The brainy chef behind French Laundry in Yountville, California, is known for reinventing such iconic American pairings as macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and coffee and doughnuts. Lately, Thomas Keller has been away from his Napa Valley kitchen to oversee the launch of Bouchon (The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas; 702/414-6200; dinner for two $65), and Per Se, at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan (10 Columbus Circle; 212/823-9335; dinner for two $250). So, what does one of America's top chefs crave on the road?"Ethnic food. I just want to experience different flavors," he says. Here, his favorite spots for wielding his chopsticks. • Noodle Asia (The Venetian, Las Vegas; 702/414-1444; dinner for two $50), for har gow (shrimp dumplings). • Shun Lee Café (43 W. 65th St., New York; 212/769-3888; dinner for two $70), for cold sesame noodles. • Vietnamese pho at San Francisco's Pho Hoa Hiep (1833 Irving St.; 212/664-0469; dinner for two $20). • For a quick sushi fix, he visits his Time Warner Center neighbor Masa (212/823-9800; dinner for two $600). "I can go out Per Se's back door, and there's Masa's kitchen. You can't get any better than that."
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