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Tony Bourdain in San Francisco

The Librarian Mar 16, 2009 12:21 PM

According to Leah Garchik's column in today's San Francisco Chronicle "Chef/international foodie Anthony Bourdain will be shooting in San Francisco this week for his Travel Channel show, "No Reservations."
Has anyone seen him? Maybe we can post our Tony sighting here? I probably would faint...

  1. Robert Lauriston Aug 12, 2009 12:51 PM

    Here's a "deleted" scene (I believe there's one in every episode, for countries with fewer commercials) in which Bourdain and Cosentino visit St. George Spirits in Alameda and taste "foiedka":

    http://www.travelchannel.com/Video_&a...

    1. steve h. Aug 11, 2009 03:10 PM

      i thought it was a pretty good show. i'm a frequent visitor, not a local so i thought the places he went to were representative.

      interesting to me is that i get all my recommendations from chowhound. i think he did, too.

      at the end of the day, san francisco, like most great cities, can't be pigeonholed in a single episode. i shake my head in sadness every time i see tony trying to explain nyc in 60 minutes.

      9 Replies
      1. re: steve h.
        Robert Lauriston Aug 12, 2009 01:39 PM

        Bourdain got the That's It recommendation from Oscar Villalon, who lives nearby, and the Mi Lupita recommendation from John Birdsall, who wrote a huge Fruitvale taco truck roundup for the East Bay Express earlier this year. Chowhound had no reports on either.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          steve h. Aug 12, 2009 01:49 PM

          thanks, robert.
          fun facts to know and tell.

          1. re: steve h.
            wolfe Aug 13, 2009 01:44 PM

            Here's the write-up.
            Tamales Mi Lupita. Parking lot at 3340 Foothill Blvd. (near 34th Ave.)

            Scene: Wedged between a market and Pupuseria Lupita, a Salvadoran tamale, pupusa, and taco wagon with home-style cocinera chops. Burly guys park prominent asses on the narrow curb opposite the brightly painted lonchera, shoveling slaw-like curtido with plastic forks. You can wait for what seems like forever for the pupusas, but be patient, cabrón: food this good takes time.
            Comida: Earthy, rustic grilled tortillas hold homely, cazuela-like fillings: choriso con papa (salty and electric, perspiring orange oil), chicharrón (unctuous stewed pork skin). The pupusas are toe-curlingly good, chewy, leaking finely crisped oozings of queso — a pupusa de calabasa contains a slick of cheese studded with green, delicately vegetal cubes of zucchini-like squash.
            Extra cookie: The squeeze-bottle salsa verde is a thin slurry of stewed tomatillo, with a compost load of rough-chopped cilantro — perfect foil for rich, salty taco fillings.
            The takeaway: Taste the pueblito, baby.
            http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/Pri...

            1. re: wolfe
              grayelf Aug 23, 2009 10:18 PM

              wolfe, that link is quite literally making me cry. My keyboard just seized up. Thanks. I think.

              1. re: grayelf
                wolfe Aug 26, 2009 02:26 PM

                More tears?
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5937...

                1. re: wolfe
                  grayelf Aug 26, 2009 08:49 PM

                  My heart is hardened to pupusas (though they can be quite tasty) pero me encantan los tacos.

                  1. re: grayelf
                    DallasDude Sep 2, 2009 10:58 PM

                    Let me preface this with the fact I am heterosexual, but love Anthony Bourdain. However, and I see no other place to state this. I just watched his Food Porn episode on Netflix and gotta say I cringed the entire time. Who dreams this garbage up? Was he high? Because if he was high during the entire production, I would totally get it. Just say, I was high and you should be too., and I will pull out my best Afgani and join in.

                    Heres the deal, do the show straight, lose the cartoonish behavior and we have a deal. I will watch, and stand up for you when others wish to start bar room brawls during heated debate over the show. No more programs like Food Porn, por favor?

                    1. re: DallasDude
                      singleguychef Sep 16, 2009 04:23 PM

                      DallasDude, that was hilarious! I totally agree about Tony. In some episodes he can just be too mellowdramatic or cartoonish. Didn't watch the Food Porn episode but now I'm curious.

