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24

May

President Obama at Pamela's P&G Diner in Pittsburgh, PA
President Obama at Pamela’s P&G Diner in Pittsburgh, PA

Even though we haven’t had the chance to sit down to a stack of hotcakes at Pamela’s P&G Diner, we think its great that President Obama found the place so memorable that he has asked the owners to cook for eighty war veterans at The White House Memorial Day breakfast. The president made a stop at the Pittsburgh outpost during his campaign and it seems like those pancakes make quite the impression.

We invite our readers to try the flapjacks (stamped with the seal of approval from the president himself) at one of the Pamela’s P&G Diner locations and tell us what you think on our restaurant listing page using our “Write Your Own Review”.

Pamela's P & G Diner on Urbanspoon
 

 



Top Chef Contestants Betty Fraser and Stefan Ritcher with Sophie Gayot

Top Chef Contestants Betty Fraser and Stefan Ritcher with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


Last night, American Idol was not the only event getting people excited. A fierce battle ensued at The Grove in Los Angeles between two former contestants from the television show Top Chef.

 

After cooking demonstrations from The Grove eateries The Whisper Restaurant & Lounge, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Morels, Betty Fraser (season 2) and Stefan Richter (season 5) had fifty minutes to prepare a meal, each with a different mystery basket of ingredients.

 

The pair was playful behind the stoves and used knives, spoons, olive oil, salt, pepper and their words to tease one another. They sure did know how to work the crowd! Stefan was throwing red roses and ladies underwear (yes, underwear) to the women in the crowd, while Betty used her great smile to woo the audience. All the while, radio host Merrill Shindler commented on all the action.

 

When it was time to taste the food, a panel of unbiased judges was selected from the audience. They preferred Stefan’s steak atop an amazing potato purée over Betty’s fried pork with caramelized peaches. Congratulations to the winner!

 

Continue reading “A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef” »



20

May

Chef Curtis Stone with Sophie Gayot

Chef Curtis Stone with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

One and a half million dollars was raised Saturday at the 20th Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters, which benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event took place at the “Midwest Street” set lot at Warner Brothers in Burbank. Forty-five celebrity chefs prepared an amuse-bouche which was paired with wine donated by over 65 wineries.

 

There were so many chefs and wineries that I didn’t have the chance to talk with everyone, even though I was there for over four hours. I started my tour with John Cuevas from Muse at Montage Beverly Hills, who prepared a salad of local watermelon, marinated green beans, feta and anchovy. I tasted Curtis Stone’s chicken liver parfait after waiting in line behind a crowd of fans getting his autograph (some even had Stone tattoo their arms!). Much later in the evening I ended my tour with chef Warren Schwartz of Westside Tavern (our current Los Angeles Review of the Week). Unfortunately I didn’t get to try his grilled hanger steak with brown butter béarnaise because it was too late in the evening.

Continue reading “So Many Chefs, So Little Time” »



19

May

22nd century coulis

22nd century coulis

By Alain Gayot

 

With the world’s population expanding like a hot air balloon readying for flight, our food supply needs to be addressed at a macro level by huge food ingredient firms such as CP Kelco. Still at a macro level, this global company, owned by the J.M. Huber Corporation, is itself the result of a merger of the Danish company Copenhagen Pectin, the Finnish company Noviant, and the American Firm Kelco Company. CP Kelco is a leading producer and supplier of specialty hydrocolloids – a family of materials designed to control the rheology (flow behavior) of water in various systems.  

 

The products manufactured by CP Kelco include: carrageenan, cellulose gum, diutan gum, gellan gum, locust bean gum, microparticulated whey protein concentrate, pectin, welan gum, xanthan gum, and other novel biopolymers. These products can be found in applications spanning across the food, pharmaceutical, oral care, personal care, household and consumer product, paper coating and oil field drilling industries. Every day, you are using a product that contains hydrocolloids. They have more than 3,500 customers in over 100 countries worldwide. That’s big!  

Continue reading “My Life as a [Molecular] Blog” »



Tom Hanks with Sophie Gayot after the reading of The Comedy of Errors

Tom Hanks with Sophie Gayot after the reading of The Comedy of Errors

By Sophie Gayot

Last night, as I was leaving the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, I was trampled by a mass of frantic fans hoping for an autograph and a picture. The group was not looking for me, but rather Tom Hanks who was stepping out of the theatre to address the mob. I tried to get through the high-energy crowd by telling them, “Let me out”; their attention was ONLY focused on Hanks. But what were we all doing there?

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson had organized a “reading” of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” with a star-studded cast to benefit The Shakespeare Festival in Los Angeles. The proceeds from the event went to support operational costs of youth and education programming, as well as professional theatrical performances.

The performance was unique in that the actors read their lines from the script—an interesting outcome of their busy schedule!

 

 

  Continue reading “Tom Hanks brings Shakespeare to Life!” »



18

May

The chefs who donated their time for the 2009 Flavors of Los Angeles Culinary Gala with Sophie Gayot
The chefs who donated their time for the 2009 Flavors of Los Angeles Culinary Gala with Sophie Gayot, holding roses from Cherry Blossom 

By Sophie Gayot

 

Last night, the Greater Los Angeles Division of the American Liver Foundation held its third annual Flavors of Los Angeles culinary gala, where I was acting as honorary chair, also for the third time. The event took place at City National Bank Plaza in downtown Los Angeles and began with a cocktail reception and a silent auction. Afterwards, eight Los Angeles chefs prepared a five-course feast with wine pairings for their personal tables of ten guests. I had the pleasure of mingling and interviewing each of them as they were cooking right in front of the patrons. Each table had a different meal, and I can assure you that they were all good.

