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Chef Bruno Herve-Commereuc and his boudin noir (right), with chef de cuisine Hugues Quintard and Sophie Gayot

Chef Bruno Herve-Commereuc (right) , with chef de cuisine Hugues Quintard and Sophie Gayot holding house-made boudin noir

By Sophie Gayot

 

Very often, I hear “Where is a real French restaurant in Los Angeles?” Well, recently I found the perfect answer: Saint Amour restaurant in downtown Culver City, our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week.

Bruno Herve-Commereuc, an expert charcutier, and his wife Florence are very happy to welcome you to their brasserie. The most adventurous eaters will order Bruno’s delicious boudin noir (blood sausage), andouillette, escargots, foie gras, merguez and crispy boneless pigs’ feet. If you don’t belong to this first group, you will be happy with the soupe à l’oignon, the thin-crusted leek tart, monkfish, and grilled rib-eye with pommes frites. Finish le diner with la mousse au chocolat à l’orange. Bon appétit! 

Le Saint Amour on Urbanspoon



The Art Nouveau façade of the Gresham Palace in Budapest

The Art Nouveau façade of the Gresham Palace in Budapest

By André Gayot

 

Mais oui! Even a hardcore Parisian would admit it. Beautiful grand boulevards, large avenues, handsome mansions, green parks, impressive landmarks, museums, opera house, lively streets and art life, all of these match the French model to recreate another Paris on the Danube closer to the original one than the Las Vegas cardboard elliptic version.

 

What about food, then? I am not so sure about eats, for I am not a big fan of goulash. You know that robust stew of beef, onions and potatoes more fit to sustain one’s efforts fighting the rigors of winter than the appetite of a modern city dandy. But, there are quite a few places that offer a more elaborate food with or without Paprika, the Hungarian national spice.

  Continue reading “Budapest the “Paris of the East,” Really?” »



Burgers Worth Finding

on July 14th, 2009
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14

Jul

One of Gayot's Top 10 LA Burgers

One of Gayot's Top 10 LA Burgers

By Sophie Gayot

Craving a very good hamburger on a Saturday afternoon, I headed to the Hole in the Wall Burger Joint for my very first visit.

 

It’s hard to find, since its official address is on Santa Monica Boulevard, but its actual entrance, hidden behind a donut shop, is on South Bentley Avenue. I finally arrived and ordered a medium rare beef burger with a pretzel bun, onion mayonnaise, red leaf lettuce, sliced onion, tomato, and topped with provolone cheese, all for a very reasonable $7.95.

 

A few moments later, I was enjoying it on the outdoor patio, which is covered with old sails belonging to chef-owner Bill Dertouzos, accompanied by great fresh-cut French fries ($2.00). I’m happy to report he makes a VERY good hamburger, and have added the spot to our top 10 Burgers in Los Angeles list.

 

 

Hole in the Wall Burger Joint on Urbanspoon



13

Jul

Concern Foundation 35th Annual Block Party at Paramount Studios

Concern Foundation 35th Annual Block Party at Paramount Studios

By Sophie Gayot



Happy Hour in Malibu

on July 08th, 2009
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08

Jul

Charlie DiLorenzo at Happy Hour with Sophie Gayot
Charlie DiLorenzo at Happy Hour with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

I suggest you time your arrival to Charlie’s, our Los Angeles Restaurant Review of the Week, in Malibu to enjoy the sunset along Pacific Coast Highway.

 

But if you were to get there earlier, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., you could relax at the bar and lounge during happy hour, “Charlie’s @ 5:00”, sipping beer priced between $4 and $5, wine ($5) or house cocktails ($8), and nibbling on fried calamari, roasted beet salad or the tasty mac and cheese seasoned with sage.

 

 

 

Note that the lounge menu is also offered late at night, to 11:30 p.m. on Fri.-Sat.; 10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., and 10 p.m. on Sunday, which is good to know considering that there are not too many dining options in Malibu.

Charlie's on Urbanspoon



Chefs Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger with Sophie Gayot

Chefs Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

Despite the economic situation, quite a few new restaurants have opened in the Los Angeles area. I think Susan Feniger’s STREET is a very interesting one—and it’s also perfect for this time of the year.