                    2. re: grayelf
                      Phaedrus Sep 3, 2009 05:27 AM

                      I can never ever have enough pupusas.

        2. dhoffman1421 Aug 11, 2009 01:40 PM

          I found it enjoyable myself. I was stunned to see the Persian Aub Zam Zam, I haven't been there in years! I wasn't even aware it was still around.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dhoffman1421
            Robert Lauriston Aug 11, 2009 01:44 PM

            It was closed for most of a year after Bruno Mooshei retired:

            http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

          2. Robert Lauriston Aug 11, 2009 01:35 PM

            If anybody missed it, this will be rerun on 8/17 at 8am and 4pm (Pacific).

            3 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Annie S. Aug 11, 2009 10:00 PM

              It's also up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OWPR9...

              1. re: Annie S.
                grayelf Aug 13, 2009 11:30 AM

                Thanks for the YouTube link. It was a fun episode to watch for a traveler to SF (I will watch almost anything set in San Francisco) though for someone who's never been you might well get the impression that the Bay Area is full of granola-eating alcoholics -- I know better of course :-). In our house, "crunchy" means someone who is very good at what they do and has serious attention to detail so I'm going to use that definition for the SF Bay Area!

                1. re: grayelf
                  Robert Lauriston Aug 13, 2009 11:45 AM

                  From what I see at my favorite bars, there's no shortage of serious drinkers in these parts, though many of us are a lot pickier about our drinks than Bourdain is. I find it pathetic that they were drinking bottled Japanese ass beer (Hitachino) instead of wine at the head-to-tail dinner.

            2. l
              laliz Aug 11, 2009 12:37 PM

              I've always enjoyed Anthony Bourdain, although I get weary of souteast Asia AGAIN and again and again and much more prefer when he is doing shows in this country than anywhere else.

              I live in CA, have an offspring who is Cal alumni and have been visiting the bay area for over 30 years and I love it there. And my favorite Favorite FAVORITE restaurant on earth is the House of Prime Rib. Always has been since I first went there in the early 70s.

              I was both shocked and thrilled that he went there in the program. Think I need to wrtie a fan letter.

              1 Reply
              1. re: laliz
                t
                tofuburrito Aug 11, 2009 01:11 PM

                I'll give it a thumbs up, I enjoyed watching it and gave me some things to think about next time I travel north.

              2. m
                ML8000 Aug 11, 2009 12:03 PM

                It was an entertaining show, covered lots of good stuff and seemed to have a specific Bourdain bend to the itinerary: booze, plugs of meat, innards, middle brow-aging hipster-comfort stuff. Nothing too far out of the mainstream except Incanto and innards. Hard to quibble since the picks were solid and tested.

                Also it is TV and imagine if they tried to cover the new street food scene or some artisan food purveyor? He'd just sneer at them and that's not good mainstream TV.

                As for the crunchy comments, he's teasing and if he's not, who cares? I mean hell, this place seems to have attracted all those Jersey people on the show, which was either ironic or annoying. No problem here as long as they don't talk about what they can't get here that they can on the East Coast.

                1. Robert Lauriston Aug 11, 2009 10:01 AM

                  It was a pretty good selection of places:

                  Pirate Cat Radio Café - bacon maple latte
                  Tadich Grill - Hangtown Fry & martinis
                  Persian Aub Zam Zam - martinis
                  House of Prime Rib - prime rib & martinis
                  Ferry Plaza market - (Primavera?) pork tamales
                  Tamales Mi Lupita truck - head, brain, ? tacos
                  Sebo - omakase-style sushi
                  That's It - torta cubana
                  R&G Lounge - salt & pepper crab & lychee martinis
                  Incanto - venison heart tartare, goose intestines, calf brains & testicles
                  Red's Java House - double cheeseburger & beer

                  I don't think there was one place that doesn't get mostly big thumbs up on the SF board. The liquor store with the gross torta seems to be a scoop.

                  The House of Prime Rib is a pretty eccentric place. There's a token fish on the menu but otherwise the only choice is how big a slice of salt-roasted prime rib you want. How many places in the US serve Yorkshire pudding with their roast beef?

