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Chef’s Tour: L.A. County with David Lefevre

David Lefevre

David Lefevre is making waves with Fishing with Dynamite, his seafood restaurant in Manhattan Beach, California. He’s even been shortlisted for this year’s James Beard Awards—the “Oscars of the food world”—in the category of Best Chef: West. We caught up with him last week when he cooked at New York City’s esteemed James Beard House, where he shared with T+L his perfect day of L.A. eating.

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Mendoza's Grape Harvest Festival

grapes

Mendoza, Argentina hosted its 78th annual grape harvest festival known as "La Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia," a ten-day cultural celebration that attracts hundreds of thousands of revelers from near and afar.

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Appetite for Andalusia

Andalusia

T+L travels to Andalusia, in southern Spain, to discover just-caught seafood, plump chorizo, charming inns, whitewashed towns, and plate after plate of prized jamón ibérico.

Every afternoon at Trasierra, a whitewashed Spanish estate about an hour’s drive north of Seville, a bounteous lunch spread arrives on the breezy pool terrace—tortilla, slow-cooked eggs and potatoes flipped out of a skillet and cut into thick wedges; ajoblanco, a cold soup made with almonds and garlic; cheese; blistered peppers; and prized jamón ibérico sourced by the proprietor’s son at El Capellán, a farm just a couple of towns away.

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Where to Eat in Las Vegas's Chinatown

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Along Spring Mountain Road—a.k.a. Chinatown—are scores of authentic Asian restaurants. Here, six highlights.

Pho 87 (pictured): Purists flock to this unassuming storefront for super-fresh goi cuon (summer rolls) and fragrant oxtail pho. 3620 S. Jones Blvd.; 702/233-8787. $

China Mama: Order the signature soup dumplings—here called steamed juicy pork buns—and don’t overlook the lamb with cumin or the crispy beef. 3420 S. Jones Blvd.; 702/873-1977. $

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7 Unexpected Slices of New York Pizza

New York pizza: Coca

Whatever you call a savory topped flatbread—lahmacun, khachapuri, manakeesh, or simply “pizza”—you’ll find every piece of the pie in New York. Here are our favorite global slices, and where the city does them best.

Coca, Spain: A cross between a pizza and a tart, coca (pictured) is a staple of Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands. Try it here with blue cheese and roasted onions. La Vara 268 Clinton St., Brooklyn. $$

Lahmacun, Turkey: The ultimate Turkish street food: supple and charred from a brief stint in a kebab oven, with a spicy, tomatoey schmear of ground lamb. Ali Baba 212 E. 34th St. $$

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Toni Collette's Favorite Places

Toni Collette

Peripatetic actress Toni Collette—doing her second turn on Broadway this month—tells T+L about some of her favorite places.

“The writing is so smart and beautiful,” says Toni Collette about Will Eno’s dark comedy The Realistic Joneses, in which she shares the stage with Tracy Letts, Marisa Tomei, and Michael C. Hall. “He captures life, warts and all.” Smart, beautiful, and at times unflinching are also ways to describe the actress—and her travel m.o. Here, Collette’s secret address book:

Off-the-Radar Trek: “I once fled the Toronto Film Festival to meet a boyfriend in Kathmandu. Sleeping under the stars, white-water rafting, playing soccer with local kids—it was all unforgettable. The only challenge was the leeches!”

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Best Restaurants in San Francisco to Eat Like a Local

Best Restaurants in San Francisco: Little Skillet

We know what you’re craving. And we know where to find it.

The Fried Chicken: Little Skillet
Cayenne-and-paprika-spiced fried chicken served with maple syrup and waffles dusted in powdered sugar. 360 Ritch St.; 415/777-2777. $$

The Coffee: Sightglass
Classic cappuccino made with small-batch, single-origin beans. 270 Seventh St. $

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Hot New Food Trends Worth Trying

Le Coq Rico rotisserie chicken

Rotisserie Chicken: The seductive aroma of spit-roasted chicken has three food capitals in a spin. On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, at the new Rôtisserie Georgette, the juicy poulet rôti is matched with sublimely crunchy potatoes and flame-kissed leeks. Heirloom chickens and game birds are the specialty at Le Coq Rico (pictured), in Paris’s boho Abbesses quarter. And in London, two young chefs have turned a 2006 Ford Transit van into the roving rotisserie Spit & Roast, whose free-range Suffolk chickens are now a cult sensation.

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OpenTable Offers New Program for Last-Minute Reservations

OpenTable

The most frustrating part of planning a trip? Not being able to score the right restaurant reservations (well, for this foodie, anyway). Several city-specific tools have cropped up to serve those of us who are both discerning eaters and poor planners (SoonSpoon.com in Boston; TableSavvy in Chicago; New York’s @LastMinuteEatin’ on Twitter), but today OpenTable is announcing a new program that will take the model coast to coast.

With Hot Tables, OpenTable lets VIP users (those who make at least 12 reservations a year) sign up for alerts when their preferred restaurant is already booked—anyone who has signed up for the alert will get a text message notification the second a table opens up. (In other words, there will still be competition.) Sound a lot like Rezhound? That’s because it is—the independent site had been offering the exact same service without being under OpenTable’s purview, proving just how much demand there might be for an official product.

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Q+A: Vietnam-born Chef Thang Pham Talks Cooking in Barcelona

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Chef Thang Pham—born in Vietnam, raised in America, running a kitchen in Barcelona— presents the world on a plate, the summation of his influences wrapped in a banana leaf: his mother; his childhood best friend who welcomed him into an African American southern home; Washington, D.C.’s Anne Cashion; his Catalan present. Pham’s restaurant “Me” (Vietnamese for Mother), is in Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood. Here, this architect-turned-Cordon Bleu graduate presents nimble plates for a sophisticated audience.

Q: How did you end up in BCN?

A: Having studied architecture, I came here because of Antonio Gaudi and I stumbled upon Ferran Adria and all those fantastic chefs—it was a very creatively rich atmosphere. My plan was to stay here a year—13 years ago!  Spain has an absolutely amazing the sense of passion for and quality of product that is unrivaled—the black pork, all the seafood, even the artichokes. The reverence for simple, quality food is unique.

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