Carne Asada Burrito
El Indio Restaurant
I grew up surfing in San Diego and loving the drive over Coronado bridge to this fantastic place, which has operated since 1940. The carne asada burrito starts with a full lard tortilla that is soft and chewy but can hold the filling without crumbling. Each bite gives an incredible burst of charred beef flavor that screams onions. Their hot sauce is direct and to the point. A definitive California coastal meal.
Salt Cod Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage
New York City
The rice is cooked to perfection and coated with an incredible umami flavor from the saltiness of the minced salt cod (made in house) balanced with the fatty flavor and juices of the rich sausage. Each bite has a bit of all the flavors so you get rich fat, salty fish and perfectly cooked rice.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Palo Alto, CA
The marinara screams tomato flavors; it’s just a simple pan sauce with herbs, tomatoes and olive oil. The meatballs are a great blend of pork and beef and crumble perfectly at the nudge of your fork. They fall apart into perfect size chunks where you can see just the right amount of fat and juices oozing out. The pasta is thinner and has the right texture so it blends in really well with the sauce. The ingredients melt into each other.
General Jane’s Chicken
The sous chef got to put her own dish on the menu here. It’s a play on the Chinese dish General Tso’s chicken. The lightly breaded and pan-fried chicken is tender and moist and you can taste the herbs and salt and pepper in the flour. It goes especially well with the slightly sweet and spicy sauce, which is thickened with a fruit base but delivers a back bite of heat. Delicious!
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