Located in the middle of the city, in the Hollywood/Hancock Park/Larchmont/Fairfax area, it has a great outdoor patio guarded by two immense palm trees. Feniger and her chef, Kajsa Alger, have created a menu based on street food from around the world. The restaurant was chosen as our Los Angeles Review of the Week at the end of May.

 It will be open on July 4 from 5 p.m. until midnight. And during Sunday Brunch on July 5, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., you can continue celebrating with unlimited hand-crafted Bloody Marys or Nectarine Bellinis for just $10.

 



Yes, We Can

on June 30th, 2009
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30

Jun

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, chefs Bruno Lopez & Sylvain Rivetr with Sophie Gayot
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, chefs Bruno Lopez & Sylvain Rivetr with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

These are, of course, not my words, but the ones borrowed from President Obama by French Consul General David Martinon, in Los Angeles, yesterday when introducing Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his new movie, “Home.”

 

A lunch was held before the screening. Chefs Bruno Lopez and Sylvain Rivet, from Amuse Bouche, received special instructions to prepare the meal: it needed to be “green” with organic products, and no animal protein. And yes, Arthus-Bertrand checked with them after the lunch. The pair used organic local vegetables, and replaced the traditional chorizo sausage for the paella with one (a very good one) made of soy and vegetables.

 

After watching the movie at the Egyptian Theater, I clearly understood Arthus-Bertrand’s request to the chefs. The message of his movie is so significant, actually a matter of life and death, that I feel I need much more space to discuss it than in the few lines I would usually write in the blog.

 

I will keep you posted when the interview I had with him is on-line. But I wanted to let you know now about Arthus-Bertrand’s activism to try to save the planet for us and our children. Since the movie is commercial-free, you can watch it in HD on YouTube.

 

 

 



27

Jun

Latoya Jackson with Wolfgang Puck and Sophie Gayot
Latoya Jackson with Wolfgang Puck and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

The closest I ever got to Michael Jackson was through his sister Latoya Jackson. I had met her at the opening party of Wolfgang Puck’s CUT restaurant in the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Los Angeles, back in May, 2006.

 

Then, later that year, I had the pleasure to dine with her at CUT while master chef Puck was there. We were only four at the table, so I was really able to appreciate her kindness. Like many of us, fascinated by her genius brother Michael, I was hoping to meet him one day.

 

Michael, you will forever live in our heart and ears. Thank you for all you brought to music and the world.

 



The Katsuya Kiss

on June 26th, 2009
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26

Jun

Matt Erickson, Director of Operations, with Sophie Gayot

Matt Erickson, Director of Operations, with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

The lips of our favorite geisha have resurfaced for the fourth time at the newest Katsuya, scheduled to open next Monday, June 29th, at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.

 

Last night I got an exclusive tour of the restaurant by Matt Erickson, the director of operations of the four Katsuya restaurants (Brentwood, Hollywood, Glendale, L.A. Live), and a tasting from chef Daniel Elmaleh. I liked the room, decorated like the others by Philippe Starck: it’s large and rectangular, with the sushi in the center. Wherever diners sit, they will not miss any of the action, nor the other photos of the Japanese lady. The cocktails and dishes available are basically the same as offered at the other Katsuyas, except for the Kobe flat iron steak served with wild mushrooms and white truffles, exclusive to this location.

 

 

Katsuya on Urbanspoon



24

Jun

About to board

About to board

By Alain Gayot

 

Take any flight on Virgin America and compute in the cloud with your notebook or mobile phone. Today was D-day for the young airline to offer a WiFi environment for any passenger on every flight in the U.S., the first airline to stake that claim. Sir Richard Branson appeared via an animated video to introduce the program via Gogo technology, along with the flight’s friendly crew. What was special about our 6:00 am flight VA 921 from Los Angeles to San Francisco is that it competed with flight 920 from San Francisco to Los Angeles in The Day in the Cloud Challenge – an online puzzle played in the air and on the ground. Our winning plane earned each participating passenger a nifty and slim HP netbook. The game continued for 24 hours as well, and enabled all top five scorers of each flight to earn A Year in the Cloud package comprised of free flights, free in-flight WiFi  from Virgin America, a netbook computer from Hewlett-Packard  and one terabyte of online storage from Google. Happy gamers went to work early and connected to Google apps in the clouds to secure information to solve the puzzle.

 

Continue reading “The Day in the Cloud Challenge” »



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