This Week’s L.A. Happenings: Chi Lin & Altitude Pool at SLS Opens, New Burgers At LA Market

NOW OPEN: Chi Lin For The Sexy-Rocker Types
Get your chopstick etiquette in check because Chi Lin is now officially open on Sunset. Brought to you by Innovative Dining Group (the folks behind Boa and Sushi Roku), Chi Lin is a sexy, intimate new dining spot dishing out creative Hong Kong cuisine like Pin Pei Chicken served with hand-made porbien crepes and Leaves of Wild Yam in Lemon Zest, a superfood dark green leaves of wild yam. Insane. Expect lanterns, mirrored ceilings, sleek booths, and a whole lot of neck-craning. Oh, and good Chinese food, of course. 

Chi Lin (9201 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood) is now open. To make a reservation, visit the listing at BlackBook Guides. 
NOW OPEN: ALTITUDE Pool Deck at SLS Beverly Hills
All abs on deck! The rooftop pool at SLS Hotel At Beverly Hills is officially open to guests and locals. Grab a bite from the menu created by Jose Andres, book a cabana, and get all sorts of wet at their new weekend rooftop parties. 
ALTITUDE at SLS Hotel is open to the public during the weekdays between 11 am and 3 pm. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by visiting the hotel’s listing at BlackBook Guides. 
TUESDAY: Animal Cracker & Iron Chef Burgers at LA Market Restaurant
In celebration of National Burger Month, celebrity chef Kerry Simon is serving up some creative burgers at LA Market Restaurant to flaunt his street cred. Until May 31st, guests can get a mouthful of his Chocolate Double Animal (Cracker)-Style Burger or reunite with the Iron Chef Burger, which appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America. 
Both burgers are available at LA Market Restaurant by Kerry Simon until the end of the month. For more information on the restaurant, visit the listing at BlackBook Guides. 
Know every inch of this city by visiting BlackBook’s L.A. City Guides

SLS Hotel South Beach Adds Megawatts to The Strip

With the lights and the cameras and the thousand-strong throng, one might’ve gotten the impression that there was a riot goin’ on in South Beach last night. With the ubiquitous velvet ropes and de rigueur red carpet though, the impression would’ve instead led one to believe it might’ve been more of a star-studded grand opening. Well, there was indeed a bit of a riot goin’ on, and yes, it came occasioned by a star-studded grand opening. Thing is, for many a with-it Miamian, the grand opening was more an opportunity to pay tribute to a hotspot they’d already been hitting for months. Yep, you guessed it, we’re talkin’ about the official unveiling of SLS Hotel South Beach, and the exquisite inn’s attendant bacchanal.

Stunningly transformed by Philippe Starck on the site of the landmark Ritz Plaza, this is the place where top shelf chef José Andrés has brought about The Bazaar, where Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi has teamed for Katsuya by Starck, and where the penthouses have been designed by none other than Lenny Kravitz (pictured, at left). The inn’s also sibling to SBE’s equally shimmering SLS Beverly Hills, and as such it attracted the crème de la crème of the bi-coastal set.

Among the maddening crowds were of course the aforementioned Starck, Kravitz, and Andres, in addition to Sam Nazarian, CEO of the hotel’s parent SBE. Also on hand was Rumer Willis (and her merry “band of hooligans”), who may have come to play but whose pairing of combat boots with a white silky dress was what most impressed The Daily Mail. Not being red carpet types we didn’t catch any sport stars (but in a sporting town such as this we’re sure they were well represented), and we didn’t spot any other bold-faced names either (but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there too). Then again, with a glittering throng such as this one, playing spot the celeb just doesn’t do.

What does do is Hyde Beach, the singlemost swingin’ new joint to open on the Strip in some time — or at least since FDR was unveiled across the street at The Delano last November. To some degree it actually seems to be FDR which Hyde is slowly supplanting. Whether that’s by accident or with intent is anybody’s guess. For months now the smart set has been hopping back and forth between the two, so we’re thinkin’ there’s still room for both. But Hyde also happens to be the joint that teamed with the World Champion Miami Heat with Hyde at American Airlines Arena, just like LIV did with the Dolphins, and that gives the name an even more rarefied air. Come to think of it, rarefied is kinda just the perfect word to sum up the wow of SLS South Beach itself.

