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.
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.
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.
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.
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.