Wednesday, September 7, 2011

10 Best Bites from LA Times THE TASTE

This past weekend Los Angeles played host to what turned out to be an amazing weekend full of food, drinks & chefs at various locations all over the city including the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Rodeo Drive, Paramount Studios and Downtown LA.  Lucky me, I was able to score a press pass and thus kissed my beach indulged Labor Day weekend away and welcomed a foodie heaven into my heart.

Wandering the events I saw a ton of other food bloggers, taking photos, scribbling notes & delicately sampling as many plates as possible so they could describe the bursts of flavors exploding in their mouths with saccharine adjectives that makes their readers jealous they weren't there.  I wasn't quite as judicious in my note taking.  So instead of presenting you with a sexy breakdown of each event (like Darin Dines and The Nomlog in case you were wondering who some of these awesome bloggers were & you should most certainly go check out their sites) I'm going to do a little list of my 10 Best Bites from 2011's Taste of Los Angeles!

#1 - Gordon Ramsay at The London
braised pork belly||black brioche crumble||quail egg||tiny potato||hollandaise||fried pork skin
Fashion Bites Brunch
this was quite simply perfection in a bowl.  a perfect bite of everything that symbolizes my perfect breakfast.  the pork belly was salty & smoky, the crumbled brioche added an element of surprise & anything with a quail egg that i don't have to poach is heaven.
#2 - Picca
lettuce wrap||beef||quinoa risotto||rocoto sauce 

Secrets of Kitchen & Cellar
ricardo (the real ricardo) never fails to amaze & this little bite did just that. the cold crispy lettuce was quite refreshing paired with his peruvian flavors.

#3 - Yamashiro
duck confit taco||wasabi guacamole
Taco Tequila Tryst
what can i say, i've been waiting a long long time to try this dish (i always show up to the yamashiro farmer's market too late to sneak in a bite) and i have to say i'm sad that i've missed all those other chances because this taco is AMAZING. just. go find one. and eat it.
#4 - Stella Rossa
DiStefano burrata||roasted grapes||olive oil||sea salt||bread  
Picnic in the Hills
 hands down one of my favorite bites in all of los angeles, this is an appetizer i could eat for the rest of my life. sweet & creamy burrata, smoky grilled grapes, crunchy & salty bread, sharp olive oil. sold.

#5 - Inn of the Seventh Ray
mole braised short rib||honeycomb polenta||63 quail egg||crispy carrot
Picnic in the Hills
extremely complex with a variety of flavors that worked completely in sync, this little bite packed quite the punch.  having just gone to a wedding (like the day before) at inn of the seventh ray, i didn't quite see the same level of excellence in the food that was served so i'm not quite sure what to make of it all.
#6 - Taberna Mexicana
shrimp ceviche||jicama wrap
Taco Tequila Tryst
there were two dishes that night that made use of the jicama wrap... taberna did it better.  tangy, sweet and a little spicy, i thoroughly enjoyed the delicious ceviche and the jicama did a bang up job of soaking in all the flavors while still maintaining it's delicate crunch.

#7 - Rivera
flan de elote||corn husks||black quinoa||squash blossom sauce
Food Noir
apologies in advance for this photo. it was night. i had no choice but to use flash. i did however wait for a red corn husk so my bite would be even more colorful!  savory flan? quite delightful. it was like eating a warm, comforting & soulful bowl of porridge. one i'd certainly have the gall to ask for "more porridge please!"
#8 - Pitfire Artisanal Pizza
heirloom tomato pizza||brick oven baked
Picnic in the Park
  pitfire is apparently full of ballers who brought their own pizza oven to the party.  what?! you ask? yep. they did that.  and their pizza was amazing to boot.
#9 - Sotto
crispy pork belly||green tomato mostarda||fennel
Secrets from the Kitchen & Cellar
i could easily have made a meal simply of the crunchy crusts of the pork belly on this dish.  phenomenal.
#10 - La Seine
coconut crusted jalapeno||lobster mix
Secrets of the Kitchen & Cellar
alex reznik. if he didn't keep pointing at my camera every time i tried to take a candid, i probably would have missed this delightful little bite of creativity. a little tropical, a little spicy and a whole lot of fun.
Runner Up - Delphine
burger on a stick
Burgers & Beers
while i can't quite say the flavor was superb, this dish easily won me over on presentation.  burger kebobs? why yes don't mind if i do!
Runner Runner Up - MexiKosher
sweetbreads taco
Taco Tequila Tryst
sweetbreads? on tacos? a deliciously decadent bite, it didn't quite make it on my top 10 because the taco i was served consisted more of bits than bites & ended up being way too salty.  everyone else in my group seemed to enjoy it, and in theory it was pretty darn awesome.

Confession: I didn't quite make it to all of the events, sorry Street Eats and Desserts after Dark, I'm sure you had equally as tasty treats but there's only so much a girl can do in a weekend!


  1. AHHH!!! Your pictures are amazing!!! :D and yes, I completely agree for all of them, but I didn't go to Taco Tryst so I never got Yamashiro's taco :( good job hitting up most of the events though! and thank you for the shout-out :D

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