Monday, September 5, 2011

Taste Of LA

A Labor Day weekend tasting fest on the Paramount studios backlot. My friend Monette had an extra ticket for this event called Street Eats which translated into a lot of offerings on toast. It didn't seem like such an enormous selection of restaurants but even I couldn't taste it all.A purely forgettable lamb flatbread and a griddle corn cake with black pepper horchata from Firefly in Studio City. The standout of their plates was the blackberry salsa, almost dessert almost savory blackberries and chilis. Not a great match for the corncake but it'd be great on game meats or even with ice cream. That salsa showed promise at least.
A cheerful heirloom tomato pizza from Pitfire Artisan Pizza. Pretty good, but I was pretty stuffed by the time this pie came around.
One of the many, grilled cheese offerings at the event. This duo offered by Justin vineyards with assurance it would be the best grilled cheese we ever ate. It's wasn't, but the pumpernickel fontina combo wasn't bad.
More grilled cheese. This time from The Grilled Cheese truck. Brioche slices stuffed with macaroni and cheese and melted American. Mush.
Ice cream truck sensation Coolhaus offered a variety of unique cookie flavors (pistachio black truffle cookies?) and ice creams (pineapple serrano chili sorbet). These are the Double chocolate Black Pepper and Red Velvet cookies with Marker's Mark ice cream. Honestly I don't see what the fuss is about. The cookies could have just as easily been from the Costco bakery and the Marker's Mark flavor was way too strong. Nice texture on the ice cream though.
A sweet display of cupcakes from Cake Mamas. I really liked the idea of the peanut butter and jelly cupcake, an airy white cake with a drizzle of jelly and peanut butter frosting. Good idea, so-so execution. The frosting was like biting into a jar of Jif -- way too overpowering for the cake.
The most fun exhibitor of the event, Chef Eric Greenspan of The Foundry and the recently opened Roof on Wilshire. Chef Greenspan is a former winner of the Grilled Cheese Invitational and brought his award wining sandwich and trophy (a hint of what's to come at his soon to open grilled cheese restaurant) to Taste of LA.
The best savory dish of the event. Eric Greenspan's grilled cheese featured raisin bread, pungent taleggio cheese and an intoxicating apricot caper marmalade.
Some chefs brought the thunder and others barely showed up. TiroVino Wine Bar offered this unhappy sausage sandwich. They should stick to wine.
A food sensation on the LA scene, Susan Fenniger's Kaya Toast has foodies running to her restaurant. Street, and has inspired a T shirt for fans. Kaya toast is a popular street food in Singapore that combines a silky sweet coconut jam with dark soy sauce eaten with brioche. Fenniger made waves on Top Chef Master's when she presented a version on the show. I'm glad I tried it. It's interesting. I'm not sure that I'll be running back for more.
Another sad little plate from TiroVino. Brisket rolled around a cabbage that Monette declared a combination of Passover and St Patrick's Day.
Chicken mole tamales from LA Oaxacan standby Guelaguetza.
Caramelized bacon trail mix from cast Iron Foods, like a Trader Joe's package with bacon added.
Another chicken dish. Chicken Itza brought these fried corn tortillas, black beans, and chicken. Not bad, but the best part was the super, super hot sauce served on the side. My lips were tingling.
Tingling lips were a great excuse for a quick bite of creme caramel from, where else -- Creme Caramel LA, a small business selling out of farmer's markets and online orders. This little bite was creamy and delicious and exactly what creme caramel should be. It would have been the best bite of the event if not for . . .
Caramelized bacon bread pudding, also from Creme Caramel LA. Outrageous! Probably doesn't qualify as street food but it was by far the best bite of Taste LA.

1 comment:

  1. Really. We can't say enough how much we appreciate the mention. We're glad you were able to stop by our booth and try our treats. Hope to see you again soon!