[Related: A Spirited Rundown of Dining and Drinking Spots at the New SLS South Beach]

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Ben Foster Takes Aim at Hollywood

Just about everything in the SLS Beverly Hills suite where I meet Ben Foster is a little off-kilter—the fully stocked beverage cart in the entrance hall, the towels strewn on a chair in the corner, the ruffled sheets and vertically standing pillows against the headboard. Even the publicist tapping away on her phone on the edge of a California King seems a tad disheveled, thanks to another epic press day during an awards season chock-full of them. Only Foster, who is tucked into the corner of the room, glugging a Corona and picking away the filter of an American Spirit almost to its tobacco quick, seems put together amidst this mess.

His blonde hair has been swept back into a Rockabilly-style pompadour, and his clean-pressed denim shirt is rolled down to cover (most of) his tats, real proper-like. Still, he has an edge to his eyes and a gravel to his voice that makes me feel like he could kick the shit out of just about anyone who tangles with him—kind of like his show-stealing performance as the insane yet lovable big-bro, Jake Mazursky, in 2006’s Alpha Dog. It was a role that led to a slew of parts, as violent, wild-eyed time bombs—from a Wild West psychopath in 3:10 to Yuma, to an unstoppable assassin in The Mechanic. “I’m a nice guy, I’m nice person,” the 31-year-old actor mockingly croons, before the gravel returns. “I’m a gun for hire. I’m sure a doctor could analyze why I get these roles and give an educated assessment. But I enjoy character work.”

Foster’s currently promoting two films, both vastly different—the widely-advertised Mark Wahlberg caper vehicle Contraband, and a fiery cop drama which Foster also produced called Rampart. It stars Woody Harrelson as a corrupt L.A.P.D. sergeant in the late ‘90s, who plays by his own self-destructive rules to get the job done. The film reunites Harrelson and Foster with director Oren Moverman, who in 2009, directed the actors in the critically-acclaimed, Oscar-nominated war drama The Messenger. “If this were a modern Western, you could say Woody’s character is the last of the old sheriffs in town,” Foster explains. “Times are changing and he refuses to change. So he’s going to be run out.”

For Foster, one project tied directly into the next. Rather then returning home to a busted relationship and a New York garage he called an apartment, he followed Moverman back to LA after ushering The Messenger through the Berlin Film Festival. “I didn’t really have much to go back to,” Foster explains,  while taking another drag of his smoke. He got an apartment off Craigslist, started a production company, and began gathering material, determined to pop his producing cherry. When Harrelson signed on to Rampart, wooed by a hard-hittingscript Moverman altered from one originally written by James Ellroy, the movie was suddenly greenlit. It was all very new to Foster, who seems to be idling somewhere between character and leading man these days. He was cast as John Gotti, Jr. in the much talked about Gotti biopic (you know, the one that Lindsay Lohan was, then wasn’t, then was starring in), and gained a ton of weight for the role, only to be forced tp lose it when the project was put on hold. He was up for the role of John McClain’s son in the next chapter of the Die Hard franchise, though the coveted part has yet to be cast. What’s most frustrating, it seems, is that Foster is one of the more capable prospective leading men in the game, a guy who fits into the movies where things blow up, and who is believable in the movies where everyone makes very human mistakes and kicks themselves hard for doing so.

“Pornography,” Foster jokes, when I ask him what he’s been up to lately, “in clown masks.” In truth, he’s been roaming from place to place, opportunity to opportunity. Sometimes, he’s hiding in a trailer in the woods of Northern California, trying to keep his sanity. Sometimes he plays the hero, like in X-Men: The Last Stand, as Angel. Other times, he plays the maniac, like in 3:10 to Yuma. Sometimes, like today, he’s not playing at all, just waiting endlessly in hotel suites on press days, moving everything slightly off-kilter in the room, because that’s how he likes it. The role Foster was born for is out there. Until then, he’ll be waiting, loaded and ready.

Boutique Hotels Focus on the Business Traveler

When Starwood launched the W Hotel group in 1998 in New York City, it tipped off a trend in business travel that fundamentally changed the industry. No longer would we be content with soulless beige rooms, bland breakfast buffets, and generic hotel art. If we’re going to spend weeks of our lives on the road, we want to stay somewhere that feels like home — or preferably, better than home. Now that W is the corporate behemoth, smaller groups and individual properties have emerged to take up the mantle of the best boutique hotels for business travelers. Here are a few exceptional examples around the world.

The Upper House opened just two years ago, and it quickly became the hottest ticket in Hong Kong, which is quite an accomplishment for such a crowded local hotel market. The design throughout the building (and in Chef Gray Kunz’ restaurant, Café Gray Deluxe) seamlessly integrates minimalist Asian architecture with modern touches like iPad check-in and iPod Touch in-room information, making this bright aerie perched on the top floors of the JW Marriott building a calming retreat from the city. The large studio-style rooms start at 730 square feet and go up to the 1,960 square feet penthouse, making the Upper House particularly comfortable for long-term stays.