                  This show redeems Bourdain for the "Cook's Tour" episode in SF, where if I remember right he had a few really random things like a hot dog and Filipino ice cream before heading to The French Laundry for most of the show.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    s
                    sugartoof Aug 11, 2009 02:48 PM

                    "I don't think there was one place that doesn't get mostly big thumbs up on the SF board."

                    Red's, and House of Prime Rib are far from being big thumbs up.

                    1. re: sugartoof
                      Robert Lauriston Aug 11, 2009 02:56 PM

                      Certainly both have naysayers, but they get recommended a lot--though probably not for having the best prime rib or burger in town.

                      http://www.chow.com/places/1380
                      http://www.chow.com/places/15110

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston
                      m
                      melly Aug 13, 2009 02:24 PM

                      Robert...totally agree. Great episode.

                    3. f
                      Fydeaux Aug 11, 2009 06:49 AM

                      Now that the episode has aired, what does everyone think?

                      I've never been to SF, but I'm not sure I know too much more than I did before watching it. I'm sure that the HOUSE OF PRIME RIB segment could have been skipped in favour of something more...San Franciscan? I'm a huge fan of big honking hunks of red meat, but seriously, doesnt just about every town of maybe 5000 or more have a place pretty much just like it?

                      The segment in the bar previously owned by the curmugeon was interesting, but could have been dispensed with in a minute or so.

                      I did enjoy the Chinatown segment; that crab looked incredible.

                      I have a hard time thinking that this showed what San Francisco is really like, even if such a thing is possible in the space of an hour. And except for his channeling Steve McQueen in BULLITT for the driving scenes, this could have been Milwaukee or Kansas City or St Louis or Minneapolis.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: Fydeaux
                        Phaedrus Aug 11, 2009 07:34 AM

                        Well, the bar could have been anywhere, but the fact that is thrives is because it is in San Fran cisco. There is something about the ethos of the city that encourages that kind of place.

                        I thought the taco trucks in Oakland was very interesting and uniquely Californian if not San Franciscan.

                        I thought the sushi bar segment was excellent, I don't think that place could do so well anywhere else. Maybe a version of it could be in the large American cities but not in the same way.

                        I know this show was taped in March, but I was hoping for Bourdain to turn to Cosentino and ask him:"WTF were you thinking when you signed up for Chef Vs City?"

                        1. re: Phaedrus
                          singleguychef Aug 11, 2009 10:05 AM

                          I liked the sushi bar segment the best too, the quality of the production and just all the interesting plates was fun to watch.

                          Some of my other thoughts:

                          1) I wished he had more Asian food elements. It was heavy on Mexican with his Cubano torta and then the taco trucks. I liked them, but wished there was more beyond R&G Lounge in a city with such a large Asian population.

                          2) When did he go to the Ferry Building farmers market because I've never seen it sooo empty? He must have gone at the break of dawn. But isn't it funny how he riles against organic and elitist food but is so willing to take the free stuff?

                          3) Anthony Bourdain loves to eat greasy food, which isn't my thing so some of his lust for diner food isn't that fun for me to watch. No wonder he's on Lipitor.

                          4) I didn't like how he kept referring to San Franciscans as "crunchy." Yeah, we get that hippies are part of the history, but the whole Harry Denton bar mentality is part of it too and he did touch on that, but still I didn't like how he generalized his perception of people here as "crunchy."

                          1. re: singleguychef
                            JasmineG Aug 11, 2009 10:39 AM

                            I loved that he went to Oakland to the taco trucks. But I agree that the constant talk about SF being so so so crunchy got really irritating, especially since that didn't seem to reflect his reality enough. And honestly, we get it, you hate Alice Waters, we all find her irritating, can you stop talking about it? I did like, though, that he was charmed by the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market despite his intentions. He was here in March, and the market is usually less crowded then, and I'm sure they cleared some space for him to film.

