Written by Nadia Ibanez
This past weekend in Los Angeles was full of plentiful and fresh dining options and beautiful scenery. From spending the evening overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, to eating ourselves silly with thousands of other Angelenos in a pseudo metropolitan TV set, I will never question why LA is one of the best destinations for entertainment, excess and scenery. For the ultimate gluttonous experience, we spent the weekend at Los Angeles Times Taste LA.
Set among a Hollywood backdrop to resemble the streets and stoops found in New York City, the Paramount Pictures Studio played host to the weekend-long foodie event. I’ve been to a number of food and wine festivals, but I’d have to say that Taste LA is one of the most attractive environments for a food fest. Upon walking through the Paramount gates, culinary smells, BBQ smoke and festive music permeated the air. Not only were we surrounded by Hollywood history, but famed LA chefs and equally enthusiastic food lovers bumped elbows while covering the grounds.
From restaurants with week-long wait lists and trendy food trucks, to up-and-coming restaurant owners, the samples available throughout the weekend were delicious and plentiful. Although the Indian Summer heat was beating down on us, we managed to taste just about all of the offerings at many of the events.
Here is a look back at some of our favorite bites and sips from Taste LA 2013.
RockSugar Pan Asian offered Cashew Glazed Shrimp with sliced radish and jicama. So meaty and so delicious.
Border Grill offered a Grilled Alaska Halibut Taco with grapefruit jicama slaw, 4 year aged cotija cheese, chipotle aioli and a side of sweet corn esquite.
One of the tastiest bites from the weekend was Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle’s cold Ramen soup in a sardine broth. It was so delicious and perfect for the heatwave. I’ll definitely be looking these guys up the next time I’m in LA.
Loved seeing the Grilled Cheese Truck at the Taste LA and loved their Cheesy Mac and Rib even more. Word on the street is that their trucks are coming soon to Orange County and San Diego.
One of the most unique tastes from the weekend was the Uni & Corn Chawanmushi, or custard, with bonito popcorn, truffle salt and a yuzu tamari gel. The taste, offered by the Inn of the Seventh Ray, was super refreshing and the hidden dollops of uni made for a perfect bite.
There were plenty of dessert offerings at Taste LA and we especially loved the Double Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream from McConnell’s in Santa Barbara.
And of course, you can’t forget about the dozens of wineries, cocktails, and liquors that were on display and were flowing freely throughout the weekend. While I couldn’t find one favorite winery or brew, the designer cocktails definitely caught my attention. How cute are these cocktails from Veev?
After all of the tastes and drinks over the weekend, it definitely took some time to feel an ounce of hunger after Labor Day. The Taste LA was memorable and well worth the trip up to Los Angeles. If you’re in town during Labor Day next year, I’d highly recommend you pay attention to their event announcements. For more information, visit Taste LA.