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12 Restaurants Around the World to Try Before You Die

While most people travel to see the wonders of the world, we go mostly for the food. After all, it’s a pretty great way to experience the culture of an unfamiliar land. But since this world is so large and diverse, it’s hard to decide where to focus your culinary efforts, especially when abroad. Since we always have your back, here’s our list of restaurants around the world you (and your stomach) need to visit.

Osteria del Matto // Spoleto, Italy

Inviting entry to Osteria del Matto in Spoleto. #osteriadelmatto #spoleto #umbria #italy #marcyandmom

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Hidden in the hills of Spoleto, Italy is a tiny restaurant called Osteria del Matto, which translates to something along the lines of “restaurant of the madman.” This is fitting, as there isn’t really a menu – the food served is just whatever the chef feels like making that day. Chances are this will involve several staple items founds in the Umbrian region, or fried ricotta cheese, because it’s just that delicious.

Cafe du Monde // New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Yum.

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Cafe du Monde is one of the OG beignet establishments in the Big Easy. Chances are you’ve heard of it, but if not, you need to get your behind to New Orleans, stat. These fluffy balls of fried dough doused with as much powdered sugar your little heart desires is a sight to be tasted and relished for all of eternity. You might have to wait in line for a bit, but it’s worth it – we promise.

The French Laundry // Yountville, California, USA

Happy National Truffle Day!🍄 #truffle #tortellini #cooking #food #betterthanchocolate

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Thomas Keller is one of the most influential chefs on the planet today, and The French Laundry is his primary brainchild. Located in Yountville, California in the midst of Napa Valley, this restaurant has more accolades than we can even recount in one sitting. This six-hour meal incorporating the most pristine produce California has to offer is something everyone should experience in their lifetime.  

Sukiyabashi Jiro // Tokyo, Japan

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When a restaurant is awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide, you know it’s pretty legit. In fact, former President Obama dined there and apparently said, “That’s some good sushi right there,” as he walked out. The main perks of dining at this restaurant are some of the most noteworthy sushi dishes on the planet, prepared by Chef Jiro. Yeah, that Chef Jiro from the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Need we say more?

Joe’s Kansas City BBQ // Kansas City, Kansas, USA

There seems to be an ongoing barbecue dispute throughout the United States, and it totally depends on where you’re from. North Carolina? You’re probably down for whole hog, smoked BBQ. Texas? You’re all about the brisket, hot link, and sauce. But no matter what kind of BBQ tickles your fancy, it’s hard to deny the luscious goodness of ribs and burnt ends from Joe’s Kansas City BBQ. Folks come from near and far for this crack in the form of meat, and we don’t blame them. As a matter of fact, everyone’s favorite globetrotting foodie authority, Anthony Bourdain, named Joe’s as one of the 13 places one needs to eat at before they die.

Le Jules Verne // Paris, France

#lejulesverne #paris French cuisine and views of Paris from the Eiffel Tower. #travelerreviews #заметки_путешественника

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There are plenty of incredible chefs that have come from France, but Alain Ducasse tops the list. For God’s sake, the man has 21 Michelin stars. He’s basically a saint. And one of Ducasse’s most stunning restaurants is Le Jules Verne, which is literally located on top of the Eiffel Tower. With the scenery and Ducasse’s food combined, an experience at this place will cost you at least $200, but it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Fat Rice // Chicago, Illinois, USA

Finally got the namesake food here! So happy to share it with my friends!

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Run by Adrienne Lo and Abe Conlon, Fat Rice is a must-visit in the Windy City. The restaurant serves food native to the island of Macau, which is a happy fusion between Chinese and Portuguese flavors. Their signature dish is the Fat Rice, also called Arroz Gordo, featuring sofrito, chorizo, salted duck, char siu pork, curry chicken thighs, linguiça sausage, prawns, steamed clams, tea eggs, chicken fat-fried croutons, olives, and pickled chillies. Basically, you better come to this place hungry.

Thanasis // Athens, Greece

Athens is gorgeous and full of history, which means it can be a pretty touristy place. We all know touristy cities can get a bad rap for food, but this is Greece, so obviously this doesn’t hold true. Is there even such a thing as bad Greek food? With plenty of options to choose from in the city, it’s hard to narrow down the best, but we’ve found it in Thanasis. Make sure you order their signature dish, μερίδα κεπμαπ, which is basically a meaty and delicious kabob of your dreams.

Arepa Zone // Washington, D.C., USA

At Tastemade, we’re all aboard the food truck bandwagon and if there’s one city in the country that excels in this area, it’s our Nation’s Capitol. Arepa Zone is without a doubt, one of the finest road warriors, and with one bite of their delicious arepas, you’d be crazy not to agree. The truck (well, now they have a brick-and-mortar location in Union Market) serves the Venezuelan version of this famous street snack, which involves a griddled corn cake stuffed with chicken, beef or pork.

Abou el Sid // Cairo, Egypt

At this establishment, you can find traditional Egyptian cuisine, including various tajines, like veal and pearl onion, and molokheya stew with chicken, rabbit, or meatballs. If you’re feeling daring, Abou el Sid also sells stuffed pigeon. This place seems to have it all!

Pig & Khao // New York, New York, USA

There are tons of places worth visiting in New York City. It’s basically a culinary wonderland. And we could have pointed you in the direction of Katz’s Delicatessen or Le Bernardin, but we wanted to mix things up a bit. Pig & Khao, located in the Lower East Side, serves food that is a beautiful amalgam of some of our favorite Southeast Asian flavors, including Thai and Filipino. Once you take part in some of their staples like the Sizzling Sisig, Grilled Pork Jowl, or Pork Belly Adobo, you’ll thank us.

