Hugh Acheson is a Georgia chef, but he's been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in L.A. This is partly due to his duties as a Top Chef judge over the years, but more recently he's found other reasons to be here. For instance, later this week he'll be cooking at Friday night's Southern Eats event at the All-Star Chef Classic, along with a bunch of other fantastic Southern and Southern-leaning chefs.
Given that Acheson's restaurants are some of my favorites in my former home state of Georgia, we wondered what he's come to appreciate about the food of my current hometown. Turns out he thinks we've got it pretty good. He shared his five favorites — look for him at one (or all) of these spots this weekend while he's in town.
"Look. Y’all are spoiled. I know there is that incessant line and a bevy of people prettier than 99% of all of us, but the food that Jessica Koslow makes epitomizes something rare for me: It is food I crave every damn day, rain or shine. Get the chicken and rice, a salad, a coffee and a turmeric tonic, and then tell me that you don’t feel awesome." 720 N. Virgil Ave., East Hollywood. (323) 284-8147, sqirlla.com.
4. Sushi Park
"Yes, they are picky, but it is accompanied by such zeal and authenticity that it makes sense. No, they don’t make California rolls, but they do make stunningly delicious sushi in a town of great sushi. Again, y’all are spoiled." 8539 Sunset Blvd., #20, West Hollywood. (310) 652-0523.
3. Son of a Gun
"Jon [Shook] and Vinny [Dotolo] have created an iconic gem of lobster rolls and oysters. For me it is a place of calm and chablis, a mental state that I quite enjoy." 8370 W. Third St., Beverly Grove. (323) 782-9033, sonofagunrestaurant.com.
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2. Tower Bar
"A martini and a Cobb salad in an art deco classic. The heart of Hollywood sits in the corner, talking to their agent about why they didn’t get cast in La La Land." Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 848-6677, sunsettowerhotel.com
1. Night + Market Song
"Spicy. Real. Palpable. Night + Market Song is the restaurant that makes me crave Thai food, matched with a very cold beer and servers who are much, much cooler than me." 3322 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. (323) 665-5899, nightmarketla.com.