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Feb 6, 2007 05:17 PM

Bourdain's No Reservations in LA [moved from L.A. board]

Did anyone see Tony in LA last night on No Reservations?

Besides Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, did anyone catch the names of the other places?

Anyone been to them?


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  1. Rapps (SP?) coffee shop in Thai Town for noodles - another place in Boyle Hghts that specializes in goat meat (didn't catch name) Philippes French dip & a taco stand in Hawthorne w/ Hawthorne PD - again didn't catch name.

    2 Replies
      1. re: mrpullings

        It was Acosta tacos 4500 Imperial Hwy...great stuff...

      2. I feel dumb. I just went to the site for the show and found this:

        1. Roscoe's and Philippe's seemed like really silly choices to me. This reminded me of his shows on LA and SF in Cook's Tour. He's so focused on contradicting the conventional view of California as an upscale foodie's paradise that he deliberately seeks out mediocrity.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I sort of agree. I was disappointed in his choices. They felt like he was trying to point out that LA has a big and diverse cultural scene. Well, no duh! Let's take the Mexican segment... if you are going to highlight authentic Mexican cuisine, why did it have to be in a place that (while it was interesting) most of us will never go to.

            I guess that is a minor problem of his show; when he does your city, inevitably, you will be disappointed. Too close to home.

            1. re: AKSLA2006

              Why pick places frequented by locals who are satisfied with mediocre food?

              Rachel Ray did a better job in San Francisco than he did.

              1. re: AKSLA2006

                So you're not happy that he picked a popular iconic spot in Phillipe's and you're not happy he picked an out of the way authentic mexcian spot. In your opinion, what kind of spot should he or his producers have picked?

                To me, it seems like he tried to strike a balance with the landmark known places like Roscoe's and Phillipe's while balancing it with more hidden gem neighborhood spots like the noodles, tacos and birria.

                Personally I have no problems with him doing those kinds of places versus upscale foodie paradise spots. The upscale name places get enough press. Bourdain to me usually haunts more local out of the way places.

                1. re: Jase

                  I thought the Mexican and Thai places were fine, since the food looked great.

                  The food at Roscoe's and Philippe looked mediocre and boring, and in no way specific to or even characteristic of Los Angeles. Why waste time on places like that when he could have gone to Monterey Park, Pioneer Boulevard, or Zankou Chicken?

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Then you'd get people who'd complain that Zankou is overrated and horrible and there's much better chicken around. FWIW Philippe's is more established and well known as an LA place. Roscoe's is also pretty established. Not trying to be argumentative, just pointing out that you're not going to satisfy everyone and at least I can see the reasonings behind him picking those places. Especially within the context of the show and how he met Jerry Stahl a kindred soul it sounds like at Roscoes and went with the roller derby girls afterwards for dip sandwiches. Philippes is a tradition for many Dodger fans and late night food runs.

                    Both Roscoes and Philippe's I would argue are very specific to LA. You'd find many hounds who'd say its not mediocre or boring at all, probably the same proportion that would argue Zankou is overrated.

                    I would agree that he could have covered other ethnicities in MPK and Pioneer. But Pioneer isn't LA proper and maybe he/producers felt that covering the Thai niche was more interesting than the Chinese MPK because of the high concentration of Thais. Although I do think he missed out by not covering any of MPK.

                    If anything, I wish less time would have been devoted to the SWAT sequence. The gang part was well trodden ground. Yeah, we have gangs here in LA, great, what big city doesn't.

                  2. re: Jase

                    I am okay with Roscoe's and Phillipe's. In fact, I love Phillipe's. And I live just down the street from the Roscoe's he went to. To me, it was cool to see him check those out and i think they were good choices overall. My problem was with the more obscure places. He didn't cover the food so much as he did the story of the community and people who eat it. That angle is relevant, but not the entire picture.

                    Plus, it would have been nice (to me) for him to hit at least one more upscale foodie paradise spot to balance it all out. My two cents...

                  3. re: AKSLA2006

                    Out of curiosity, and being an out-of-towner, why would you never go to the Biria place? It sounded wonderful to me. Is it because there are so many better places that do the whole goat?

                2. I liked the episode, but then I don't live in LA. After the introductory segment I looked at my wife and said, "He was nice in Africa, but he's going to rip LA apart". He really didn't though, I enjoyed his angle of trying to portray the other side of the city. And it's not like he really liked every place he want, he didn't think too highly of Roscoe's food, I believe what he said is "I like it for what it isn't", or something like that.

                  I know when Rachel Ray did one of her shows in Austin (not trying to compare Rachel to Anthony), I watched in dumbfounded disbelief at some of the places she visited. Like you said, when it's your own city, you'll be disappointed.

                  1. I don't think he singled out mediocrity. Roscoe's and Phillipe's have their fanatics. I think the choices are unoriginal. Why not use his experience in Vietnam to sample Little Saigon in OC, or San Gabriel Valley? Far more interesting than french dips and gravy on chicken.