Travelers doing business in New York may have to stay in midtown, but they no longer have to elbow past tourists crowding Times Square. Since the opening of the Chatwal, the Stanford White-designed building has been packed with guests, celebrities, and locals there to enjoy Geoffrey Zakarian’s Lambs Club restaurant and the Lambs Club bar, recalling the elegance of the 1930s-era theatre crowd who once made the bar famous. With just 83 rooms and two suites (the Barrymore and the Stanford White) the atmosphere is intimate and plush, and conveniently located to the heart of the city.

Even in cities not traditionally known for their cutting-edge style, the boutique hotel trend is making inroads. Las Alcobas in Mexico City is designed by Yabu Pushelberg, the New York-based design duo responsible for numerous boutiques, residences, and hotels like the W Times Square and the St. Regis in San Francisco, the intimate 35-room property is located in Polanco, one of the city’s major business districts, and offers business-friendly amenities like their “Second Home Service,” which provides repeat guests with a personal wardrobe to store their own belongings, and includes cleaning, pressing, laundering, garment repair, and restocking of favorite toiletries.

While the Chateau Marmont is arguably the original boutique hotel on the left coast, the SLS Beverly Hills is making a bid for dominance in the modern era, with its riot of Philippe Starck design touches, Jose Andres restaurant (The Bazaar, warmly welcomed to Los Angeles in its own right) and prime location near the Beverly Center, all kinds of recreation, and numerous corporate headquarters. The 24-hour business center is fully equipped with 24-hour support, office supplies and machinery, plus loaner Macbooks free of charge.

Seventy beautifully appointed rooms in the heart of the City are a surprisingly warm escape for those on business in London. Housed in a converted Victorian banking hall built in 1856, the beautiful period features of the Threadneedles Hotel are complemented by modern amenities like Frette sheets, iPod docking stations, and personalized business cards for use during your stay. Meeting rooms and private dining rooms are also available to guests — and what better way to follow up a full day’s work than a toast in the Champagne Lounge, under the building’s glass-domed ceiling.

Three New LA Hotels Are Open for Business

Fall has arrived and winter is imminent. You’re busy planning your escape, possibly to Los Angeles, so lucky for you there are several new hotels in L.A. just waiting to take your reservation. The most anticipated arrival is surely the renovated Hotel Bel-Air. The storied property, known for its high-profile guests, extravagant weddings, and perhaps America’s best bartender over the age of 60 (here’s hoping Gus will be back), is almost ready for its close-up after nearly two years of reconstruction.

The Bel-Air is set to re-open October 14th, and guests can expect several new touches, such as a 12,000 square-foot building featuring a new fitness studio, three unique “Loft Guestrooms” (one of which is pictured) with open floor plans and double-sided fireplaces. Of course, the Bel-Air does not come cheap: the new lofted rooms go for around $1500 a night. But there are few other hotels in the area as iconic as the Bel-Air, so there’s that.

More reasonably priced and equally interesting is the new Hotel Wilshire. Not to be confused with the nearby Wilshire Hotel, this just-opened 74-room boutique property is managed by the same team behind the Élan hotel near the Beverly Center. Similar to the Elan, The Hotel Wilshire aims to capture business and leisure travelers who want luxury on the cheap. Well, relatively cheap, anyway, compared to other hotels in the area like the SLS. Rooms start from $189 per night, and the best part of this property is the stellar roof deck, which can be enjoyed even if you’re not staying here.

Condé Nast employees and others who work in the area have been doing just that this month, as they sneak away to the 6th floor find to have lunch poolside at Chef Eric Greenspan’s The Roof on Wilshire, or plot secret post-work cocktail escapes as the sun sets over the deck.

Finally, for those looking for a midway point between a $1500 a night room and a $189 a night temporary home, there’s Mr. C. The anticipated property is up and running now after a summer launch, and travelers from New York especially seem to be enjoying the 137-room hotel.

And while the restaurant on site, simply called Mr. C, has so far failed to elicit the same kind of reviews and clientele as Cipriani in New York consistently does, the hotel seems to be faring a bit better. Best of all is the 12th floor outdoor event space, which boasts 360-degree panoramic city views and is accessed via a private exterior glass elevator. Read more on Mr. C here.