                            1. re: singleguychef
                              augustiner Aug 11, 2009 05:12 PM

                              i got the impression that his preconceived notions of the SF bay area were of crunchy deluded hippes decades too late, along with super-liberalism and his nemesis, alice waters. but i think that this episode was his way of saying "no really, i GET and really LIKE san francisco." he didn't eat at places that confirm the stereotypes. besides i was laughing at loud when the crusty hippies on haight street were flipping off the camera and throwing things.

                              but i think the driving point of this episode was that there is so much more to this city than people know, and i think he did a fairly good job of showing some of that. if anything, i think the rest of the country now might think we have a collective drinking problem with all those martinis, rather than that we are a bunch of hippies. i'd rather be thought of as boozy than crunchy, personally....

                              i would've liked to have seen more asian food represented, especially some burmese, which we seem to have more of than most US cities. But the episode reminded me that i haven't been to Sebo yet, and i can't wait for crab season to go back to R&G.

                              i really enjoyed this episode, and the only part i would've cut out or shortened was the pirate cat radio segment and the aub zam zam bit.

                          2. re: Fydeaux
                            K K Aug 11, 2009 09:35 AM

                            As a San Francisco Bay Area Resident, I do have my biases about the episode.

                            It was a bit of a let down overall. He only touched a small fraction of the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's Market, there is a lot more going on there that we saw (or the producers chose to air and shoot).

                            R&G Lounge is arguably the best Cantonese in San Francisco, but to only have salt pepper baked crab (now priced at $35 per crab) is only scratching the surface of what the restaurant specializes in.

                            No comment on the taco trucks, although I'm sure he had to fulfill a street food segment quota.

                            As far as Sebo (the sushi segment), it is unique for SF in that the place is run by 2 very passionate guys with no formal sushi training, and yet it is one of the top 3 destination sushi places for the hardcore purist and snob. However Tony's glorification of bluefin toro is almost as bad as those glorifying sharksfin soup, this despite the fact that Sebo carries kindai maguro that is sustainably farmed from Japan (albeit much less fatty), as well as other excellent imports from Japan (that for some reason weren't focused as much as the common stuff he got, like sea urchin, geoduck....c'mon there's more to Japanese fish that that). Their monkfish liver is arguably 2nd best in all of Northern California so at least that got a little coverage.

                            1. re: K K
                              f
                              finagle Aug 11, 2009 09:50 PM

                              hmm. Here is a prime example of what Bourdain was tweaking SF over. Perhaps he was trying to show the residents of SF that their city has more to it than what is currently deemed to be politically correct. SF does tend to live in its own little bubble of self created glory focused on the narrow strip of "organic, sustainable,cruelty free, free range whatever".
                              Sometimes SF reminds me of that obnoxious little brother of a friend that thought he was smarter than everyone else and that everyone secretly made fun of.

                              1. re: finagle
                                s
                                sugartoof Aug 11, 2009 10:45 PM

                                It just happens that SF is steeped in history, and a good proximity to farms, and shipping, with incredible diversity that it fetishes, and so yes some people live in a bubble, but that's not what defines the food scene. Bourdain didn't show anything new to San Franciscan's unless you count that bizarro hot dog egg sandwich, and the novelty coffee. He missed the opportunity to really put both of those in real context. If anything, Bourdain created a bubble, with a San Francisco that's not going extinct. he just gave in to the stereotypes - beat poetry, the martinis, and the free samples at the Ferry Building. There were no deep statements there, and that's okay....he ended the show basically admitting he didn't have a grasp on SF yet, but you can tell it excited him. perfectly fine show.

                                1. re: sugartoof
                                  Caitlin McGrath Aug 12, 2009 01:59 PM

                                  Yes, I'd say that Bourdain was so busy trying to get outside the crunchy-locavore-PC box that he'd erected as some kind of SF guidepost, at least for out-of-area viewers, that I can't tell to what extent he's aware that most of his destinations are old hat - not just because they're venerable, but because there isn't the huge gulf between the two parts of local food culture (Ferry Building and locavore vs. red meat/offal and martinis) that he tried to portray. Many locals indulge in all of the above, others in neither.

