Secret restaurants and Transformers have one thing in common: They're more than meets the eye. And they're more enjoyable when you're drinking. One guy who knows this better than most is Adam Richman, host of Travel Channel's Secret Eats with Adam Richman, who has been all over the world eating and drinking in places the average person might not even know exist. We asked Richman to run down a few memorable hidden spots in his globetrotting adventures, and he told us about five places you're going to want to put on the ol' bucket list.
The Great Escape
How to get there: Go to The Projector movie theater, walk to the bathrooms, and find the door to enter the car park.
What to eat: Salted egg French fries and roasted duck salad
Adam says: "It's a bar and gastropub in the back of a parking deck in the middle of Singapore's Thai neighborhood. Two entrepreneurial guys bought parking spots that were covered by the level above them, and worked out a deal with the kitchen of a nearby movie theater to supply the food. You can sit in this hidden, covered oasis in the back of a parking lot with an amazing view of the Singapore marina, and eat great food. If you go to a movie at The Projector, you can park directly next to the pub."
How to get there: Walk through the burgundy curtain in the back of jm Curley and look for the "Adults Only" plaque.
What to eat: Rib-eye with bone marrow and foie gras butter
Adam says: "It's inside the popular hamburger spot jm Curley -- most people think the entrance to Bogie's is going to lead you to a private room or the kitchen. Find the plaque in the hallway that says 'Adults Only,' and you'll find a bar with about 14 seats. The steaks there are top-quality. Everyone in the front bar is eating burgers; I interviewed people there and asked them where I could get a good steak -- no one knew there was a steakhouse back there."
How to get there: Submit your case online, then show up and ring the doorbell at the agency.
What to eat: Truffle bacon mac & cheese
Adam says: "There's a place in the Earl's Court neighborhood -- it's on the west side, and it's not near the London Eye or the touristy stuff people go to. There's a random door that says 'Evans & Peel Detective Agency.' You have to call in advance (or go online) and play along with them. When they ask if you have a case to be solved, you must create a case. Then show up and ring the bell. They'll ask if you have an appointment, and then buzz you in. You go to the bottom of the staircase and there's a random guy sitting there in a detective's office. There's no indication there's a restaurant at all. He interviews you about the case for a while, and then when you've answered the questions to his satisfaction, he pulls a lever hidden inside the bookcase and the entire bookcase opens to reveal a sick gastropub.
"They've got cocktails and typical gastropub food, but the truffle bacon mac & cheese you should order is off-menu. They have mac & cheese, but not that kind. It's the cachet of having a secret dish in a secret place. You smell it before you see it, and it's such a little place. It turns heads."
How to get there: Behind the Pyramid of the Sun, 650ft from door #5 of the archaeological site
What to eat: Any dish that features homemade tortillas
Adam says: "Teotihuacán is a 45-minute drive outside of Mexico City. And in the shadow of the Pyramid of the Sun, which is the third-largest pyramid on Earth, there's a restaurant called La Gruta. It's in a cave that's about three stories below ground. It was once used to stash gold for the ancient Mayans, and then-President Madero and General Diaz used to have banquets surrounded by the gold to show status. Now that same cave is a restaurant serving up amazing, authentic Mexican cuisine. They do phenomenal barbacoa. The tortillas are the best I've had in my life -- they're crispy, chewy, and they make them fresh in front of you. And phenomenal guacamole."
Los Angeles, California
How to get there: Walk through Greenspan's Grilled Cheese, go up a set of stairs, walk into an office, and enter through the fridge door with the sailboat on the left.
What to eat: Whole branzino with fig pomegranate glaze
Adam says: "It's a Mediterranean restaurant that has a great, classic approach to Mediterranean food and some really novel ones. In particular, the whole roasted fish and his version of Mediterranean ramen are fantastic."
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