What:Primitivo @EatPrimitivo At this NOLA newcomer, our waitress explained that there isn't really a theme or nationality that guides the menu Primitivo, just a philosophy. That philosophy is to use local, seasonal ingredients and prepare them in some manner that involves their gigantic open-flame hearth. Smoke is the key to nearly every dish they serve here.
Where:Off-the-beaten path between the Garden District and Center City 1800 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70113 [wpgmza id="289"]
When:Perfect for dude's night out in NOLA. The decor has a masculine German beer-hall vibe with gothic calligraphy typography and distressed wood defining a majority of the aesthetic. Between the huge, hearty portions and very reasonably priced cocktails, this place was made for the bachelor party "nice-meal". While I do really like the place, I wouldn't necessarily tell NOLA first-timers to go on their first trip — there's plenty of other places in the city I think are more essential to go to first (see: Cochon, Commander's Palace, Red's Chinese, Compère Lapin, or Sylvain for example).
What:Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs @BubbledogsKT A speakeasy-style high-end chef's tasting menu hides behind a curtain in the back of a hot dog shop.
Where:SoHo near the Theatre District 70 Charlotte St. Fitzrovia, London W1T 4QG, UK [wpgmza id="299"]
When:Based on the price point and difficulty of snagging a reservation alone, this definitely falls into the "Special Occasion Restaurant" category. Save this one for when you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or any other major occasion worth celebrating and spluging for.
What:Parkway Bakery and Tavern @ParkwayPoorboys This bar and restaurant is quite old, very famous, and generally regarded as the ultimate place to go for the very best poboys in NOLA.
Where:Midcity 538 Hagan Ave. New Orleans, LA 70119 [wpgmza id="290"]
When:This is the kind of place that's perfect for any time you need a big, cheap, hearty sandwich full of greasy meat and deep-fried seafood to crush an epic Bourbon Street hangover. It's a bit out of the way, so you'll probably need a car to get all the way out there unless you want to splurge on a long cab ride. This place is known to generate long lines, though we were fortunately able to get food in hand in just about 15 minutes after our arrival. So, come only when you've got a bit of patience in case you encounter a longer line.
I absolutely love how full of super old school places the New Orleans high-end dining scene is. There are tons of these places that remain as popular, famous, and incredible as they were when they opened well over 100 years ago. But, of course, that's not all that New Orleans has to offer. There are plenty of young upstart chefs doing extremely innovative things, evolving the long-standing culinary traditions.
What:Mingalaba A very authentically prepared and reasonable priced Burmese food. Also, super-close (only a twelve-minute drive) from SFO.
Where:Downtown Burlingame 1213 Burlingame Ave. Burlingame, CA 94010 [wpgmza id="286"]
When:Elegant and stylish enough for a date night, but also casual enough for a cheap lunch in Burlingame. Also, if you've got a layover in SFO and want to get your Burmese fix, this is the place to go.
Acme Oyster House is one of those old school places that been around for so long, it's almost become synonymous with visiting New Orleans. It's famous enough to have been featured on a multitude of food TV shows including a particularly memorable season 1 episode of Man vs Food in which Adam Richman took down their insane eating challenge and joined the 15 Dozen Club by consuming an absurd 180 raw oysters in a sitting.
In general, Paso Robles is a pretty quiet, sleepy, little wine town. Whether you're looking for a nice place to drink or eat dinner downtown, people tend to recommend the same handful of places. That's probably because new bars and restaurants don't open very often, and the options always are what they are. But, when new bars and restaurants do open, they tend to cause a big stir. Recently, a massive new bar and restaurant popped onto the downtown scene – a trendy, upscale, Baja-style Cal Mexican joint called Fish Gaucho and I knew on my most recent trip that I had to see for myself what all of the hype was about.
The Japan Center Mall is a mysterious maze-like shopping center full of stalls selling Asian miscellany and a wide variety of authentic Asian eats. There are many places you could choose to eat at – with specialists for just about every Japanese food type you could think of. There are in fact a number of sushi options, but there is only one sushi purveyor inside of this massive mall that I find myself consistently returning to. It's called Isobune and its a truly special place.
God, I hate walking through this part of town. How the hell did I even end up in the Tenderloin? Well, it was a Saturday afternoon and I knew I was in the mood for some raw seafood. I considered getting sushi and thought about stopping into Swan Oyster Depot, but the line was already way too long. But still, I had another idea that was close by and had a raw seafood dish I had been meaning to try since I first landed in SF.