                            2. re: Fydeaux
                              Miss Needle Aug 11, 2009 09:48 AM

                              I'm not a resident of SF, but have been there numerous times. Honestly, nothing really looked that appealing to me. For me, a good episode is when I scream excitedly to DH, "Oh, we've got to go there and there and there! Let's book a trip to _________." I haven't been to wowed by this season of No Reservations so far. I'm hoping it gets better next week when he goes to Thailand.

                              1. re: Miss Needle
                                w
                                walker Sep 3, 2009 11:21 PM

                                Watched the SF show, said to self: "God, that place is so gorgeous -- I really should go there." Then, I kicked myself: I LIVE HERE. I think if I did not live here, I'd really want to visit here if I saw that show!!

                              2. re: Fydeaux
                                m
                                melly Aug 13, 2009 02:23 PM

                                That is why I loved this SF show! It is one of my favorites now.

                                1. re: Fydeaux
                                  e
                                  eat.rest.repeat Sep 7, 2009 05:28 PM

                                  I used to live in the Bay area and I do feel like the episode had a nice thesis with the whole contradictions angle. However, I think some of the places he went to were specifically to help drive that thesis home rather than places that are great or uniquely SF.

                                  My favorite part of the episode: the little comment about the torta being huge like Giada's head. Ouch!

                                  1. re: eat.rest.repeat
                                    Robert Lauriston Sep 7, 2009 07:16 PM

                                    The food at Red's Java House is definitely something you could find pretty much anywhere in the US, though not with that view. Before the '89 earthquake it was practically underneath the freeway, so the location made more sense for a dive.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                      wolfe Sep 9, 2009 06:41 AM

                                      so the location made more sense for a dive
                                      It's still close enough to the bridge.

                                2. JasmineG Aug 10, 2009 01:44 PM

                                  A little preview of tonight's show on his blog: http://anthony-bourdain-blog.travelch...

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: JasmineG
                                    grayelf Aug 10, 2009 03:46 PM

                                    Bless you JG -- I keep forgetting to look at his blog.

                                    1. re: grayelf
                                      K K Aug 10, 2009 03:48 PM

                                      There's one youtube clip of him at the SF Ferry Building Farmer's Market

                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMtIAR...

                                      Also from the FB page of No Reservations:

                                      From the facebook page of No Reservations:

                                      Tonight Tony is back in the US, visiting San Francisco:

                                      San Francisco is a city of districts and contradictions, each one with its own quirks and flavors. Chinatown is a bustling neighborhood with delicious restaurants around every turn. The Haight-Ashbury area is home to most of the city's homeless. Down by Fisherman's Wharf lives a hugely popular farmer's market filled with fresh produce, beautiful flowers, and organic foods made by San Francisco's own citizens. Tony really can't go wrong, no matter where he goes...

                                      Tony makes sure to travel the best of San Francisco. His trip begins with a stop at Pirate Cat Radio, a vegan café / radio station, where tony chats with DJ Monkey and samples their famous bacon maple latte - a concoction created using real refined bacon, despite Pirate Cat's vegan theme.

                                      He then meets up with is friend Oscar at Tadich Grill, San Francisco's oldest restaurant, to eat the Hangtown Fry, a combination of oysters, eggs, and bacon, inspired by a man's dying wish for a last meal. He also visits the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, takes a trip to Oakland for some delicious tacos, burritos and tamales, and crosses back over the bridge to indulge in Sushi and Sushi Sebo.

                                      One of the highlights of the episode is the cubana torta, a massive, dripping combination of meats, avocado, cheese, jalapenos, tomato, mayo and fried egg. Another highlight is experience at Incanto, a renowned restaurant where he dines on fried brains, spreadable salami, deep-fried ham crystals and venison heart tartare.

                                      Tony's last stop before leaving San Francisco is Red's Java House, where the cheeseburgers are hot, the cheese is melted, the chili cheese fries are aplenty, and the beer is cold. A strangely simple end to a visit to a city that is so interesting, dynamic, and complex.

                                      Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, San Francisco airs tonight, August 10 at 10pm E/P on the Travel Channel.

                                      1. re: K K
                                        grayelf Aug 11, 2009 12:58 AM

                                        Hee, love the Primavera comments -- maybe I'll try the tamal next time instead of my usual chilaquiles. I'm almost as excited to see the SF ep as I was to see the Vancouver one, and just as grumpy about having to wait -- thanks for the link to the preview!

