Alan Gastelum

I’ve put a lot away over the last few months, but what follows are a few of my tastiest and most memorable outtakes, worth tracking down in your city.

Jordana Rothman
Updated April 16, 2018

All of us ask a lot of our bodies, but I think it’s fair to say that for me this is...extra true. As Restaurant Editor of mkgallery I spend months on the road scouting each year’s class of Best New Chefs and Restaurants of the Year—a big job that requires an even bigger appetite. Double dinners (we call them bang-bangs) and even the occasional triple (that’s a bang-bang-bang baby) are part of the job, often on the heels of a day spent exploring new bakeries, street vendors, farmers markets and unicorn frappalattewhatevers.

This year’s journey was no less an exquisite gavage—many tens of thousands of miles traveled in search of delicious and surprising things to eat, like the PB and C(urry) at Preeti Mistry's modern Indian in Oakland, or Ross Coleman and James Haywood’s West African remixes at their Houston sleeper, . I fell deeply in love with the city of St. Louis, thanks in no small part to Loryn Nalic’s stuffed Turkish pide bread slicked with tangy red pepper ajvar at truck, and lost mind over Anthony Rush and Chris Kajioka’s slow-cooked cabbage with moringa powder at in Honolulu.

I’ve put a lot away over the last few months, but what follows are a few of my tastiest and most memorable outtakes, worth tracking down in your city.

Best Bites of the Year

The trotter hot dog with perilla mustard, ham hock ketchup, and shiso relish at  in San Francisco:

Lobster chips with Old Bay dip at The Snug

Crispy fried mushrooms with salty cheese, dill and herb aioli at  in Seattle

Katsu sando, cedar-smoked gelato, and okonomiyaki fries at  in Seattle

Kiwi berries at the Seattle farmers’ market


Slow-cooked cabbage with moringa powder at in Honolulu

Short rib rolled dumplings with charred onion and beef jus at  in Los Angeles

PB and C (curried peanut butter and chutney) at  in Emeryville

Mushroom dumplings with katsuoboshi broth, cordyceps, yam and dill at  in San Francisco

Paprika liptauer cheese dip at  in San Francisco

Mushroom baked in yuzu butter at in Venice

Grated tomato with tahini, fresh basil and CA olive oil at  in Los Angeles

Ethiopian hot chicken sandwich at  in Washington, DC

Shaved porchetta at  in Portland

Hachiya persimmon with bottarga at in Santa Monica

Cassoulet vert at  in Los Angeles

Migas TBD at  in Austin

Micklethwaits Brisket, Pickle, and Swiss kolache at  in Austin

Sweet potato salad at  in Austin

Black vinegar oxtail or West African pepper pot goat stew at  in Houston

Chocolate-pepita cookie at  in Kansas City

Kouign-amann at in St. Louis

Turkish pide stuffed with ground beef or cheese and served with ajvar and Turkish wood-fired flatbread at  in St. Louis

Hot cheeto pork rinds at  in Minneapolis/St. Paul

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