James Beard Foundation Presents Taste America: Los Angeles Dinner 2017

On Friday, October 6th, 2017, Vibiana, the former 19th century Cathedral turned prominent event space in Downtown Los Angeles, was taken over by the national non-profit culinary arts organization, the James Beard Foundation and the best in the LA culinary scene. Taste America, the foundation’s 5th annual ten-city touring event, celebrated prolific stars of the food scene.

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Join Julianne at The James Beard Foundation’s Fifth Annual Taste America!

 * Image – Avocado Tartine from Redbird
Calling all LA food-lovers! On Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, the James Beard Foundation will touch down on the West Coast for the Fifth Annual Taste America, the Foundation’s culinary tour through some of the country’s most exciting food cities. The festivities will begin at Vibiana and will celebrate Los Angeles’ food culture with esteemed local chefs and one national all-star, Barbara Lynch of Boston’s Gruppo, who will create a multi-course collaborative dinner with fellow James Beard Award winner Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie and Ted’s in Los Angeles, pastry chef Shannon Swindle of Craft Los Angeles, and host chef Neal Fraser of Redbird in Los Angeles.

But before getting seated for dinner, guests will snack on an amazing lineup of bites from some of the finest local chefs, including Amanda Chapman and Johnny Ray Zone of Howlin Ray’s in Los Angeles, Evan Funke of Felix in Venice, Justin Hilbert of Maude in Beverly Hills, Sara Kramer of Kismet in Los Angeles, and David Schlosser of Shibumiin Los Angeles.

This event will celebrate LA’s culinary arts scene and raise money for the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Scholarship Fund during a silent auction and an exciting live auction.

Want to get dapper and celebrate with us? Tickets are still on sale here.

Weekly Wanderlust 8/4/17: Get $5 off Thrillist’s Taco Knockout Event in LA, Manresa Bread in Los Gatos, CA, Renegade Chocolate in Uxbridge, Ontario and Happy Hour at answer. in Nashville

Every Friday here at Girls on Food, we bring you Weekly Wanderlust, featuring the best our in cities, recipes, videos and advanced notice on events we’ll be appearing at.

TinTin here:

Thrillist’s 5th annual Taco Knockout is Saturday, August 12th, 1 PM – 4 PM at Lot 613, 613 Imperial Street, Los Angeles, CA.

This event is going to be packed with the most popular tacos SoCal has to offer, including Aqui Es Texcoco, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine, La Carmencita Restaurant and many more. There will also be chilled cervezas from Estrella Jalisco and a live DJ set from Electric Taco.

South Bay favorite The Standing Room will be serving an original creation, Tako Poke Tacos, which we’re the most excited for. We predict this taco—a blue corn tortilla topped with smoked octopus, tobiko, ikura and chives—will be the most innovative bite there.

General admission per person is $35, but if you use the discount code THRILLISTVIP at check out, you get $5 off. Just a little gift from Girls on Food. #yourewelcome

Traditionally this event takes place in NYC but it’s about time Thrillist brought it to LA! Not trying to start a Tupac vs Biggie feud here, but SoCal really is the home of the best Mexican street food in the U.S. 

For out-of-towners, I will be live on our Instagram stories feed providing you with footage of the event. But if you’re in LA and at the event, be sure to say hi!

For more info and to purchase tickets, check out:

http://events.thrillist.com/tacoknockout2017

Continue reading “Weekly Wanderlust 8/4/17: Get $5 off Thrillist’s Taco Knockout Event in LA, Manresa Bread in Los Gatos, CA, Renegade Chocolate in Uxbridge, Ontario and Happy Hour at answer. in Nashville”

AltaMed East LA Meets Napa & La Rioja + OC Meets Napa & Mexico

After much debate and consideration I was able to narrow down the awesome (pescatarian friendly) bites and beverages from AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa & La Rioja as well as OC Meets Napa & Mexico. The events were incredible fundraisers with proceeds supporting health care for uninsured patients (from AltaMed). I couldn’t believe how huge the event was and was happily jumping from one table to the next in my attempts to try everything.

My Favorite Food Picks!

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Pacific Dining Car: LA’s Only 24/7 Fine-Dining Restaurant Since 1921 Offers New Specials

Since 1921, Pacific Dining Car, Los Angeles’ only 24-hour fine dining establishment (7 days a week) has been serving their loyal customers the best in steakhouse cuisine. Now on their fourth generation of family-ownership, and spearheaded by Chef Mark Kalenderian, PDC is breathing some new life into their menu, while maintaining all the favorites.

