The theme of the annual East LA Meet Napa event at Union Station this year was cuisine from the state of Michoacan. Chefs paid homage with the local staples of corn, beans, and squash as well as the region’s native Cotija and seafood (and pork, which was introduced by the Spaniards). It being summer, restaurants had a bounty of corn and squash blossoms, which were featured in a number of dishes. Some of the most outstanding were squash blossom quesedillas and Rivera’s dreamy corn custard, although we missed Chef John Sedlar’s charming presence.
The night truly belonged to ceviche. Dorado’s palm ceviche was the most impressive, bright with citrus. A close second had to be Cacao’s mango ceviche, bursting with the flavors of summer. There were even two different versions of ground beef ceviche, a sort of Latin tartare.
Since Cacao went for ceviche instead of their famous wild game, somebody had to balance things out with some rich meats. El Portal did an amazing job with perfectly seasoned, tender lengua. Chalio served up succulent and sweet birria, which has made them so famous they are probably going to be required to serve it at every single function.
El Cholo had one of the top corn tamales; the masa was exceptionally moist, if a little sweet, although I have to admit sweet corn cakes are a guilty pleasure. Perhaps the preview to the event predisposed me to have favorites, but some of the most memorable dishes were from Seta, Loteria Grill and what I consider the “Brennan Family” of Whittier, that winning trifecta of Dorados, Cook’s Tortas and Guisados. Those restaurants will soon know me on sight.
On the sweet side, there were the usual pan dulce, and no one can match Porto’s stop-you-in-your-tracks guava pastries. Playa offered up a Flan de Elote, and Atilla the Flan wowed the crowd with their show-stopping florales in gelatin.
In addition to the wines, there were a variety of tequilas to sample, and many restaurants offered up traditional non-alcoholic fruit drinks known as aguas frescas. The women of Oaxaca were busy patting, frying and folding antojitos while mariachis serenaded us in the courtyard. I slipped off with a full belly as the party ramped up, leaving the guests to dance into the night.
On April 22nd, downtown rock & roll gallery Lethal Amounts presents "School Days", featuring photography from 1970s punk and rock concerts in Los Angeles, taken by an unknown but talented photographer named Barry ...
I'm sure you all know about the bigger-than-life persona of comedian and pundit Adam Carolla through his podcast and his iconic presence on KROQ's Loveline. Birthed out of a night ...
What are you to do if you find your llama has a bit of the devil in him? How do you assure that your cow never runs dry of milk? ...
The American Cinematheque presents Yakuza-Palooza at The Egyptian Theatre on June 27 and 28, two nights of Japanese crime films, including Pale Flower, Massacre Gun and Killers on Parade. The event is ...
The sun may shine upon Los Angeles throughout the entire month of December, but that doesn't mean we can't have holiday fun just like everyone else. Heck, we even make ...
Sitting under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl was the ideal setting for experiencing Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, led ...
Tomorrow night, La Luz de Jesus Gallery launches its 4th Annual Coaster Show, revealing nearly 1000 pieces of art made on 4" tondo coasters. The opening reception is from 8-11pm at the gallery, which ...
As you read these year-end "Top Ten"s, and "Best Of"s, and even our own Tastee Awards, don't you wish you could eat at all of the restaurants? But geography and expense can be big ...
Nowadays vegans are able to partake in all of the international cuisine, desserts and holiday foods they once missed out on. And that includes tamales! But you have to be ...
A few months before the Repeal of Prohibition Amendment, the 21st Amendment, was ratified by Congress on December 5, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill allowing the ...
“School Days” at Lethal Amounts: The Nearly Lost
Adam Carolla’s Launch Party For Endless Rant IPA:
Offbeat L.A.: The Blessing of the Animals- A
Yakuza-Palooza at the Egyptian Theatre
Our Favorite Holiday Activities 2016
2001: A Space Odyssey / Hollywood Bowl, 8/18/15
The 4th Annual Coaster Show at La Luz
Enjoy Tastes from LA Magazine’s Best New Restaurants
Where to Score Your Vegan Tamales
Townhouse Saloon and Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice