Never mind the Zagat guide. In the town that invented "doing lunch," gourmands can spot a hot restaurant simply by looking at the front door. No, Angelenos don't have more discriminating palates than other foodies--more of them line up for Pink's Famous Chili Dogs on La Brea than wait for a table at Patina.
Over the past 30 years, Alice Waters, creator and proprietor of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., has revolutionized the way Americans think about food. In an attempt to recreate the memorable dining experiences she had as a college student in France, the New Jersey-born Waters hit upon a simple formula: eat organically grown produce that's in season, and meats and fish that haven't been shot full of hormones and preservatives.
You can drive just outside Paris and lay down some serious francs to visit Sleeping Beauty's ersatz Euro Disney castle. Or you can drive for a little over an hour northeast of Paris and pay about the same money to spend the night in an honest-to-goodness, 300-year-old chateau formerly visited by Louis XIV and Napoleon.
So you think you know wine? Let's see if you can tell apart these two wines, which both went on sale in October. One is a $135 bottle of 1997 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, an ultralimited bottling of just 120 cases from PlumpJack Winery, part of a luxury lifestyle conglomerate (wines, restaurants and posh resorts) whose owners include the fabulously wealthy art collector Gordon Getty.