Archive for August, 2008


Victoria Recano, James Lukanik, & Sophie Gayot  At Beso in Los Angeles with Sophie Gayot and Todd English

Dining on the Inside 


Several months ago I joined my very good friend and former general manager of L’Orangerie (sigh), James Lukanik, for dinner at The Boulevard in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel                    (http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/blvd-beverly-hills-ca-90212_2la0506169-04.html  It’s one of my favorite spots for lunch, dinner, snacks, cocktails… you name it! But that night, James introduced me to someone that has changed the way I approach and appreciate a meal.   


A tall blonde with a charming French accent, Sophie Gayot of Gayot.com,  sat down across from me at the table in the window of the lobby restaurant. We hit it off instantly and now I am becoming accustomed to a new way of dining out -as the guest of one of the world’s top food critics. Dinner along-side the woman whose opinion will be known by millions of people around the world, has been an eye-opening experience.  It is amazing to share my passion for food and indulgence of dining out with an expert. Who better to compare notes with!?


See below for a few of our recent dinner destinations and then check out Sophie’s reviews at http://www.gayot.com/


BLT Steak (Los Angeles): Personally, I like the one in New York better but I loved their warm   donuts! They were perfectly coated with a light dusting of cinnamon and sugar Too bad Sophie doesn’t like cinnamon…more for me!!



Juliano’s Raw (Santa Monica): Not my first choice to dine, since there are no meat or milk products on the menu.  There is only so much you can do with nuts and tofu…    Sometimes you just need a good steak!   



Akasha (Culver City): Atmosphere was fun and funky-good place to grab a drink. The Akasha Cocktail was my favorite- a refreshing combination of vodka, cucumber and lime.   The dessert was confusing though.  Why would you match a flourless chocolate nut torte, which was pleasingly rich and crunchy with a soy-based “ice cream“- What’s the point?  You cannot make ice cream without cream.  



Beso (Los Angeles): I had a great time hanging out with head chef and owner, Todd English. The watermelon margaritas are delicious and are a perfectly potent blend of tequila and fresh watermelon juice. The soft-shell crab tacos and the juicy, tender steaks were amazing and then there was the gooey, rich chocolate soufflé that would satisfy any sweet tooth!



Victoria and Sophie Gayot at Le Cirque

Victoria and Sophie Gayot at Le Cirque

Le Cirque (New York City): I talk for a living and even I was speechless during our multi-course dinner! The fois gras ravioli is heaven in your mouth and the pork, lamb, and duck were difficult to choose between. To top it off, Christophe generously sent over every dessert, which easily disappeared even after a seven course feast!  And when my friends showed up late to join us, Christophe kept the kitchen open just a little longer for us to sample some goodies off the bar menu.  We had juicy sliders, crispy shrimp tempura and onion soup smothered in bubbling gruyere.  It was the encore after giving the dinner a standing ovation!   



Keep checking back for an updated list of hot spots we have hit in your area!

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