Industry Insider: Autumn Accarrino, Season’s Greetings

Justin Timberlake dropping by for brunch. Khloe Kardashian sipping afternoon tea. Each day brings a new adventure for Autumn Accarrino, the food and beverage manager at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.

Accarrino’s morning starts at six when her East Coast guests begin to fill Trés, the three-meal restaurant she oversees. At nine, she makes her way to Altitude, the sixth-floor rooftop pool deck, to organize cabana rentals. The rest of the day is spent shuttling between Trés for lunch and their decidedly unstuffy afternoon tea (which comes with chocolate Pop Rocks and PB&J sandwiches), and the buzzy afternoon pool scene, before a celeb-seeded cocktail hour ushers in another fabulous LA night. “When you work at a hotel it feels like you have houseguests, and you end up getting to know all about them,” she says. “When they show up again a few months later, it feels like seeing old friends.” But doesn’t dealing with so many personalities come with its challenges? “Luxury hotels bring demanding guests,” she says. “Enough said.”

Hollywood’s Newest SBE Hang Cleo Debuts

Over the weekend, SBE officially opened Cleo to the public, and the restaurant marks the addition of another star in Hollywood’s new nightlife galaxy (with Hollywood and Vine as its nexus). Unlike the nightlife and hospitality giant’s nearby club The Colony, Cleo at the newly-opened Redbury hotel on Vine Street, Cleo offers a more sophisticated evening experience based on fine dining and specialty cocktails, instead of bottle service and DJ-curated beats. The restaurant is most certainly going to become a late night destination for L.A. thirtysomethings this fall. The moody 4000-square-foot space feels like a cross between SBE’s now closed S Bar, and their Barcelona-hip Bazaar at the SLS Hotel.

Think multiple lamps (some are upside-down floor lamps) hanging from a loft-like ceiling with exposed air ducts, and a long, refined redwood bar with views of the dining area and open kitchen. The stellar design was overseen in part by famed music video director Matthew Rolston, and none of it feels overdone. Restraint is deftly employed at Cleo, and the overall effect is that of a casual eatery with serious-yet-sensual late night potential. Although no DJs play at Cleo (the emphasis is on Executive Chef Daniel Elmaleh’s Southern European-inspired fare), the right music is pumped into the space nightly, charging Cleo with a New York-feel desperately needed in Hollywood.

Friday night, I heard everything from Boys Noize’s remix of Feist’s “My Moon My Man” remix to Calvin Harris’ “I’m Not Alone” softly pump through Cleo’s speakers, as diners swooned over oysters and spicy sausages served up Greek-style. Cocktails will equally be a draw at the destination, especially concoctions such as Cleo’s “Aspasia” (featuring Stoli’s Apple vodka, Cointreau, passion fruit puree and fresh lime juice). To be sure, the scene at Cleo and the Redbury is still developing. Servers seem a bit overeager (leave the chatting to the customers, people) and it’s a restaurant, not a nightclub, first and foremost, although it treads the line closely. Still, the Redbury is a guaranteed winner for the expense account set, looking to escape younger crowds on weekends.

Sebastian Celebrates 25 Years of Good Hair

I’m sitting in an incredibly slick room at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, anticipating a very busy day of lunches, salon tours, and later, a massive party celebrating 25 years of Sebastian Professional. The location for the anniversary shin-dig is the Paramount Studios Backlot, which leads me to believe that this party, with live music from the Sounds, DJ Z-Trip, and our gracious host, Brooklyn-based jewelry designer Pamela Love (pictured), who designed the Re-Shaper hairspray limited edition bottle, will be like no other I’ve attended.

I can remember my first Sebastian purchase when I was in elementary school (I promise it was far less than 25 years ago, but still awhile back). Courtney Cox, during peak Friends years, said in Seventeen magazine that she used Sebastian Laminates to get her hair glassy and smooth. I searched my local town for these ‘Laminates’ until I finally found them in a salon outside the town limits several months later. It’s safe to say I started off as a product junkie at an early age. Sebastian’s products raised the bar, introducing a new generation to a world where hair existed outside of the economy-sized aisles of your local Wal-Mart. Which is why it’s cool to see a brand, who is constantly Madonna-ing itself to stay on the cutting edge, celebrate 25 years with a repackaging initiative, and a blowout (with lots of blow outs) anniversary party tonight.

But first, it’s lunch with Love—Pamela Love—at Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood to chat with the jewelry designer and Sebastian Muse about her involvement with the brand and the special-edition bottle she designed for the 25th anniversary, available in August.