 

Pacific Dining Car
1310 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
http://pacificdiningcar.com
* Santa Monica location: 2700 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

You may remember seeing PCD in many films and TV shows. Most notably, the 2001film Training Day. Denzel Washington’s character, Alonzo, tells Ethan Hawke’s Jake “Get yourself a Baseball Steak.”

Yes, cinephiles, the Baseball Steak is currently on the menu, you can dine like Denzel.

The second I stepped into this spacious, wood-paneled dining car, I felt like I had stepped into the pages of a vintage Los Angeles-based pulp novel. The lighting is dim, the seating is plush and the décor is old school- my kind of place.

The Astor Room
Main Lobster Tail with a side of Creamed Spinach

There are 6 different rooms at PDC to dine in, I was arranged to taste their new specials in the Astor Room. I was immediately struck by the elegance of this room; everything from the velvet chairs, white linens, fine china and Wallace silverware. I felt a little guilty for not rocking one of my Unique Vintage dresses to dine but the maitre d’ didn’t flinch at my appearance.

Although this is a fine-dining, the dress code is flexible. All walks of life are welcome to dine at PDC- you could be Joe Schmoe and you’ll receive the same high-class treatment as Johnny Depp.

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LASA Takes Over Unit 120 in Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

When it comes to the LA food scene, pop-ups are how many of the most innovative chefs have brought their unique cuisine to the public. Many of the most successful new restaurants can trace their origins to this style of experimental restaurant development.

LASA is the most recent Los Angeles pop-up success story.

LASA
727 Broadway Ave. Unit 120, Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.lasa-la.com

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Bowing Down To Baobab in Little Tokyo Galleria, DTLA

Little Tokyo is LA’s cultural center for their Japanese-American population. Being only five blocks (long blocks to be fair) it manages to pack in many merchants. The Little Tokyo Galleria is a stand alone of its neighborhood. This three story building is beloved among LA-locals with it’s famous Little Tokyo Marketplace, many department stores, and restaurants. According to Urbanize LA, expansion on the Little Tokyo will continue upwards, if you will, with a series of high-rise buildings. I can’t speak for the other businesses of the Little Tokyo Marketplace; I know owner Chef Eric Baker, of the self-proclaimed “gourmet fast-food” pan-Asian stand BaoBab, is excited about this development.

Eric told me “I think the new development is great. It’s going to bring a more diverse group of people to our small shop and hopefully help us grow. As far as the decision to come to little Tokyo it was mainly the location. We took the challenge to open up an entirely new concept in the area.”

BaoBab
333 S. Alameda St. #100 E, Los Angeles, CA 90013
https://www.facebook.com/BAOandBAB/

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A Rant on LA Food Blogging and Brunch at Redbird in DTLA

Over a year ago, when I heard a few of my food blogging peers were invited to the Carondelet House for a 5-course meal, a Culinary Exploration by Chef Neal Fraser, I eagerly awaited my invitation. After all, an episode of Masterchef Junior, where I served as a guest judge just aired. How could they not want me to attend?

Days went by and no invite arrived. I tried to reassure myself, “sometimes invites to tastings are last minute”. When more time passed, my thoughts turned into “maybe I’ll be a back-up blogger in case someone can’t make it, I’m sure they’ll rush me out.” The day of the event came and an invite never came through.

I was stumped as to why Girls on Food wouldn’t get an invite. We have the expected amount of followers required to be considered a “social media influencer” and we have great relationships with LA PR and marketing. I felt like the kid in class not invited to the most popular girl’s party. Is my blog just not cool enough?

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Speakeasy to Me: The BoardRoom in DTLA

Kendall’s Brasserie (Patina Restaurant Group) has been serving up traditional French cuisine to DTLA eaters inside The Music Center for 14 years now. This past month, they opened a speakeasy in the back called The BoardRoom, and I can assure you, the meetings held there will be nothing like the meetings at your 9-to-5. Think of The BoardRoom as Kendall’s artsy, Francophile little sister.

