Bon Voyage, Bon Appetit: Kobe Bryant’s Culinary Farewell Tour — New Orleans, Houston, Oklahoma City

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Parting is such sweet sorrow. Yet all things must come to an end, whether it’s Kobe Bryant‘s career or this ridiculous series suggesting where he should eat on his final stops. Kobe’s final road trip starts Friday, April 8 in New Orleans. From there, he’ll travel to Houston, then finish in Oklahoma City. As far as food is concerned, that’s a pretty good way to go out.

New Orleans


Normally, this is where I ramble a bit on the history of the restaurant or Kobe’s post-game eating habits. For Cochon (both their restaurant and the upscale sandwich shop next door), I’m just going to list some of their dishes, because that’s all Kobe or anyone should need to have a reason to go.

  • Duck pastrami sliders
  • Spiced lamb sandwich
  • Mac and cheese (and the best damn mac and cheese you’ll ever have, mind you).
  • Rabbit and dumplings
  • Pork tongue with charred radishes and English peas

Oh, and did I mention the DUCK PASTRAMI SLIDERS?


When he’s in New Orleans, Israeli food probably isn’t at the top of Kobe’s list. He’s probably searching for that perfect alligator po’ boy (and why wouldn’t he be, they’re delicious). Totally understandable. But we’re going to throw Kobe a curveball here and ask him to be a little adventurous.

Shaya‘s been getting some serious publicity in the short time it’s been open. Esquire, The New York Times and Eater all sang its praises. Oh, and head chef Alon Shaya won the James Beard Award for best chef. Give the falafel or chicken schnitzel sandwiches a try, Mamba. You’ll be happy you did.


LA Crawfish

Having just come from New Orleans, probably the last thing on Kobe’s mind is more cajun food. He should make an exception for LA Crawfish. Located inside 99 Ranch Market, an Asian Supermarket that puts other supermarkets to shame, the restaurant is a cramped BYOB that does crawfish boils right. It’s messy, greasy, and absolutely perfect. Hey, it could even be a perfect team-bonding experience, since the Lakers are apparently in need of that right now.


What is it with award-winning chefs naming restaurants after themselves? First Shaya, now Hugo’s, run by Hugo Ortega. If you’re going to put your name on a restaurant, it better be damn good — and Hugo’s is. Ortega was a two-time finalist for the James Beard award for best chef in the Southwest. His restaurant boasts authentic Mexican cuisine like cabrito (roasted goat), ceviche, duck mole and barbacoa. MORE?

Oklahoma City


Kobe’s probably a Phish-head, right? Yeah, that totally fits his personality.

In that spirit, we’re sending him to Guyutes (the name of a Phish song), which serves inventive street food in a wide-open, warehouse-like atmosphere. With dishes named “The Meat Stick” and “The Pork Tornado,” how could anyone resist?

ron swanson

Burn Co.

It’s Kobe’s last road trip, so he can do whatever he damn well wants. Also, Byron Scott is his coach, so he can always do whatever he damn well wants.

In this case, that means taking control of the team bus and taking a quick jaunt down to Tulsa (it’s only about an hour drive, no big deal) to get some seriously delicious barbecue. Now, we know what you’re thinking: Oklahoma isn’t exactly renowned for its barbecue. And you’re right. But Burn Co. is an oasis of smoked meat in this otherwise barren wasteland. The only problem: Kobe will need to get there early, because they frequently run out of food. And once the food is gone, the restaurant is closed for the day.