                                  2. c
                                    chefinthecity Aug 5, 2009 05:37 PM

                                    i ran into him on the street when he was here! He was outside Hotel Monaco with his crew. I know he ate at Incanto in the back room - my friends where there with him. He was eating with Harold McGee and another guest who wasn't recognized.
                                    He was very tall and very tired looking when i saw him - but when i told him that I was a chef and was inspired by his outspoken philosophies on food - and he shook my hand and was very respectful.
                                    He looked beat though. I hope he got some rest!

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: chefinthecity
                                      Robert Lauriston Aug 5, 2009 06:18 PM

                                      Some blogger happened to be seated in the back room with them:

                                      http://randomfoodnotes.blogspot.com/2...

                                      EaterSF identified the others as Boccalone's Tatiana Graf, Mary Ladd of Jalapeño Girl, former Chron editor Oscar Villalon, and Boulevard's Ravi Kapur.

                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        grayelf Aug 5, 2009 10:30 PM

                                        Oh how I hate being in Canada sometimes, like when we have to wait months for new ABNR eps. PLEASE post in detail about the SF ep so I can live vicariously :-).

                                        1. re: grayelf
                                          Robert Lauriston Aug 6, 2009 02:29 PM

                                          They're available through Amazon VOD after a delay. Currently it looks like they're up to the Australia episode that aired on July 20:

                                          http://www.amazon.com/Australia/dp/B0...

                                          I think they're on iTunes as well.

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                            grayelf Aug 6, 2009 05:57 PM

                                            Thanks for the idea, RL, but once again I am foiled by being in Canada. The Amazon site can tell where I am and I get an aggravating "Not Authorized to View" message... I can't access the dozens of ABNRs available on iTunes.com (there is exactly one podcast on the Canadian site)... sigh... I fear I am going to have to wait till it turns up on Travel and Escape here.

                                            1. re: grayelf
                                              wolfe Aug 6, 2009 06:35 PM

                                              Maybe someone can tape it and send it to you. Can Canada VCR's play American tapes? ;-)

                                              1. re: wolfe
                                                m
                                                ML8000 Aug 6, 2009 08:03 PM

                                                You could try bittorrent.

                                                1. re: ML8000
                                                  grayelf Aug 6, 2009 11:51 PM

                                                  What is this "VCR" of which you speak, wolfe? In Canada, we have DVDs :-)...

                                                  ML, I may have to go there but I've just had so many bad experiences lately with corrupt or bogus torrents I'd kinda given up... end of whine/bitchfest.

                                                  1. re: grayelf
                                                    g
                                                    gomes Aug 7, 2009 12:35 AM

                                                    Yeah it sucks to be an NR fan in Canada. I actually used to have an American satellite connection and I fell in love with the Travel Channel. Now I have downgraded to Rogers and you get like one episode a week at a crappy time and they are old. Your best bet is YouTube, there's a poster that posts the episodes the day after they premiere and it's pretty good quality.

                                                    Can't wait for the San Francisco episode, hopefully it will finally encourage me to make a venture out there one day.

                                                    1. re: gomes
                                                      grayelf Aug 7, 2009 01:31 AM

                                                      Thanks, gomes, I'll try Youtube, at least for the SF ep. I hadn't thought of it as I read somewhere that posts of full eps of TV shows get pulled right away...

                                                      PS Get thee to San Francisco immediately ;-). I loves that city.

                                    2. Robert Lauriston Aug 5, 2009 04:49 PM

                                      The SF episode airs Monday.

                                      1. l
                                        lamster Mar 23, 2009 09:17 AM

                                        So now that this weekend has come and gone... Anyone see Anthony around town?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: lamster
                                          mapleleafgirl Mar 23, 2009 12:18 PM

                                          nope...but i know where he is still going ;)

                                          1. re: lamster
                                            j
                                            jeffreak Mar 23, 2009 11:32 PM

                                            The Roli Roti guy at the Farmer's Market said he kept walking by and got someone from his crew to get him a porchetta sandwich I think.