The BoardRoom at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
http://patnagroup.com

The BoardRoom has the speakeasy essentials- a slightly tricky to find front door, dim lighting, live performances (Thursday – Saturday nights), cushy seating in booths (intended for large groups) and a menu offering updated classic cocktails and sharable foods. From the moment I walked in through what seemed like Kendall’s back office, I could hear singer Melissa Morgan crooning to a standard jazz tune with her band.

Front: Tennessee Williams (yes, it comes with a macaron), which is their take on the Ramos Gin Fizz. Back: Gertrude Stein, similar to a Pimm’s Cup

Our blogger Christina Russo, is currently the bar manager of The BoardRoom and has created a cocktail menu inspired by the arts. I always love seeing punches on a menu (they serve 4-6 drinks), not only are they trending, they’re perfect for larger groups. But what separates her menu out from others in LA is the Tripple Tipple, her 3-course cocktail tasting menu. This menu is looking like it’ll be changing bi-weekly to weekly and consistently inspired by the arts. It truly is the crème de la crème of the cocktail menu.

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Craft Beer, Cocktails, and More at the Artisanal LA Spring Market

What better way to spend a beautiful spring Sunday in Downtown Los Angeles than sipping on a craft beer and browsing dozens of local vendors and crafts? Up on the 13th floor of the California Market Center, you can do just that at the Artisanal LA Spring Market! I honestly wasn’t quite sure what the event was going to be like, but I can’t wait for them to host another.The highlight for me, as always, is the booze. They featured three craft breweries as well as two craft spirit producers and a cocktail mixer and not a single one disappointed. Breweries featured Sunday were Brouwerji West, Cellardor Ales, and Three Weavers Brewing. Each was unique in what they brought to the table and the folks representing them were so knowledgeable and friendly. Brouwerji West was tasting their saison, which is naturally fermented in the can (!!!) and oh so tasty. They’ve also jumped in on the haze craze and had a fantastic experimental hazy pale ale. Cellador Ales had two different wine barrel aged beers, which were unique and extremely well done. Their focus on barrel aged beers is a breath of fresh air in what can feel like a market sometimes crowded by typical styles and trends, and they do these beer extremely well. 
Three Weavers brought their fan favorite Expatriate IPA which I had somehow never tried but loved. They also had their beer from the Pink Boots Society’s Big Boots Brew, which is an annual brewing done at breweries across the world to celebrate women in the beer industry. It was a wonderful sampling of different beers that are from right here in Southern California, and really drove home the fact LA has a fantastic beer community.
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Une Belle Nuit: Le Petit Paris in Downtown Los Angeles

Friend to Girls on Food, Taylor (yes, THAT Taylor), sent me an Instagram video of penne pasta being cooked in a gigantic cheese wheel. I’ve seen this cooking technique in a video before, but I didn’t realize that LA had a local restaurant that served this dish. Then I looked up the menu for the restaurant, called Le Petit Paris, and decided this needed to happen ASAP.  After I recovered from some slight Instagram-er envy, Taylor and I grabbed fellow blogger Julieta for a girls night out.

Le Petit Paris
418/420 Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
http://lepetitparisla.com

Fanny and David Rolland originally opened Le Petit Paris in Cannes. With Chef Baptiste Grellier and Chef Jeremie Cazes, they expanded into this spacious DTLA location a year ago.

Le Petit Paris is located in the historic El Dorado Building (est. 1913) and, like the food served, the interior is decedent. The dining room alone is ginormous, but there’s a mezzanine level, 2 bars, a gift shop, a grand stair case which leads you to the second level and a large outdoor patio. They even have live jazz on Wednesday nights (see site for details).

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Amuse Bouche

Once seated I was promptly served an amuse bouche. The Chef’s choice for this starter was a crostini with a truffle cream. It was the perfect precursor to an evening of rich french food.

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Les 6 Escargot de Bourgogne En Persillade
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Ceviche De Loup

We started with the Les 6 Escargot de Bourgogne en Persillade (aka escargot), Ceviche de Loup (aka seabass ceviche) and the Foie Gras Poele a la Pomme et Calvados (aka foie gras). The ceviche may not be an ideal starter for French dining, but it was too good to turn down! It was actually nice to start with a lighter dish before the buttery foods. The yuzu sauce that topped the seabass was citrusy and tart. The escargot, substantial in texture but light on my palate, comes in the traditional butter, garlic and parsley sauce. C’est bon!

