Get A Taste Of L.A., And Beyond...
The City Of Angels. Known for it's sun, it's stars, it's traffic and even more recently, for it's extensive selection of fresh, seasonal and delicious cuisine. Lucky for me, this past weekend, my pal Nicole invited me to the Los Angeles Times, Taste Of L.A. This three day culinary celebration brings SoCal foodies to gather amongst "a carefully curated list of restaurants, chefs, food trucks, vintners, breweries, spirit makers and notable personalities". It is a very cool set up for a festival, as you are literally hanging out on the Paramount Studio Lot, tasting amazing bites and sipping on elixirs right next to where Alfred Hitchcock and the Marx Brothers shot some of their most legendary films. Flavors of L.A., the event that we attended, features authentic dishes from near and far. The ticket included unlimited wine, beer, spirits and food tastings, plus access to all seminars and presentations by top chefs such as Susan Feniger, chef/owner of Street Restaurant.
With all of this noted, we got there at 11a with empty bellies ready to get our taste on...and to snag some cool giveaways like a Stella Artois pint glass or a free cocktail at Picca Restaurant on Pico in Beverly Hills. It was hot as hell, but we were like hungry warriors making our way through the crowds in order to taste it all by the time that the doors closed at 3p. Here are some of my favorites from the day (and no, I did not say it was all healthy, "per se" ):
Refreshing, crisp champagne from Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma, CA.
New Age White Wine Sangaria.
Veev (Acai Spirit) Acai Mojito: take one shot of the spirit, juice of one lime, a teaspoon of agave, club soda and shake gently ~ top with fresh mint and your favorite berries. Voila! Summer cocktail.
Next up, Tierra Blanco Tequilla watermelon skewers ~ soak, stab with skewer, freeze, enjoy. Karlsson's Potato Vodka Swedish Mule made with vodka, ginger beer, lime juice & bitters. L.A.'s Fathers Office Kimchi Bloody. Heeyo!
Beers. Oro Di Milano served straight up champagne style to preserve its pop! On the right, Peroni mixed with olive oil infused jalapeño peppers and fresh berries.
Cool octopus salad with heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. Eggplant with fresh burrata cheese. Locando Del Lagos mushroom risotto...yum.
Wheat & gluten free arepas from Beverly Hill's Coupa Cafe . Watermelon "sashimi" layered with cucumber, olive tapenade and feta cheese. Seared beef with summer succotash.
Cold soups: Jerusalem Artichoke & Heirloom Melon Gazpacho. Bottom right corner, Sichuan pig ear terrine from Culver City's Lukshon. (I ate mine veggie style)
We tasted, we discussed, we learned ~ and we smiled...alot. Oh, and we consumed some fresh pressed juices from L.A.'s Pressed Juicery to keep us balanced in between cocktails.