a combination of prime cuts of sirloin, brisket and chuck. It ends with the house-made brioche buns made in the bakery area of the kitchen. Continue reading “B. B. B. B. in Beverly Hills” »



  • pinitbutton Cuisine from the Iberico Sun

by Sophie Gayot

There are many dining options at the new Aria Resort & Casino located at the impressive CityCenter in Las Vegas, but I feel that Julian Serrano at his eponymous restaurant offers the “sunniest” experience. As evidenced by the photos below, from the food to the décor, dining here is all about colors. That’s not really a surprise coming from a Spaniard, but it is very well done. For more, read my review.


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Tennis Uncorked

on May 25th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Tennis Uncorked


by Sophie Gayot


While I am in Paris enjoying escargots, fresh baguette, Camembert, and the glittering Eiffel Tower, I am also following the 2010 Roland Garros tennis tournament on the television channel France Televisions. Hopefully, I will have time to go see the players compete at the stadium, between my visits to Parisian restaurants.


If you are in the U.S., you can do the same by tuning your television to the Tennis Channel or TV5 Monde. In New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Washngton, D.C. and Chicago, we have selected a few French restaurants, bistros, brasseries and cafés that will bring true French tastes to your palate. Enjoy the games and the food!


Go to our Restaurant News, Restaurant Events, and Restaurant Search pages to find out what is happening in the culinary world from your city to Paris!



  • pinitbutton Making Pasta at Culina

 by Sophie Gayot



I just published my review of Culina Modern Italian restaurant, which recently opened at the Four Seasons at Beverly Hills with an impressive décor. Now listen carefully to what Chef Victor Casanova says during my exclusive interview, and you will learn the secret of his tasty spaghetti that I just enjoyed.


The noise you hear in the background of the video is not a faulty microphone, but what the chef has to endure when he makes pasta twice a day for Culina’s satisfied diners. I also tried many more items on his menu, and particularly appreciated his wheat crust margherita pizza (see photos below).

Continue reading “Making Pasta at Culina” »

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