 

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Foie Gras Poele a la Pomme Et Calvados

Our favorite appetizer was the seared foie gras. The texture of it was so buttery, probably the most silky, melt-in-your-mouth I’ve ever had. It was paired perfectly with the ginger bread and fresh apples it came with. The Calvados flavor added a nice brandy touch without overwhelming the foie gras. It’s a perfect dish for autumn.

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Risotto De Noix de St Jacques Asperges et Truffe
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Les Cheeseburger du Petit Paris

For our entrees we ordered the Les Cheeseburger du Petit Paris Frites Maison (aka cheeseburger with fries)  and the Risotto De Noix de St Jacques Asperges et Truffe (aka risotto with scallops and asparagus).

The cheeseburger is one of the richest I’ve probably ever consumed. It’s definitely a fork and knife burger, not to be eaten with your hands. The tomato confit, comte cheese and bacon also pack it with extra flavor. I’m very tough on risotto dishes, because it’s easy to screw up in the kitchen. This risotto was perfectly cooked through, and all the flavors in this dish played beautifully together.

But the big finale was the Pates Flambees a la Truffe Dans Sa Meule de Parmesan. This tableside pasta is prepared in a large Parmesan cheese wheel. After the cheese is flambeed and melted, the penne is added and then they add fresh black truffle. See video above and subscribe to our channel! This is the dish to come in for — not only is it so much fun to watch but it’s cheesy perfection. You’ll be doing the Truffle Shuffle after one bite.

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Le Souffle Grand Marnier

We ended the evening with Le Souffle Grand Marnier. The souffle was fluffy, lightly eggy and had a liquor bite. Expect this dessert to take about 20 minutes to bake to perfection.

Whether you’re out with your girlfriends, on a date or with parents, Le Petit Paris is a joy. C’est bon!

The Taste of Mexico Returns To LA

The largest all-inclusive Mexican tasting event The Taste of Mexico (TOM) returns on its 6th annual edition to Los Angeles and Girls of Food (GOF) was invited to the exclusive sneak peek event that showcased some of the food vendors that you would be able to try at the food festival.

Be sure to check out their site here.

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The first thing we tried was a sample of Los Javis Mezcal. It is a family owned Mezcaleria from Oaxaca, México that dates 3 generations back. This mezcal is incredibly smooth. It had a lot of flavor and body but it didn’t leave that burning sensation in your throat that you normally get from drinking mezcal.

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They also brought Chapulines (grasshoppers) and Sal de Gusano (salt with maguey worms).

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Then we tried Anepalco’s Baby Corn which is their version of the Mexican street vendor corn. The Baby Corn was smothered in a Chile de Arbol Aioli, topped with Cotija cheese and grind up Chapulines sprinkled on top of it. We’re excited to try their new spot Maestro, in Pasadena, which is coming soon.

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From Caló Provisions we got to see Ted Montoya in action and to try his Pozole. Ted’s take on Pozole has a twist he cooks it with Chicharron Dashi and adds an egg. I really like the egg, it gives an extra layer of complexity to the Pozole.

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Our pal The Choriman was also at the Taste of Mexico sneak peek and he was making Chori Panes. A Chori Pan is a chorizo sandwich. He made his with his Zacateca’s style Red Chorizo, roasted Corn Salad and Salsa Macha.

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We also got to enjoy the delicious pastries from La Monarca Bakery. We had the strawberry cake, the fruit cake, the orejitas cookies and my personal favorite de Guava cake.

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There will be plenty of drinks at the festival some of the ones we loved at the sneak peek were: The I Love Micheladas, Tepaches from Ancho Reyes a Chile Liqueor and Los Javis.

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There will also have aguas frescas vendors like the Agua Lucha guys. They have flavors like: Mandarin, Lemon, Hibiscus and Tamarind. Not only that they donate some of their proceedings to retired Luchadores (wrestlers) in Mexico.

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The 2016 Taste of Mexico will be the best one so far and it will take place under the stars in the beautiful courtyard of the Plaza de Cultura y Artes Museum in downtown LA. TOM has invited over 35 restaurants to cater the event and you’ll also be able to sample Tequila, Mezcal, Baja Wines & Spirits. And although the tickets might seem a little bit pricey keep in mind that it is an all you can eat and drink ticket so you only have to worry about what food vendor do you want to try next .The event starts at 7pm and ends at 11pm.