BlackBook Staff Picks: Dining, Drinking, Shopping, & Staying

Here at BlackBook, we pay a lot of attention to where cool customers go out — bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, hotels, you name it. So why not flip the frame and let you see where we go out? Here’s a periodically updated, exhaustive list of hotspots currently favored by everyone at BlackBook, from the mighty bosses down to the humble interns, from the charming local lounges around the corner to the jet-setting temples of luxe living. ● Creative Director – Jason Daniels, The Odeon (NYC) -American Psychos down salmon and steak frites, but the real scene’s on the sidewalk. ● Vice President, Content – Chris Mohney, Agua Dulce (NYC) – Festive outpost feels like Miami, F-L-A.

EDITORIAL ● Senior Editor – Nick Haramis, Motor City Bar (NYC) – Front like you remember how to drive and these 8 Milers might let you hang. ● Features Editor – Willa Paskin, Mayahuel (NYC) – Tequila temple where patrons pay homage to the goddess of agave. ● Writer-at-Large – Alison Powell, Peppermill (Las Vegas) – Vegas institution pushes diner food in front and romantic cocktails in the back. ● Nightlife Correspondent – Steve Lewis, Serpentine (NYC) – Patrick Duffy’s legendary scene uncoils in west Chelsea. ● Assistant Editors – Ben Barna, Jupiter Room (Montreal) – Drink your face off for cheap and dance ’til it aches. Cayte Grieve, Blackstones (NYC) – Foster Ethan Kamer, Joseph Leonard (NYC) – Elegantly distressed Village charmer serving up three solid meals a day. Eiseley Tauginas, Barrow Street Ale House (NYC) – College sports fans and West Village regulars cram into cozy confines. ● Copy Editor – Michèle Filon, Back Forty (NYC) – Manure-free urban farm sates virtuous, albeit rare, healthy food cravings. ● Editorial Interns – Molly Gunn, PDT (NYC) – Somebody told, but still a nice sophisto surprise behind the grunge of Crif. Megan LaBruna, Mercury Lounge (NYC) – Catch a future indie rock god at this rite of musical passage. Toren Curtis, The Vagabond (Miami) – Great indie scene. Even better music. Ashley Simpson, SPiN New York (NYC) – Marginally-more-athletic alternative to beer pong gets its own private club. Averie Timm, Downtown Cipriani (NYC) – Über-scene congregation of A-list supermodels, art stars, and financiers. Food, too. If you care. Annie Werner, Antone’s (Austin) – This revered blues club’s namesake did more for black-white relations than the Oreo cookie. Hillary Weston, The Four-Faced Liar (NYC) – Greenwich Village-proper pub is something out of Middle Earth, or Docklands. Either way: the real deal.

ART ● Art Director – Amy Steinhauser, Mizu Sushi (NYC) – Popular lunch spot for Flatiron media types needing to bitch. ● Assistant Designer – Serra Semi, Momofuku Ssäm Bar (NYC) – Chef-of-the-minute David Chang fancies up Korean burritos and gets avant-garde after 6pm. ● Photography Assistant – Stephanie Swanicke, Canal Room (NYC) – Jersey hordes in the house, but discreet famous faces still rock all night. ● Freelance Designer – Krista Quick, t.b.d (NYC) – Sleek and chic lounge in the heart of Greenpoint.

FASHION & BEAUTY ● Market Editor – Bryan Levandowski, Shang (NYC) – Toronto-bred Susur Lee takes on nouveau Asian small plates at the Thompson LES. ● Fashion Assistant – Wilson Mathews III, Dylan’s Candy Bar (NYC) – King-sized candy shop hypnotizing children and torturing adult waistlines in the UES.

BLACKBOOK MEDIA CORP ● Chairman – Bob Hoff, Voyeur (LA) – The inspiration is Eyes Wide Shut…so yes, there’s lots of leather. ● CEO – Ari Horowitz, Nikki Beach (St. Barts) – An escape into paradise in the middle of, well, paradise. ● Associate Publisher – Brett Wagner, Barrio Chino (NYC) – Chino Latino tequila bar serving up 50 kinds of that devil stuff. ● Director of Finance and Operations – Joe Friedman, Brooklyn Bowl (NYC) – Rock and bowl will never die. ● Corporate Counsel – Drew Patrick, Tournesol (NYC) – Coq au vin and crème brûlée? Oui! Oui! ● Executive Assistant – Bridgette Bek, Tu Lan (San Francisco) – Word-of-mouth dingy treasure serving good, cheap Vietnamese food in a downright crappy location.

