One-Million-Years-Old and Ultra-Fresh

The town of Yountville, California may be small, but it has a large culinary legacy. The French Laundry, a perennial Top 40 Restaurant helmed by Thomas Keller, started it, and chef Michael Chiarello carries it on at Bottega. The cuisine of this Napa Valley restaurant reflects the chef’s Italian heritage. Watch my exclusive video interview with Chiarello to learn more about him, his restaurant, his wines, Chiarello Family Vineyards, and his retail store Napa Style.

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Chotto: Traditional Japanese Izakaya in San Francisco

Bigeye tuna with avocado and spicy sweet sauce from Chotto restaurant
Bigeye tuna with avocado and spicy sweet sauce from Chotto restaurant

by Tiffany Apczynski

Born in Madrid, Spain, Armando Justo has a culinary background deeply entrenched in European cuisine. So, the fact that the young chef is helming a traditional Japanese izakaya is, well, unexpected. But Justo, who cut his teeth while serving as sous-chef at Ozumo and Yoshi’s in San Francisco, boldly struck out on his own recently with Chotto, a Japanese izakaya located in the city’s Marina neighborhood. The decision so far seems to be a very good one.

What’s most impressive about Justo’s menu is its accessibility. Whether you eat Japanese food three to four times a week or a year, Chotto’s menu will keep experienced palates excited and curious, and less experienced palates open to new dishes and flavor profiles. Meanwhile, its warm, welcoming atmosphere makes it a great neighborhood restaurant to drop in for a drink and simply a few nibbles.

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Cooking With A Top Chef

by Sophie Gayot

Remember that dining scene in the movie “The Italian Job?” It was shot at the famous seafood restaurant Water Grill located in downtown Los Angeles. I recently dined there to review the cuisine of newly appointed chef Amanda Baumgarten as she follows in the footsteps of chefs Matt Stein, Allyson Thurber, Michael Cimarusti (now at Providence), and David LeFevre (now at M.B. Post), who have been part of the 20-year history of the restaurant. You can read my review in our Restaurant section.

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Bellagio Continues Epicurean Epicenter Series with BBQ & Beer Event

Tasty dessert at the Bellagio Epicurean Epicenter's BBQ & Beer event
Tasty dessert at the Bellagio Epicurean Epicenter's BBQ & Beer event

by Bob Barnes

The Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas continued its Epicurean Epicenter Event series with a celebration of beer and barbecue. The sold-out event began with a reception where we were served a Bellagio Fountains Shandy. This creation by Assistant Beverage Director and Master Mixologist Matt Myers is a mix of Stella Artois and Bombay Sapphire gin, which he related is a play on a Canadian cocktail.
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405 Freeway Closure at Mulholland Bridge

Carmageddon Did Not Happen

by Sophie Gayot

Today my favorite pilot, my brother Alain, flew me over the closed 405 freeway to see the progress on the demolition of the Mulholland Bridge. Over the past few days, this Los Angeles event has become nationwide news.

I have to say it was very impressive to see the 405 empty of regular traffic. I hope that the drivers of the few cars and trucks that were circulating on it enjoyed their ride, and must feel privileged — and they should. Watch my video to get some great views of the almost demolished bridge.

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