Son of a Gun
It’s the best two bite sandwich you’ll ever have. Buttery brioche, lemon aioli and fresh lobster topped with crisp potato chips all beautifully melded together. The chefs’ claim to fame is their nose-to tail-restaurant Animal, but seafood may be their higher calling.
Crab Xiao Long Bao
Din Tai Fung
Probably one of the most popular dumpling houses in the world. They are known for their Xiao Long Bao—small, handmade, paper-thin dumplings that are filled with minced pork and steamed in their own juices. They take it up a notch and offer a version that is topped with fresh crabmeat. The dumplings are typically served with thin slivers of fresh ginger and Chinese black vinegar. I could eat a dozen of them.
An “edible” cocktail arrives in a martini glass filled to the brim with cotton candy. A server comes by and pours the mojito mixture over the cotton candy and POOF, the cotton candy disappears in an instant. The resulting cocktail is both refreshing and magically delicious.
Hot Stuff Café
San Gabriel, CA
This restaurant is quite the hidden gem. It’s located in the San Gabriel Valley, an area of Los Angeles that is known for an abundant selection of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. The chef here is trying to push Asian cuisine forward by incorporating French techniques and seasonal ingredients. Tender unagi (Japanese eel) is placed on top of a thin, crispy flat bread and garnished with seaweed, sweet corn and wasabi mayo.
Floyd Cardoz • Michael Mina • Ricky Gomez • Alfred Portale • Jose Garces • Andy Kao • Missy Robbins • Cameron Mitchell • Andrew Carmellini • Stefano Cordova • Michel Richard • Ina Pinkney • Frank Klein