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Our tours make it possible for other cities to get a taste of what LA offers musically. On this tour some of us decided to get a taste of what other cities offer in the culinary world. I made reservations at several restaurants with big name chefs: Rick Bayless, José Andrés and Tom Colicchio.
Because we did not have a free night in San Francisco, our first gastronomic experience of the tour was in Chicago at Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo. There were six of us: four bass players and two percussionists (there is always a special relationship between bass and drums in all fields of music). As is our custom when on the road, we began with shots of Milagro, margaritas and mojitos. Then we all chose the taster’s menu with matched wines for each of the five courses. I cannot use enough superlatives to describe the various courses and the complexity of the sauces, particularly the mole negro. My single favorite dish was the huevos motuleños – a poached egg with pork belly in a habañero sauce. In LA we have frequent celebrity sightings so it is no big deal to us. But I have to say that we all took notice of Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore when they entered Topolobampo right behind us. We are not the only Angelenos who acknowledge the most stellar Mexican food to be found north of the border.
Up next is Jaleo, José Andrés’ tapas bar in D.C. (had to drop Dudamel's name to secure a reservation there), followed by Colicchio & Sons in New York. I don't expect to have much left of my per diem, but it will be well worth it.