If anyone has an opinion on where we should be eating, it’s Anthony Bourdain. The TV chef and ubiquitous food personality has circled the globe multiple times for his shows, and he even went on the road for his new YouTube series, The Balvenie's Raw Craft. After a busy Hollywood weekend that included picking up an Emmy for Parts Unknown, followed by media reports of a split with his wife Ottavia Busia, The Feast tracked Bourdain down in L.A. and asked him about some of his favorite places to eat around the city and worldwide. And since the guy also loves a good home-cooked meal, we found out there's one thing no one should ever, ever do if they have him over for dinner.
“If you invite me to your house for dinner and cook with a cheap non-stick pan, I’d probably bludgeon you to death with it," Bourdain has said. "But it would probably break half-way through.” Herewith, some of his favorite places to eat (other than homes equipped with quality cookware), and other bits of food intel Bourdain shared with The Feast:
Favorite City to Eat in?
“If I had to be imprisoned behind one city wall for the rest of my life and only eat that one food, it would be Tokyo.”
Favorite Episode of Parts Unknown?
One of his favorite episodes was shot in Cuba, and it just won him an Emmy. “If I rode around on a pony in a parking lot eating BBQ for every episode, the ratings would be through the roof. But we choose to spend an unnecessary amount of time making beautiful shots and a handcrafted show."
Why the Raw Craft Series for YouTube?
About his new show highlighting craft makers around the globe, Bourdain says: “You do something for the love and craft of the product; surely that’s a noble thing. I wish I could make something as tangible and lasting, but five minutes into assembling something from IKEA, I’m ready to have a nervous breakdown. A lot of cooking is pounding and shaping food into compliance.”
Where is He Heading Next ?
After leaving L.A., Bourdain will jet off to San Sebastian, Spain. “This is not going to be a punishment. So much great food and ingredients and a lot of great places to eat. They are food crazy. Something I’ve noticed over the years is they are very similar to Japan and even Italy," says Bourdain. "There is this notion, particularity in the Basque country, that you take two-three ingredients and do your very best to honor them. They have a true tapas culture. They know how to live and their level of douchery is minimal. It’s awesome.”
Where Has He Been Eating and Drinking in L.A.?
After hitting one of his tried-and-true favorite burger joints, In-n-Out, then going to Night + Market Thai in Silver Lake and to a Mexican restaurant where he appeared to be filming—and giving the finger in his Instagram photo—Bourdain revealed to us what his top L.A.-area restaurants and bars are at the moment. “I hate to name favorites,” he said, but here are some places where you just might bump into him on his next West Coast visit.
Local Latino chef Ray Garcia takes recipes and dishes from his childhood, and his grandmother’s homemade cooking, and turns them into modern Mexican cuisine. Top dishes include chicharrones with elephant garlic, and lamb neck tamales with Oaxacan queso, all served up in a lively downtown location near the Staples Center.
Owned by LaBrea Bakery and Mozza pizzeria queen Nancy Silverton, along with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, this Melrose spot is a chef’s favorite and features giant cutting boards of charcuterie and a not-for-the-faint-of-heart bone marrow pot pie.
Former co-host of The Taste and Bourdain pal Ludo Lefebvre’s restaurant (co-owned with Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal fame) is a tiny and hard-to-book French tasting-menu eatery hidden in a Hollywood strip mall. “Ludo is cooking some of the best food to be found anywhere," says Bourdain.
One of the oldest restaurants in town, this classic Hollywood Boulevard spot's waiters still dress in formal attire. Bourdain loves it as a place “for drinking good quality whiskey.”
Bar at Chateau Marmont
“This is one of the best hotels in the world,” says Bourdain, who always stays in one of the bungalows when visiting the iconic Sunset Strip hotel where, in the words of Raymond Chandler (posted on Bourdain's Instagram), “anything can happen."
This dive bar and exotic dance club is on Hollywood's East end. “I think there's something kind of perfect about drinking a really expensive whiskey at a table at Jumbos,” Bourdain jokes. This place has a storied past too: Courtney Love allegedly used to dance there.
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