Where's the Last Great Restaurant You Dined?

Categories: Chow Bella

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com. Miss a question? Go here.

Sure we have our favorites, but when it comes to good eating for Valley chefs and restauranteurs, what was their last and most memorable eating experience. Was it local? Out of the state? Out of the country? Here are some of their answers:

Chef Bernie Kantak,
Citizen Public House

I did an omakase at Roka Akor not too long ago. German Sega put together an astounding tasting of around 18 different items which included several different types of sashimi and sushi -- many of which I've never seen before. There were Kobe short ribs and king crab with truffle butter. They're really doing some amazing things over there.

Chef Jason Alford,
Roka Akor

Petite Maison. Service: impeccable. Food. Ingredients. Thought. Everything. Love the spot.

Silvana Salcido Esparza
Chef and owner, Barrio Cafe

Mercado de La Merced in Mexico City. Endless rows of eateries are nestled among stacks of every dried chile available in Mexico. Want some maguey worms or flor de calabaza? It's here. You can eat huitlacoche prepared as it should be and cooked on a clay comal griddle. Plump women in tattered aprons cook and serve and diners wait for seats to vacate. Talk about atmosphere -- it has the best effing food anywhere.

Justin Beckett
Chef and Owner, Beckett's Table

I went to Noca for my anniversary and Chef Matt made some dishes I will never forget!

Lauren Bailey
Owner, Windsor, Churn, Postino Central

The last great restaurant I dined at was Cal Pep in Barcelona. It is a true tapas bar -- no menu, bar seating, and incredibly high energy. Everything they make is off the cuff, their own classics and new concoctions alike. It's been around forever and it is the epitome of a true Cataluña experience.

Cullen Campbell
Chef and owner, Crudo

Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles is by far one of my favorite restaurants. I get the bone marrow every time and the squash blossom and burrata pizza is killer. For in town, I love Iruna for their simple and delicious tapas. I always have to have two orders of the patatas bravas because I dream of them and have to make sure that there is enough to go around.

Kevin Binkley
Chef and Owner, Binkley's and Café Bink

Nobuo at Teeter House. I love their approach of combining classic Japanese with modern technique.

Pavle Milic
Owner, FnB

Gabrielle Hamilton's Prune in New York's East Village. Great cozy room and phenomenal down-to-earth food.

Jeff Kraus,
Chef and Owner, Truckin' Good Food and Experience Dining

Late summer of this year I dined at the Kobayashi brothers' restaurant, Artisan, in Paso Robles, California. Their regionally modern dishes were refined, creative, and spot-on with flavor. One dish in particular that was a knock out was the duck charcuterie board. The accompaniment of a simply prepared pickled fruit and mustard seeds rocked my palate.

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Just returned from Spain and had two fabulous meals at Cal Pep--spot on!

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