I was lucky enough to have a weekend pass for The Taste—The Los Angeles Times’ yearly food festival. It consists of five events over the course of Labor Day weekend, with lots of food, drink, cooking demos, panels, and more. My husband and I went to four (yes, four) of the events, and, a few pounds heavier, lived to tell the tale.
It was one of the most enjoyable food festivals I’ve ever been to, and overall felt well-planned and well-executed. Each event had a loose theme, and various restaurants from around LA served small plates from little booths on the Paramount Studios backlot. The restaurants changed for each event (for the most part), and several liquor, wine, and beer purveyors were on hand.
I’m basically just going to bang out a bullet point list of my personal highlights, and say that we had a great time. Looking forward to next year!
- Two of the events were during the day, and it being LA in September, it was hot. Luckily, there were a number of “cool down lounges” available to duck into, our favorite being the arts lounge. We entered to win opera tickets and even joined the Natural History Museum while sipping on bubbly.
- We kept going back to the Knob Creek bar, which was there all weekend. My husband fell head over heels for their Orchard cocktail, which was bourbon, Granny Smith simple syrup, lemon, and basil. You could also get a custom cocktail made, and I had a concoction of rye, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime, and ginger that was delicious.
- Prova Pizzeria served up delicious pizza from it’s portable brick oven along with fresh burrata. The sauce was perfect.
- The Gadarene Swine handed out fried olives as well as a dessert of coconut pudding, mojita granita, shortbread crumbles, and fresh strawberries that wasn’t too sweet and totally tasty.
- Roy Choi gave a cooking demonstration, making avocado toast and a spicy pork and rice dish. He was as charismatic as always and the crowd loved him.
- Mexikosher served falafel tacos with a burnt salsa and habanero tahini that were crispy and flavorful.
- Love & Salt handed out a grilled peach salad with duck pastrami, dandelion greens, and cheese. It was refreshingly simple and clean among a lot of powerfully flavorful food.
- At the bar stage, Wes Hagen from J. Wilkes wine hosted a left coast wine tasting, all of which were delightful, and his talk insightful.
- Bulgarini Gelato served up a few flavors, but their fresh peach gelato and Sicilian almond gelatos were superb, and tasted so good together.
- Plan Check Kitchen + Bar handed out 6 chili cheeseburger tacos. It sounds like a lot, and it was—but in the form of one small taco, it was truly tasty.
- Jonathan Gold hosted a panel called “Things in a Bowl” with Alvin Cailan of Eggslut, Christine Moore of Little Flower, and Minh Plan of Porridge & Puffs. It was whimsical and everyone was lovely.