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An inspiration is gone. Anthony Bourdain, respected chef, writer and host of several successful television programs was found dead in his hotel room in France while filming an episode of CNN’s Parts Unknown.
The reaction to his untimely death is unanimous: complete shock.
Having spanned the entire globe on his travels, Bourdain was a modern-day explorer. He aimed to explore food and culture; from the highest of echelons, to street food enjoyed by everyday people.
He brought this same mentality on his visits to Los Angeles, having most recently made a mini-series about different pockets of culture around the City of Angels.
Aside from that, it’s no secret that Bourdain adored Koreatown, having dedicated an entire episode of Parts Unknown to exploring the community. Over the years he’s visited classic spots like Phillipe’s, high end eateries like Broken Spanish, and single-handedly propelled Tacos Villa Corona into city and nationwide popularity.
Don’t forget his love for a very well known SoCal burger establishment.
He will be sorely missed, and his spirit will live on through the connections he made with food. The following are some notable spots Bourdain visited in Downtown and the surrounding areas.
Having gone as far to say the this burger chain was his favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, no list on Bourdain could be complete without including In-N-Out. In the video below, Bourdain tells Eater LA the exact reasons why a Double-Double animal style might be the best thing to eat, ever.
Back when Bourdain was making No Reservations for the Travel Channel, he stopped by a small, family-operated spot called Birrieria Chalio. He speaks of the importance of remembering the past and understanding your culture when eating a beloved food. As a mariachi band plays in the background, Bourdain enjoys some tacos de birria, or roasted and braised pork.
3580 E 1st St, CityTerrace. (323) 268-5349
Another location Bourdain visited while filiming No Reservations, Philippe’s is a Los Angeles staple that opened in 1908. Known best for their French dip sandwiches, Bourdain visited Philippe’s with a local roller derby team.
He ordered the lamp dip, with a healthy dose of the famous au jus dipping sauce to go with it.
On the Los Angeles episode of Parts Unknown, a major talking point for Bourdain was the change in presentation and acceptance of Mexican food in the city and beyond. He sat down with chef Eddie Ruiz and business partner Robin Chopra to discuss the the changing views, techniques and variations that Angelino-Mexican food is creating
Again on the Parts Unknown episode in Los Angeles in early 2017, Bourdain travels to the famed Olvera Street. He goes to the well known eatery Cielito Lindo with comedian Al Madrigal and writer Gustavo Arellano. Bourdain ordered their famous machaca taquitos smothered in a spicy green avocado sauce. He also indulged in a bean and machaca burrito while speaking on the state of Mexican-American cuisine in Los Angeles.
Myung In Dumplings
In his greatly received episode on Koreatown for Parts Unknown, Bourdain tags along with local street artist David Choe as they visit his favorite dumpling house. At Myung In Dumplings, Bourdain and Choe drink Hite beer while eating plenty of the Wang Mandu King dumplings. A thicker-than-normal dough is wrapped over a mixture of pork, fresh kimchee and vegetables, then served piping hot.
3109 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, (213) 381-3568.
Tacos Villa Corona
Nestled in an unsuspecting storefront on Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village, Tacos Villa Corona was largely unknown outside of the neighborhood. That was, until Bourdain came to visit way back in 2012. He starts first with two tacos, one steak and one chicken. Then upon asking a other patron what they were eating, was prompted to order a potato and chorizo breakfast burrito.
His visit alone gave the restaurant an immense surge in popularity, with lines still going strong until today.
Watch the full clip here.
3185 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 661-3458.