ADVERTISING – ● Senior Account Executive – Dina Matar, Ilili (NYC) – Upscale Lebanese moves miles beyond falafel. ● Account Executive – Brian Kantor, Lillie’s (NYC) – Victorian pub with just enough antiquery to make you feel grand. ● Executive Director, BlackBook Access – Gregg Berger, Indochine (NYC) – French-colonial greets uptown-cum-downtown diners. ● Advertising Director – Michelle Koruda, Shorty’s .32 (NYC) – Josh Eden under-promises and over-delivers at this Soho charmer. ● Detroit Account Executives – Jeff Hannigan, The Lodge (Chicago) -Ye old typical Division Street cheese, but always a shameless good time. Kristen von Bernthal, Hudson Bar at Hudson Hotel (NYC) – Acid-trip décor. Sit on a log and rest your drink on a gnome head. ● Midwest Account Executives – Susan Welter, Hopleaf Bar (Chicago) – Andersonville’s best bar. Belgian beers and food meet in a place that’s too smart to be too cool and vice versa. Andrea Forrester, Coast Sushi (Chicago) – BYOB meets the sea at this high-quality Wicker Park sushi spot. ● Southwest Account Executive – Molly Ballantine, Rustic Canyon (LA) – Leave it to the upper-cresty West-siders to show everyone else up with their moody, fashionable darkwood and cream take on the ubiquitous neighborhood wine bar. ● Northwest Account Executives – Catherine Hurley, Coi (San Francisco) – The apotheosis of both the molecular gastronomy trend and the sustainable food movement: ethereal, futuristic flavors in a serene environment. Shawn O’Meara, Nopalito (San Francisco) – ● Sales Coordinator – Celia Ballou, Pink Pony (NYC) – Pseudo-bohemian bistro that’s better for people watching than, like, eating or whatever.

MARKETING ● Marketing Manager – Julie Fabricant, Bottega Louie (LA) – Proof that Downtown is still gentrifying. ● Partnerships & Promotions Manager – Andrew Berman, K & M (NYC) – Former perogie factor converted to current meat market for the indie-rock set. ● Interns – Cristina Girgis, Barbounia (NYC) – Tony Medi with good bones. Interior is all about the arches. Alexandra Vickers, The Slaughtered Lamb Pub (NYC) – Magical enough to overlook the horror movie gimmick.

DIGITAL ● Director of Development – Daniel Murphy, Max’s On Broadway (Baltimore) – Ahhh, good old Max’s I remember you well…well what I can remember anyway. ● Lead Architect – Matt Hackett, Caracas Arepa Bar (NYC) – Arepas, seventeen ways. Venezuela is for carb lovers. ● Developer – Bastian Kuberek, Greenhouse (NYC) – NYC’s first Green club tries to make bottles and models sustainable. ● Developer – Dan Simon, Hudson Terrace (NYC) – Rooftop pleaser for drunk summer afternoons. ● Designer – Matt Strmiska, Uchi (Austin) – Thoroughly inventive and delectable sushi in vibrant environs, compliments of lauded chef Tyson Cole. ● Developer – Sam Withrow, The Knockout (San Francisco) – The vibe is blessedly lawless,prolifically musical and down right hedonistic. Peep tall cans and a sweaty dance floor. ● Quality Assurance Engineer – Sunde Johnson, Melt (NYC) – Brooklyn brunch spot becoming the standard for neighborhood dining. ●Mobile Developer – Otto Toth, Alloro (NYC) – Cacio e Pepe peeps get creative on the Upper East.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Bob Hoff, Voyeur (LA). Ari Horowitz, Nikki Beach (St. Barts). Eric Gertler, Matsuhisa (Aspen) – World-famous Nobu chef brings incredibly tasty, stylish, pricy sushi to Aspen. Joe Landry, SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills (LA) – Phillipe Starck and Sam Nazarian mind meld to create a papparazzi-inducing modern luxury hotel in (well, near) BH. Irwin Lieber, Fishtail by David Burke (NYC) – Fresh seafood in the UES by celeb chef David Burke. Dan Pelson, Marea (NYC) – Hopes for a high tide abound at Michael White’s temple to Italian seafood. Barry Rubenstein, Bryant & Cooper (Hamptons) – While it may be trying a little too hard for a classic old-time-y vibe, the steaks are nonetheless quite good. Jack Sullivan, The Raleigh Hotel (Miami) – The local equivalent of LA’s Chateau Marmont.