 

On behalf of the American Liver Foundation, I would like to thank the chefs who donated their time and talent to support an evening which benefits so many in Los Angeles (listed in alphabetical order): Andy Cook, The London West Hollywood; Celestino Drago, Drago Centro; Katie Hagan-Whelchel, Beso; Calvin Holladay, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Kevin Meehan, Cafe Pinot; Gabriel Morales, Provecho; John Rivera Sedlar, Rivera; Shigefumi Tachibe, Chaya Downtown.

Continue reading “An Elegant Dinner for a Cause” »



15

May

Master chef Nobu Matsuhisa; Richie Notar, Managing Partner of Nobu with Sophie Gayot

Master chef Nobu Matsuhisa; Richie Notar, Managing Partner of Nobu with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Looks like there have been a few restaurant anniversaries around town lately (Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, Michael’s, BLT Steak). Last night it was Nobu Los Angeles‘s first year celebration.

 

Master chef Nobu Matsuhisa himself was there cooking a special dinner, paired with saké from the Hokusetsu brewery. Sitting down in the restaurant, I could not help thinking of the days of L’Orangerie. Nobu’s smile and precise cuisine brought me back to today’s reality of this prestigious address on La Cienega. Out of the beautiful eight-course meal, the Wagyu beef was the winner. It had been roasted in the oven, and seasoned with a truffle teriyaki sauce.

 

Happy Birthday Nobu!

Nobu on Urbanspoon



Jenson Button

Jenson Button

By Alain Gayot

 

I have been a fan of Formula One racing for as long as I can remember. Sunday afternoons watching these soldiers fight it out on the racetrack felt a lot like what my ancestors would have felt, watching gladiators in the  Arenes de Nimes   –  which by the way is the place where we got the  word Denim  from. The Levi brothers used  the durable  Toile de Nimes to manufacture solid outerwear for the 49ers;  no, not the football team. The drivers lost their lives in horrendous and fiery crashes. Due to improved technology, not only are the cars faster today but, thankfully, no one dies anymore. Although the drivers are still the critical part of the operation, software in its many shapes and applications is what wins races. How is it possible that in the 2009 championship the usual suspects (Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes, BMW and Renault) are quasi scoreless after five races? And the British sensation of the last two seasons, Lewis Hamilton, is left in the brake dust of Brawn-Mercedes, RBR-Renault and Toyota.

Continue reading “The Curious Case of Jenson Button” »



13

May

Chefs Laurent Tourondel, Brian Moyers, Christophe Bellanca with Sophie Gayot

Chefs Laurent Tourondel, Brian Moyers, Christophe Bellanca with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Last night, to celebrate the first anniversary of his Los Angeles restaurant BLT Steak, chef Laurent Tourondel made the trip from the East Coast. During the occasion, he and his corporate chef, Christophe Bellanca, formerly at L’Orangerie and Le Cirque, introduced the new chef de cuisine, Brian Moyers, who just moved into the kitchen from The Blvd at the Beverly Wilshire, and the sommelier Jared Heber.

The trio cooked together in the kitchen and served us squash blossom stuffed with burrata, pistou and roast tomato pomodoro; hamachi with marinated white asparagus, avocado and pickled red onions; olive oil-poached halibut in artichoke barigoule, fennel and spring onion in a blood orange sauce; dry-aged NY strip on a bed of beef short ribs accompanied with ricotta gnudi, a morel fricassée and fava beans; and ending with strawberry rhubarb crumble pie with lemon thyme ice cream. Hollywood celebrities Sharon Stone and Victoria Recano were seen here that evening.

Note: In honor of the Lakers’ continued success in the NBA playoffs, BLT Steak’s bar is offering chef Tourondel’s signature BLT Burger—a first in LA (the offer is for a limited time only, while LA is in the playoffs). The “Kobe” burger ($17) or the “Jackson” burger ($14) can be accompanied by fries and a brew for $11 more. A flat screen captures the game action.

BLT Steak on Urbanspoon



Daniel Boulud serving food in the basement of Bar Boulud at an after party

Daniel Boulud serving food in the basement of Bar Boulud at an after party

By David Farley 

The 2009 James Beard Foundation awards came and went rather quietly this year. There was less food at the post-show reception in the Lincoln Center lobby and the celebration was more subdued than years past, but that doesn’t mean the kitchen stars didn’t come out for the event.

 

We were there all night (plus at after parties at Bar Boulud and the Pegu Club) and rubbed elbows with the culinary all stars, including Tom Colicchio, Alain Ducasse, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, David Chang, Missy Robbins, Grant Achatz, and Daniel Boulud.

 

The big winners included David Chang’s Momofuku Ko for best new restaurant, Daniel for most outstanding service, Dan Barber (of Blue Hill) for most outstanding chef and Jean-Georges for most outstanding restaurant. 

 

See our list of complete winners. 



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