Sneak Peek at the New Spago

Waldo Fernandez - Sophie Gayot - Wolfgang Puck
Interior designer Waldo Fernandez & master-chef Wolfgang Puck with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot


After an extensive renovation, Wolfgang Puck‘s flagship restaurant Spago in Beverly Hills will reopen tonight. I drove by and based on what I saw from the outside, I expect many changes inside.


As I am headed there tonight for dinner, come back in a few hours to see exclusive photos of the new interior of this iconic Beverly Hills restaurant.


UPDATE 9/21/12: Yesterday I wrote that I was heading for dinner at Spago Beverly Hills which has been closed for renovations for three months. I declared that I would post pictures of the new décor a few hours after I dined. But as it is not completely finished, I was asked not to put any photos online. The ones I have will have to stay on my computer. Hopefully, I will go back when the renovations are complete.

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Spago Closed, but Only Temporarily

Spago Beverly Hills
Spago Beverly Hills under (re?)-construction – Copyright © GAYOT.com

by Sophie Gayot

UPDATE 9/17/12: Only a few more days of patience for the fans of Spago before the restaurant reopens!

Even if you are an A-list celebrity or know one of the owners, über-chef Wolfgang Puck or designer Barbara Lazaroff, there is no way you will get a table at Spago in Beverly Hills tonight… or even for the next few weeks. Just look at this photo. The restaurant had announced that they were undergoing a renovation, but it looks like we are going to get a totally new Spago.


For those who are familiar with the space, they will be happy to learn that the olive trees adorning the patio have been saved by Lazaroff and will be replanted soon. Smaller ones will also be added. The bar and the open kitchen will remain, while the private room will be enlarged. How the rest of the restaurant will turn out is a total mystery. You will have to wait until mid-September to see how Spago has been transformed.

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The Los Angeles Winners from the GAYOT 2012 Restaurant Issue

Patita, a pig trotter stew made with homemade chorizo, potatoes and cherry tomatoes at Picca restaurant
Patita, a pig trotter stew made with homemade chorizo, potatoes and cherry tomatoes at Picca restaurant, the LA winner of Top 10 Insider Picks in the U.S. list

by Sophie Gayot


If you missed Frank Mottek’s Business Hour radio show, which aired locally in LA on KNX1070 AM last Friday, April 6, here is another chance to listen to it. On the program, Mottek interviewed me about the Los Angeles restaurants which made the lists featured in the GAYOT 2012 Restaurant Issue.


The issue, which covers the US, includes lists in the following categories:
Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. – a tribute to the finest dining destinations in America

Top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S. – great places that opened recently
Top 10 Steakhouses in the U.S. – which chefs serve the best steak?
5 Rising Chefs – American chefs 30 and under who are making their mark
Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in the U.S. – appearing in the Restaurant Issue for the very first time
Top 10 Insider Picks in the U.S. – reveals where to dine for a taste of local flavor, good food and good times
and the U.S. Best Restaurateur of the Year.

Another Restaurant by Wolfgang Puck

Chef Wolfgang Puck with Sophie Gayot
Chef Wolfgang Puck with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot


The picture behind über-chef Wolfgang Puck and me adorns the wall of one of Puck’s many kitchens in Los Angeles. The question is a good one: “What would Wolfgang do?” I think by now the celebrity chef who has catered the Governor’s Ball after the Academy Awards for the past eighteen years really knows what he is doing.


Look at the success of his vast restaurant empire. The latest baby in the basket is simply called Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air. After the massive two-year renovation of the legendary hotel, there was no room for mistakes. Read the just-published review of the restaurant to see that none were made.


See inside the restaurant and dishes in our Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air photo gallery.

(Photo by Joseph Switzer)

Hotel Bel-Air Reopens With Great Luxury

The swimming pool of the Presidential Suite
The swimming pool of the Presidential Suite

by Sophie Gayot


The pool pictured in the photo to the left of this text is at the just-reopened Hotel Bel-Air, but most guests won’t be allowed to use it. It is to be used exclusively by those high-rollers staying in the brand-new 6,775 square-foot Presidential suite. Just imagine the luxury: one bedroom, one bathroom (although adjoining rooms may be connected for a maximum of five bedrooms and five bathrooms), indoor and outdoor living spaces, a private dining room for ten, chef’s kitchen, study, great room with a grand piano, and that magnificent pool, all for $15,000 or so per night.


If that one-of-a-kind space is too big for you, choose from the other 58 rooms and 45 suites the historic hotel now has to offer. Twelve of them are completely new, in new buildings constructed into the hillside; make sure to ask how to get there before heading there. This is the result of two years of renovations, remodeling, and refurbishing, and somewhere under $100 million dollars invested by the Dorchester Collection to make the Hotel Bel-Air more grand and splendid than it ever was since its 1946 opening. When you own a legend, you are obliged to maintain its status.

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