The secret of a good restaurant is definitely very simple and it happens when you crave the food they serve...For example, I am already looking forward to return to New York's new La Mar Cebicheria and try more of their ´causas´..Just after one dinner there I 'know' that I will go back and repeat the pleasurable experience.
The same happens with the marvelous Chicken Tikka Masala at London´s wonderful Tamarind...And I would go anywhere for the Smoked Marlin Tacos from chef Douglas Rodriguez and look for them at any of his amazing restaurants....Nobu´s Squid Pasta or Rock Shrimp with Creamy Ponzu Sauce are sublime and taste always divine, either in New York or in London...The amazing jamon serrano croquettes from Sra. Martinez in Miami are worth going back many times ...The ´home style' Chicken Milanese from very 'homy' and simple Coppola´s, in the Upper West Side of NYC is delicious...As well as Thomas Keller´s amazing cornets or 'barquillos' filled with salmon tartare, sour cream and caviar...The Chicken Lettuce Wraps of P.F. Chang's...One of my favorites: Toloache´s Quesadilla de Huitlacoche...Or the Vietnamese specialties of my ´secret´and favorite restaurant Thai Son in New York´s Chinatown!
On the other hand, the cuisine of many famous chefs (whom, in many ocassions have personally served me some of their reknowned dishes) impresses us for about 10 minutes -and after one leaves the restaurant absolutely nothing stands out. This has happened to me many times with very world-famous chefs --and it is such a shame!
Good food becomes a 'good' lasting memory. It is not just a passing forgettable thing.