After being introduced to Anthony Bourdain, I was hooked. I recall the time of day and episode. All it took was an episode of Parts Unknown in Copenhagen on a cool summer evening for my life to be changed forever.

Bourdain's wit, uncensored humor and unapologetic honesty has been enough to capture viewers worldwide. His list of followers around the globe are ever-growing, and when it comes to food, his opinions mean everything. For me, the mere mention of a restaurant means the food was worth his time, whether it is an honorable or dishonorable mention.

I am pleased to share a brief list of restaurants mentioned on his award winning show Parts Unknown.

1. Loco'l

Located on 103rd Street, Los Angeles and 3446 Market Street, West Oakland, Loco'L is a revolutionary fast food restaurant opened by Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ in Los Angeles and Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco.

This fast food restaurant is not like your average McDonald's. Loco'L starts with fresh ingredients to make items on their menu like veggie chili, shrimp n' grits and foldies (tacos dorados). A faithful burger, fries, and aqua fresca combo only sets you back $8. 

2. Myung In Dumplings

You can find Myung In Dumplings on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles. Other locations are in Garden Grove and Torrance, California. On the menu are traditional Korean style dumplings, either steamed, boiled or fried with fillings like sweet red bean, vegetables, kimchi and shrimp, and a dumpling casserole that serves two to three people. Excluding the dumpling casserole that costs $34, all of the menu items cost under $12, which sounds reasonable to me. 

3. Miss Ollie's

Miss Ollie's serves seasonal Caribbean food in Old Oakland, California. From jerk shrimp to Phoularie to Grand Provision and tofu curry, Miss Ollie's definitely knows how satisfy anyone's ears, eyes and, of course, taste buds. 

The jerk shrimp lunch dish comes with sour cream, lemon and an arugula and tomato salad to balance the meal. Phoularie is a dish of split pea fritters complimented with okra, shado beni and tamarind sauce. The Grand Provision and tofu curry dinner is a dish with basmati rice, roasted red Fresno peppers and tamarind sauce. The menu changes based on the season, but prices range from $5 to $17. 

4. Gish Bac

In Mid City, Los Angeles, Gish Bac pleasures its customers with authentic comida Oaxaqueño. This restaurant serves mole negro, chile de agua relleno, tlayudas and much more. If you are not familiar with the national dish of Mexico, mole, then I must warn you my description will not do the dish justice until you try it yourself.

Mole is a thick, chocolatey, spicy (to add flavor) sauce that is cooked with chicken. The sweetness of the chocolate and the spice from the roasted peppers balance the sauce perfectly to create the base of the dish. Chile de agua relleno is a Oaxacan pepper stuffed with either chicken or cheese in red sauce and is served with rice and beans. Tlayudas is a large Oaxacan tortilla toped with refried beans, cheese, cabbage, tomato and avocado. Dishes at Gish Bar Restaurant average out to around $13 a plate.

5. Cielito Lindo

This restaurant is located in Olvera Street, Los Angeles. Olvera Street is a historic district on downtown Los Angeles. It is a popular destination where Spanish establishments were built in the 1800s. Today, Mexican vendors and restaurants fill the area creating a colorful, friendly space to try new and favorite foods. Cielito Lindo is famous for its taquitos drenched in avocado sauce. This simple treat has customers coming back for more every day. 

Anthony Bourdain has given me a whole new perspective on food. From the day I viewed that episode of Parts Unknown, I realized that every dish has a story. So, I encourage you to experiment with food and eat mindfully because every ingredient matters despite how cliché it may sound.