What are David Bouley’s favorite restaurants?
Kahala in Osaka. It has only eight seats. The chef is someone that has a sort of Western European hand in his Japanese-style cooking. I also love Kitcho in Kyoto. And then in France, I love L’Astrance and Pierre Gagnaire. I also like La Bigarrade — these guys are doing some of the best food at unbelievably low prices. It only has 21 seats, and it’s amazing. It’s in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, which is going through a little bit like a transformation like Soho, Tribeca or Brooklyn went through.
I love Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain. The chef is a dear friend. Everyone I send there comes back with big smiles. His daughter is taking over now, but it is still a very beautiful restaurant with very unique cooking with a very homey feeling. We find it a hard place to leave.