This unusual diner was once a French bistro, so when owner Ric Libiran decided to switch up the menu, he kept the upscale bistro attitude. Guy loved the Short Rib French Dip, which is served with decadent jus made from more than four hours of braising: “The only problem with this is that you didn’t serve it in a kiddie pool so I can get in with the sandwich and the jus,” he said.
After growing up around his father’s restaurant in Lebanon, George Salameh decided to open up his own spot serving up traditional Lebanese dishes in San Diego. Locals flock here for the delicious flatbreads, like the one topped with Soujouk: a cumin-heavy blend of spices and ground meat topped with white Lebanese cheese. “I could have a hundred of those,” Guy said after just one bite.
Tucked away in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood is this farm-to-table pub that serves a variety of local beers and a diverse rotating menu that is designed to go with the brews. You won’t miss the meat in entrees like the Hot Mushroom Sandwich: A head of beech mushrooms is deep fried and topped with scallion aioli and a house-made pickled celery and cabbage slaw. “I could eat one of these every day!” Guy said.
This pan-Asian joint goes above and beyond the average sushi menu with items like Tom Kha Thai Steamer and Pork Belly Bibimbap. After moving to Chico, California from San Francisco 20 years ago, owner and chef Darren Chadderdon realized he missed the diverse Asian flavors available in the big city. He decided to take things into his own hands, and traveled to Thailand to take cooking classes before returning home to open his own restaurant. The Tom Kha Thai Steamer, a sweet and spicy seafood soup, blew Guy away: “I wanted that to be great,” he said after the first bite. “It’s not great, it’s phenomenal!”
San Diego has a lot of taco joints, but diners rave about this mom-and-pop shop where two brothers are cooking up memories from their childhood in Mexico. And if you’re searching for spice, look no further than the fiery Shrimp a La Diabla.
High school buddies, Mahmoud Barkawi and Osama Shabaik, combined their Egyptian and Syrian backgrounds to bring authentic Middle Eastern flavors to San Diego. Guy loved the shaved Chicken Shawarma, which is piled onto a salad, crispy fries or house-made pita. They make their falafel the Egyptian way with fava beans instead of garbanzo beans. “That’s no joke,” raved Guy.
Andy Harris used to be a tour manager for rock bands, firing up his smoker for the crews. His food was so successful he decided to open a restaurant to bring Texas barbecue to San Diego. He teamed up with Chef Ami Cisneros to elevate barbecue to the next level. Don’t miss the massive El Borracho Beef Rib with house-made queso and pickled red onion relish.
This local favorite makes excellent bread and pastry but also legit food. The popular Black Bean Chili has good old-school flavor, but it’s kicked up with a tangy cilantro pesto and served with jalapeno-cheddar challah muffins. Diners also rave about the Korean Pork Salad.
Chef and owners Zacarias Martin and Dionicia Valdovinos are serving up authentic Mexican food with influences from Guadalajara and Michoacán. The food incorporates chilis and spices, like cloves, and many of their dishes make use of the use of the molcajete, the traditional Mexican mortar and pestle. The Molcajete Mixto is a mixture of steak, chicken, shrimp and vegetables served inside a smoking-hot molcajete. Guy was in heaven, calling the it, “without question, one of the best Mexican food experiences I have ever had.”
A this tiny spot in Napa, Chef and owner David Lu is putting out delicious Asian cuisine with fresh local ingredients. Guy loved the Kimchi Fried Rice with braised beef cheeks and the house-made ramen.
For authentic Vietnamese food made with love, head to this Fieri-family favorite. Chef and co-owner John Nguyen serves up the recipes that mother and co-owner Be Nguyen cooked as a chef in Vietnam.
Rob Larman and his wife are serving up old school barbeque in the heart of California wine country at Cochon Volant. Chef Larman puts his unique spin on fried chicken by soaking it in a sweet-and-spicy brine laced with granny smith apples and pasilla chile paste. “This is a chef’s fried chicken,” said guy between bites. Their other claim to fame is the towering WTF Burger. A seared beef patty is topped with 14-hour smoked brisket, smoked pork shoulder, house-cured maple bacon, a fried chipotle pork cake, melted cheddar cheese and house-made barbeque sauce.
When Guy was growing up, his family would stop at Granzella’s Deli on road trips for the best muffuletta ever. Stop in and try one of their 30 different sandwiches.
Guy was shooting Guy’s Grocery Games in Santa Rosa when his buddy brought him the Korean Burrito from Zoftig Eatery. He loved it so much he needed to put the place on DDD. At Zoftig, chef and owner Matt Spector taps into his fine-dining background to spice up the menu, sourcing local but peppering the menu with international flavor. The Korean Burrito is packed with marinated, local ground beef, pickled vegetables, kimchi, fresh herbs, avocado and barbeque sauce. “I’m going to drown in my own drool,” Guy said before digging into it.
This San Francisco destination is one of the biggest Triple D joints ever, with seating for more than 450 people. Serving up traditional Chinese fare, Grand Harbor regulars rave about the pork buns, dim sum chicken feet and a selection of fresh seafood. Bonus: The restaurant's view of the San Francisco Bay is absolutely spectacular.