'Bon Appetit' Names Hot Joy No. 7 Best New Restaurant in America




Photos by Casey Howell

If you haven't been to Hot Joy yet, you might want to get there soon before food-sluts from across the nation start lining up outside the doors. Bon Appetit named Hot Joy as the No. 7 best new restaurant for 2014. The list includes NYC's Estela, San Francisco's Tosca and Thai Kun, a food truck out of Austin.

Here's a bit of what BA food and drink editor Andrew Knowlton had to say:

Twenty years ago, dishes like Szechuan beef chili with Fritos or dirty fried rice with chicken liver would have gotten you kicked out of culinary school. Today they’re called “dude food” or “stoner snacks” (or, as I like to think of them, the kind of over-the-top eats you crave after a long night of drinking). It’s all part of a growing subgenre of ethnic cuisine (see: Mission Chinese Food and Mott St) that, when executed with passion and skill, rewards the pleasure center of the brain just as much as some preciously foraged $100 tasting menu.

An excited, but humbled Quealy Watson talked about the win over the phone this morning.

"(Bon Appetit) came and did three days of shooting, and then later two days of shooting the next week, but I didn't want to get my hopes up about winning," Watson said. A voracious reader of all things food-related, Watson talked about Le Rêve, which was named the No. 6 restaurant in the country by Gourmet in 2006.

" I was just starting out as a cook and I had a subscription to the magazine and I was blown away that there was a place in SA that made the list. I never got a chance to go, but I think it's kind of cool to have someone who's just starting look at the Bon Appetit piece and be inspired to put in the hard work to do their own thing," Watson said.