1. It’s been an interesting season for Parts Unknown. The second season of a show like Anthony Bourdain’s food/travel/issues show on CNN can be tricky. At this point, we know what to expect—Bourdain’s signature saltiness, food segments that speak to a place’s culture, lots of local booze, better camera work than we saw on Travel Channel. So how do you keep things fresh? By heading to the Middle East to showcase the food and culture of Gaza, an area that’s largely lost in headlines about ancient conflicts and new rocket launches; by eating through Johannesburg, South Africa, where restaurants showcase the city’s vibrant immigrant makeup and its brutal apartheid history; and by taking on Tokyo’s nighttime indulgences, from odd adult robot/stripper/dinosaur shows to escort bars and restaurants serving skewers of grilled everything to hungry salary men and everyone else. Tonight’s live broadcast at 7 p.m. will look back on the previous season, and there’s plenty to discuss.
2. We know he likes our local watering holes. Bourdain’s never been shy about his love for dives, and when Food & Wine asked him to name his top 5 bars around the world, Vegas’ own Double Down Saloon made the cut. As Tony said, "I like old-school places where they bust your balls when you walk in the door. Where a guy who's on TV a lot can be treated with the instinctive skepticism and derision that a profession such as mine deserves." Perhaps the Atomic, which reopened this year after a long hiatus, will make his next list.
3. Guest stars! The live Last Bite broadcast isn’t Bourdain’s usual in-depth exploration; it’s a talk show taking on issues that have come up in the previous season, including guns in America, obesity and sustainability. And Bourdain will be chatting with a wide-ranging crew that includes chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Roy Choi, actor Wendell Pierce (The Wire), comedian Bonnie McFarlane and CNN anchor Don Lemon. It’s a good bet that once the drinks start flowing, the conversation will, as well.