Taste LA: The Delicious Wrap-up

The Event of the Summer!

I went.

I ate.

I conquered.

In fact, I ate so much, I had to take my belt off from around my dress before I drove home.
…And then I went home and had five Oreos…. Hey, it happens.

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The Los Angeles Times’ Taste LA Event was THE event of the summer, taking place over the span of three days with five events at the Paramount Picture Studios New York lot in Hollywood. The who’s who of LA restaurants and chefs were all in attendance, some serving delicious eats and others cooking in live demos, while some of the hottest local bartenders were slinging booze.

The Paramount lot was the PERFECT site, yet again, for such an amazing event. While long lines are inevitable, especially at the most sought-after vendors, the layout of the venue paired with the spacious “streets” really helped combat the stagnant lines you generally tend to find at other events.

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The day events, Field to Fork and Brunch and BBQ, were less crowded than the night events, Dinner with a Twist and Taste of LA, but both time slots had great offerings not found at the previous event. Bottega Louie macaroons and Roy Choi cooking demos during the day and Jonathan Gold lectures and cooler temperatures at night made for interesting and fresh takes on each event. Posing with a fake donkey at the Hornitos booth and a mock LA Times front page photo complete with food props were some of the many great photo opportunities available for attendees to take and print for a fun souvenir of the day.

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So, what were my favorites? Knob Creek, one of the main sponsors, had a build-your-own cocktail bar, and Don Julio had refreshing lavender palomas on tap. Petty Cash served tasty pork belly tostadas, The Churchill had yummy fried chicken and waffles and pork belly pastrami, Viviane graced the event with pastrami cured salmon, Spare Tire offered duck pâté and pork belly lollipops, Circa 55 brilliantly concocted a vanilla tamale topped with red wine strawberries, Free Range topped a honey Sriracha biscuit with fried chicken, Freshology filled a spoon with a heaven-sent vanilla polenta pudding, Elysian brewing poured their tasty stout and pumpkin ale and Love and Salt paired duck salami with grilled peaches. Of course, this is just a small handful of what was offered across the span of the four events, with so many more notable mentions, such as the always humble Roy Choi, who allowed us to peek into his mighty large heart with his inspiring visions of feeding the less fortunate.

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Roy Choi posted this photo on his Instagram before he began his demo. You can kinda, sorta see me in the background…. just squint a bit…

With all food festivals, there always seems to be one or two trendy food items highlighted among the different vendors. Fried chicken and pork belly were definitely the two most-used main components, with multiple fried chicken and waffles offerings during the Brunch and BBQ event, and pork belly, being the nectar of the Gods, popped up everywhere. As it should.

Out of all the food events I’ve attended this summer, Taste LA was by far the BEST. Ticket prices, a bit higher than other events, were completely worth the cost, as the list of participating restaurants and sponsors were killer.

In the end, I HIGHLY recommend attending each and every Taste LA event in the future, and I CANNOT wait until next year’s festivities! Kudos to an epic weekend, LA Times! Y’all completely outdid yourselves!

Did you attend any of the Taste LA events? I’d love to hear what you enjoyed!

LA Times graciously invited me to attend Taste LA as a media member. All opinions, like always, are my own.

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About The Roaming Bean (109 Articles)
You're probably wondering what the heck is a "Roaming Bean"... Given that I am clearly not a Bean, and my name is Jen, what gives with this Bean thing, right? A friend of mine called me JenBean as a child, and it kinda stuck. Actually, it really stuck... even my license plate says Jenbean. And seeing as I have this grand lust to wander the world, The Roaming Bean seemed suitable. I've changed my career path more times than I have my underwear (minus all the times I've gone commando).... from animating, to forensic pathology, to international business, to fashion marketing and even to my wonderful and favorite of the bunch, degree in culinary arts, nothing kept my attention. Nothing was fun enough to do every day for the rest of my life. I mean, even though I cooked for celebrities in the heart of Hollywood, CA, why the hell would I want to sweat my ass off in a ridiculously HOT kitchen for most of the day and go home smelling like beef and onions? And the chef hat?? Do you know what that did to my hair?? Enter traveling.... The rainy day I descended down the tower of Notre Dame in Paris, gripping on to the railing for dear life so not to slip and tumble to an early death from the torrential down pour that was causing a small flood in the stairwell, my life changed. When I safely made it to the ground, legs shaky from an apparent lack of fitness it requires to walk up and down 387 steep stairs, I realized my hands were stained a delightful copper color from the rusted hand rail I had so dearly clung to. Desperate to get the icky stuff off my supple hands, and no running water in sight, I did what any other hopeless idiot would have done: I washed my hands in the nearest Parisian gutter. It was that moment that changed my life... I threw away my hair dryer, my rolling luggage and my dignity. I let my hair go natural, I bought a back pack and I CAMPED through Europe for a month and a half. Yes my friends, I crossed over into a savage traveling beast. Ok, a lot of people travel that way. But I didn't. And I'm so incredibly thankful for that rainy day in Paris that made me realize the world is a pretty sweet place. That realization led me on a quest; a quest to get out there, see things, soak up some local culture and eat my way around the world (with minimal food-related illnesses, such as but not limited to raging diarrhea).

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