Food News

No Reservations: Anthony Bourdain in the California Desert

No Reservations has had Anthony Bourdain travel to some interesting places, like Cuba, Ghana, Liberia, and Cambodia. Imagine our surprise when last evening, Tony was seen driving a vintage Thunderbird in the California desert.

Tony meets Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, who grew up in this no-man's land somewhere between Los Angeles and Palm Springs to take in a little local color tequila and try to get a new soundtrack for the show.

First stop is Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace,

a desert outpost full of biker babes, booze, and barbecue. After being

served a Mason jar full of tequila, our intrepid traveler gets hungry.

What's on the menu in this roadhouse? Meat on the grill in the form of

rib eyes and ribs. Upon eating, Tony spots the bouncer, who he notes

could take out Swayze (in an homage to Roadhouse). Plans to go to the

recording studio to lay down tracks come to an abrupt end after they lapse

into a food- and tequila-induced coma.

The next morning, Tony and

Josh head out to what has to be the most awesome flea market/junkyard on

the planet, where they purchase an autographed photo of Nancy Sinatra

and some wig heads.

Tony notes that tequila's been sweating out

of his pores, which means it's time for breakfast. The logical food for

an awesome hangover is an awesome breakfast of chili and onions! Way to

go, Tony. Josh calls the food "a booze mop," which is something that

we'll steal because it's both witty and true. Might we mention that the

wig heads are at the table watching... just watching...


breakfast, it's time for a cocktail. The Corvette Summer seems to be the

drink of choice. Made with tequila (we're noting a pattern) and

grapefruit juice, it's the perfect drink to record a soundtrack to. Tony

quips that the only thing to really do after making a truly great piece

of music is "pick up the Grammy, OD, fall into the pool."


music and booze, we have to admit we found two shocking moments in this

episode -- and they both involve Anthony Bourdain making vegetarian

dishes. In the first go-round, Tony cooks a creamy asparagus and black

truffle risotto for the band that's recording his epic soundtrack.

Bourdain's second vegetarian meal in one episode is a re-creation of Scott Conant's tomato and basil spaghetti from Scarpetta. The secret of the sauce is in the butter, to make it creamy.

All trips to the California desert eventually lead to Palm Springs. Tony and his pal Josh go to Lord Fletcher's,

which hasn't changed since the days of Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and Dean

Martin. Tony then says what we've been thinking for years -- that Frank

Sinatra wishes he were as cool as Dean Martin was.

As the day

ends in the U.S. desert, Tony gets the new soundtrack to his show and

notes that "rock 'n' roll is a grueling business" as he jumps into his

classic T-Bird and drives off into the sunset.

Here's a great reel of the sun coming up on the desert, from the show:

No Reservations Desert Roll from Adam Lupsha on Vimeo.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss