Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Madrid, Singapore, Hangzhou, Playa del Carmen… a world of amazing meals. And here are the 20 best dishes of the year…
Tuna crudo with tomato granita at Cocina de Autor, Playa del Carmen (Brad A. Johnson)
1. Cocina de Autor, Playa del Carmen
Albacore tuna crudo with tomato granita, soy sponge, guacamole, cactus and cucumber. Grand Velas Resort. Carretera Cancun 62, Playa del Carmen, Mexico (866) 230-7221 Continue reading →
Clockwise from top left: The Eveleigh, Baco Mercat, Lukshon, Next Door by Josie
Wow, what a year! Japanese kaiseke, American gastropubs, Southeast Asian flair, smart molecular gastronomy, a kick-ass brunch and a fabulous return to glamour—2011 proved to be a terrific year for new restaurants in Los Angeles. Rising stars like The Spice Table’s Bryant Ng and Night + Market’s Kris Yenbamroong went head-to-head with seasoned heavyweights such as Wolfgang Puck and Josie Le Balch. With so many outstanding choices this year, narrowing the year’s best new restaurants to a list of merely 20 was difficult. But here it is.
The hostess is leading my party through the bar toward the dining room to our table, but I get sidetracked—mesmerized—by the wood-burning grill. It’s practically a bonfire, flames raging up through the iron grates, the aroma of wood smoke already beginning to infiltrate my cotton sweater. A cook in a white jacket calmly pokes at the logs, egging the flames even higher. He repositions a half-dozen skewers so that they’re just close enough to the blaze that they get nicely charred, but not so close that they go up in smoke.
The bar quickly fills with the musky scent and occasional high-pitched sizzle of lamb fat dripping onto the coals. The cook adds something else to the grill—little packages wrapped in banana leaves, and within an instant the air is infused with the exotic, tropical scent of scorched chlorophyll. Continue reading →