Herbsaint (New Orleans, LA)

Herbsaint
701 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130
Dining date: 6/12/15

HerbsaintHerbsaint is chef Donald Link’s flagship restaurant. Since opening the restaurant in 2000, Link has garnered considerable acclaim on the nationwide stage and is now one of the most notable chefs in the state. He opened the ever-popular Cochon in 2006, was awarded the James Beard award for Best Chef: South in 2007, opened up Cochon Butcher in 2009, and opened his latest restaurant Pêche Seafood Grill in 2013. Link was also nominated for the James Beard award of Outstanding Chef in 2012, 2013 and 2014. For these reasons, Herbsaint was a must-visit on this trip’s itinerary.

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CUT (Beverly Hills, CA) [2]

CUT
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
9500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Dining date: 7/15/15

CutI haven’t been to CUT since 2011 but have generally regarded it as probably the best true steakhouse in the city. I recently put that to the test during a revisit for a birthday dinner.

CUT is Wolfgang Puck’s modern interpretation of an American steakhouse. Their steak offerings are top-notch in breadth and quality featuring multiple cuts of Japanese wagyu, American wagyu, and aged USDA Prime varieties (distinguished between corn and grass fed). 

Steaks

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Willie Mae’s Scotch House (New Orleans, LA)

Willie Mae’s Scotch House
2401 St Ann St
New Orleans, LA 70119
Dining date: 6/10/15 and 6/13/15

ExteriorWillie Mae’s fried chicken was probably the most highly anticipated bite of this whole trip for me. In fact, this might have topped the list of dishes I wanted to try in America. I’m a huge fan of fried chicken; Willie Mae’s is supposed to have some of the best in the country. Popularized countless times by the likes of the Food Network and Travel Channel, it kind of seems like the Peter Luger of fried chicken. Pretty much legendary status.

The menu at Willie Mae’s offers a host of southern specialties like a country fried pork chop, smothered veal, and fried catfish or shrimp. These items are supposedly good, but I’ll likely never know – we were here for fried chicken.

Interior

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Restaurant August (New Orleans, LA)

Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130
Dining date: 6/13/15

AugustRestaurant August was high on my list of places to try while in town. It’s John Besh’s flagship restaurant and consistently regarded as one of the top restaurants in the city. The food here combines Besh’s classical French training with the cuisine and ingredients of Louisiana. The decor is an upscale setting with old-world charm.

dining room

A few dining options were available – a la carte, a five course farmers market tasting ($72) and a five course degustation menu ($97). The restaurant allows each diner to choose which route they want to go; the tasting menu isn’t mandatory for the entire table. The flexibility allowed us to get one tasting menu and order a handful of a la carte dishes to create a custom tasting.

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K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen (New Orleans, LA)

K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen
416 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70130
Dining date: 6/10/15

K-Paul'sK-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen opened in New Orleans’ French Quarter in 1979 and has been an institution ever since. Opened by chef Paul Prudhomme (and wife Kay) after helming the kitchen of Commander’s Palace, K-Paul’s has been serving creole/cajun favorites that haven’t changed in the last 35 years. Blackened fish was created here, a technique now duplicated all around the region. Jambalaya, etouffée, gumbo, turtle soup, fried oysters – it’s all here. A visit to K-Paul’s was high on my list of restaurants to try. Continue reading

Chi Spacca (Los Angeles, CA) [3]

Chi Spacca
6610 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dining date: 6/6/15

exterior

I was at Chi Spacca just a couple of months prior but returned to introduce the restaurant to some others that had heard great things. It’s a perfect spot for a carnivorous group such as us. Given the format of the menu (primarily large portions of meat), big parties do best here. Luckily, we had a party of seven which allowed us a chance to try a bunch of items.

interior

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