                                          2. applehome Mar 17, 2009 09:39 PM

                                            Don't forget that he's been there before on his previous show (A Cook's Tour) and made one of the greatest episodes ever. After going to a couple of places in town, he, Eric Ripert, Michael Ruhlman, and Scott Bryan head out to Yountville to The French Laundry to meet Thomas Keller and get served some truly incredible fare. Interestingly, Grant Achatz is sous chef and appears during one of the kitchen scenes. I've posted this clip before:

                                            http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v61...

                                            1. d
                                              Dinsdale45 Mar 17, 2009 07:40 AM

                                              I'd love to see him wander around the Asian markets and restaurants around Clement St. For me, that area is more interesting than Chinatown and is a little off the beaten path for most tourists.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Dinsdale45
                                                s
                                                sugartoof Mar 17, 2009 10:22 AM

                                                The markets are a lot more interesting than Chinatown, sure.... but what restaurants are you thinking of?

                                                1. re: sugartoof
                                                  d
                                                  Dinsdale45 Mar 17, 2009 11:54 AM

                                                  I'm not a native and I've only been out there three times (so restaurant names escape me), but I was able to find Burmese, Singaporean, and Sichuan restaurants along with other regional Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai, all in that neighborhood. I didn't get a chance to try those little dim sum places, but they looked good too.

                                                  1. re: sugartoof
                                                    m
                                                    ML8000 Mar 17, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                    I think he goes to one or two mid-level, California-ish fusion places like Aziza or Slanted Door. If I had to pick someone for him to hang with, maybe Alice Waters. Wild card might be someone like Narsai David. If there was one thing to zero in on, it might be the nutty, obsessive artisan thing...including drinks. I guess we'll have to see.

                                                    1. re: ML8000
                                                      s
                                                      sugartoof Mar 17, 2009 04:07 PM

                                                      Wow, I always forget Narsai David is still around. Bourdain really stuck it to Alice Waters, so if he hangs out with her, it'll be full of antagonistic schtick. We can expect a Daniel Patterson visit if so.

                                                      I think the Incanto guy prediction is the obvious and most likely guess.

                                                  2. re: Dinsdale45
                                                    w
                                                    walker Sep 3, 2009 11:24 PM

                                                    Once, on Clement St., I saw 2 identical headless fish displayed on crushed ice.
                                                    One of them, the tail was swishing back and forth; it was like a horror movie to me. I did not know this happened. Tony should go there and film a scene like that!!

                                                  3. Atomica Mar 16, 2009 07:51 PM

                                                    I heard that the show was going to be about The Mission. I think I read that in the Mission Mission blog.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: Atomica
                                                      kirinraj Mar 16, 2009 08:08 PM

                                                      cool, thats a great neighborhood with really good food

                                                      1. re: Atomica
                                                        Annie S. Mar 16, 2009 08:17 PM

                                                        That would be a new approach, so I'm a little doubtful. If memory serves, and it may not, no episode of No Reservations has ever concentrated the entire hour on exploration of one particular district at any of its destinations. Offhand, I don't think there's ever been a concentration of any kind food/district/people-wise to date? No doubt he'll hit up The Mission, though. Either way, I am psyched to see No Reservations take on SF like everyone else. The thread that spawns post-airing smiting/thumbs-upping the places he did hit will be a doozy.

                                                        1. re: Annie S.
                                                          s
                                                          sugartoof Mar 16, 2009 11:19 PM

                                                          This season has seen the "food porn", and dying NY episodes, so it's very possible His NY choices were pretty obvious ones, so I wouldn't expect tons of creativity for an SF episode.

                                                          He's been taking some shots at Alice Waters, and the Slow Food thing, so I would guess he's going to focus on that debate, and the working stiff underbelly of SF...only replace the word "underbelly" with pork belly, and bacon hot dogs instead.

                                                          When he does domestic shows, I always wish he would dig deep and uncover something a little edgier and undiscovered, but that's never the case. You hear that, Bourdain!?