Strut & Cluck // London, United Kingdom

#onthetable: Yesterday’s lunch @strutandcluck was seriously impressive, I’d go back and order everything all over again. 🦃🍴

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Turkey is generally is a “bleh” protein because most people don’t really know how to prepare it. Strut & Cluck, located in the Spitalfields neighborhood of London, is an exception to this rule. This place produces delicious bird influenced by Eastern Mediterranean flavors, with menu items like juicy lettuce cups with smoky harissa and hand-pulled turkey shawarma with dates and pine nuts. Turns out all turkey needs is some good ‘ol TLC.

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This Chef Is Quietly Changing The LA Sushi Scene With His Unusual Techniques

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Jiro Kobayashi is a pioneer.

The talented chef at Roku in West Hollywood is best known for taking the traditional Japanese cuisine of sushi and charting a new path with the classic ingredients. His specialty: using fruit to create non-traditional, albeit stunning, sushi dishes.

On a recent food crawl with fellow Foodbeast Reach, we stopped by Roku to get a first-hand look at the master at work.

Upon first glance, Jiro’s sushi station looked no different than any other Japanese restaurant. There were fresh cuts of salmon, tuna, and albacore, and other seafoods on display, ready to utilize at a moment’s notice. However, there were secondary shelves full of fruits and preserves in marked jars directly under the fish – his unlikely tools of the trade.

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As he worked, his knife and hands danced around the plate, switching between fruit and protein in a blur of precise and breathtaking motion. When he finally stopped, a veritable Rembrandt sat before him that encompassed the heart of traditional sushi sensibilities with modern execution.

I started experimenting with different techniques and uncommon ingredients, and customers responded positively to it. In Southern California, we have so much great produce, and I wanted to be able to incorporate that into my dishes.

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Chef Jiro only took a moment to explain his dish – a decadent seared tuna tataki with figs, almond sauce, goat cheese foam, hearts on fire, and garlic chips – before proceeding on to his next work of art.

As with all sushi chefs, Jiro underwent years of formal training in Japan, working twelve hours a day, six days a week.

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His years of training strengthened his resolve to create something beautiful from the craft. Jiro’s menu items are a testament to his skills and attention to detail.

Take this Trio Plate for example. It features a blue crab tartare with uni, a Shigoku oyster topped with Osetra caviar and tosazu (Japanese vinegar) gelee, and a fluke kumquat sashimi.

During my time in Japan, I fell in love with the culture and the beauty, their work ethic and how detail-oriented everything is. It’s so intense, but they just want to be the best at what they do. I think that’s very reflective of the sushi profession as well, and that inspired me to continue on the path to become a sushi chef.

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What sets him apart from other sushi chefs is the way he experiments with his ingredients in new, innovative ways, while sticking to the foundation that makes sushi what it is today.

I respect the tradition of sushi making and Japanese cuisine, but I also appreciate that I don’t have to adhere to any strict standards at Roku, where I’m free to experiment with interesting or non-traditional ingredients.

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The kitchen is pretty much a playground for this creator:

I can use ingredients from other countries, like jalapeño, burrata, or foie gras, but I can also tie it back to sushi and Japan with ingredients like yuzu or shiso, and end an omakase with a traditional sushi course.

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A few dishes in and we were still mesmerized watching him work.

The chef nonchalantly picked up a blowtorch and started searing some scallops right before our eyes. With those same, trigger-happy hands, Jiro gracefully sauced a plate with Kabocha squash purée and delicately adorned it with the scallops, pomegranate seeds, and a nasturtium leaf. War and peace, all within a few deft motions, played out for our palates.

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Like a true artist, Jiro’s menu is never the same. The constantly-revolving dishes change with the seasons. Although, patrons can also request traditional sushi dishes, which the Japanese master would be more than happy to make.

You can find the sushi master on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Boulevard. Just make sure to call ahead and he’ll save you some fried amaebi head.

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Celebrity Grub

Sushi Master Jiro’s Son Once Said Women Can’t Be Sushi Chefs Because They Have Periods

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Why can’t women be sushi chefs? Because their periods mess up their sense of taste.

Most would agree that statement is clearly sexist, but what’s even more surprising is who said it.

While researching for a story about why there are so few female sushi chefs in the world, Business Insider’s April Walloga stumbled upon a startling quote from a 2011 interview with The Wall Street Journal spoken by none other than the son of the world-famous sushi master, Jiro Ono.

Ono and his son, Yoshikazu, both starred in the 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Yoshikazu Ono, who is Jiro’s oldest son, is the sous chef of Sukiyabashi Jiro, the three Michelin-starred restaurant that costs $300 a person and is recognized as the top sushi restaurant in the world.

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When the Journal asked why there are no female sushi apprentices in his father’s restaurant, Yoshikazu replied:

“The reason is because women menstruate. To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food, but because of the menstrual cycle, women have an imbalance in their taste, and that’s why women can’t be sushi chefs.”

Early on in the documentary, Yoshikazu is asked what makes a great sushi chef, to which he responds, “There are some who are born with a natural gift. Some have a sensitive palate and sense of smell.”

He might also agree that those “natural gifts” are exclusively for men.

According to Business Insider, there are several myths in Japan for why a female chef would only create inferior sushi, ranging from women’s hands being too small and warm to handle sushi to their makeup and perfume ruining the taste of fresh fish.

Written by Max Chang of NextShark