                                                          1. re: sugartoof
                                                            wolfe Mar 17, 2009 04:39 AM

                                                            Tony Bourdain:
                                                            : You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talking... you talking to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the heck do you think you're talking to? Oh yeah? OK.

                                                            1. re: sugartoof
                                                              Annie S. Mar 17, 2009 08:19 PM

                                                              Aye, ok, spoke too soon, pardon. Only got the new season's episodes stockpiled on the computer - haven't watched them yet. But more importantly/unfortunately: yeah, this is very true what you say re: domestic episodes. What is that. Can already feel the inevitable dismay and forums fallout from here.

                                                              1. re: Annie S.
                                                                s
                                                                sugartoof Mar 17, 2009 10:54 PM

                                                                I think he'd be the first to admit the local shows are throw aways, to fill up episodes in between the more challenging material for them to shoot. He's already joked about doing more shows located close to Vietnam where he plans to relocate for a while, and France, where his wife is from. Even in the New York episode where he let a Taxi driver take him to his favorite place, he had to know it wasn't the best falafel joint in his own town, unlike say, the Phillipines where compare shopping and finding the best of something is secondary to the dish, and the culture behind it. That's why you also see him showing off the crappy strange hybrids of "Americanized" food in the States so much.

                                                        2. PolarBear Mar 16, 2009 06:11 PM

                                                          If he had any balls, he'd head on down to the central San Joaquin Valley, taco trucks, Mexican and Asian dives, probably even some mid-eastern fare he's never heard of. But then again, it's all just a show.... let the games begin.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: PolarBear
                                                            cocktailqueen77 Mar 17, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                            I second that PB!!

                                                          2. kirinraj Mar 16, 2009 04:30 PM

                                                            thats sick! i hope he goes to some of my favorite hole in the wall places (like comida yucatan y city pizza) cuz those seem like the kinda places he would like and they deserve the publicity.

                                                            1. m
                                                              mofo313 Mar 16, 2009 04:26 PM

                                                              Not sure that I'd faint but it would be cool to know what he's up to in town.

                                                              1. larochelle Mar 16, 2009 01:03 PM

                                                                Last time we had dinner at Incanto, he was at the table next to us.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: larochelle
                                                                  The Librarian Mar 16, 2009 01:10 PM

                                                                  Did you talk to him? I don't think I'd be able to eat due to excessive hyperventilating!

                                                                  1. re: The Librarian
                                                                    larochelle Mar 16, 2009 03:53 PM

                                                                    No, we were more interested in getting the food he was moaning over but it was "chef experiments not on the menu" according to our waiter.

                                                                    We also ran into him in NY a while back - he gave me his bar stool and we share a few words but then he was set upon by giggling girl groupees and he ended up fleeing.

                                                                    1. re: larochelle
                                                                      baron45 Mar 16, 2009 05:08 PM

                                                                      I ate at his restaurant Les Halles and I didn't even know who he was until years later.

                                                                2. m
                                                                  ML8000 Mar 16, 2009 12:49 PM

                                                                  I think he might end up doing some taco trucks on International. It would fit the profile -- inexpensive, fondness for hard working immigrants...and he's already been seen there. Didn't someone post a picture of him there from a year or so ago?

                                                                  It'll be interesting to see where he goes. I'd like to see Alemany Farmer's Market.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: ML8000
                                                                    k
                                                                    kc72 Mar 16, 2009 12:53 PM

                                                                    There was a pic of him in the Chronicle from the Fruitvale district last time around.

                                                                    1. re: ML8000
                                                                      baron45 Mar 16, 2009 01:15 PM

                                                                      He went to taco trucks in LA in another episode.

                                                                      1. re: baron45
                                                                        m
                                                                        ML8000 Mar 16, 2009 01:20 PM

                                                                        Okay then my guess is the Tenderloin and Vietnamese food.

                                                                        More interesting will be who he picks to hang out with, and of course where.

                                                                    2. bbulkow Mar 16, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                                      More interestingly, what restaurant is he covering? Where would you recommend he go?

                                                                      I'd send him to the mission for tripas and cabeza.

                                                                      1. sosdiaz Mar 16, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                                        I would LOVE to know where he is! I love his shows!

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