Sunday was as warm as any summer’s day for Los Angeles Magazine’s Food Event, but the flavors were definitely autumnal. Squash was everywhere, from Crossroads‘ sweet and savory Kabocha Squash with Pumpkin Seeds to Faith & Flower’s Pumpkin Panna Cotta to Farmshop’s Butternut Squash Canapes with Pomegranite. Root vegetables are coming into season as heralded by a surprisingly delicious Parsnip Poached in Duck Fat from Cliff’s Edge. Another homey dish that had us imagining cool nights with comfort food, albeit gourmet comfort food, was the Garganelli with Pork Sausage, Parmesan and Fennel Pollen from Drago Centro.
Red meats were popular, with the line for Michael’s Wagyu Steak with Soba Noodles stretching more than twice as far as any other line that day. A Meatball served in a Steamed Chinese Bun from Barbrix, Vietnamese Pork Belly from MB Post, and a Wild Boar Bacon BLT in a Gougere from Saddlepeak Lodge were standouts. Tar & Roses Oxtail Dumpling was rich without being too filling, and newcomer Front Yard made a great first impression with Korean Braised Shortrib Grilled Cheese. Rather than adding kimchi, the Korean flavor came from a galbi marinade.
On the lighter side, we could eat the Freshly Baked Sourdough Bread with Ricotta, Honey and Walnuts from Bucato for breakfast every day for the rest of our lives. Tar & Roses also served an addictive Popped Corn with Bacon, Brown Sugar and Chili.
Familiar restaurants that can always be counted on for something special were Animal, serving a light Honey Walnut Shrimp dish, and Jitlada, helmed by the ever friendly and ebullient Jazz. Jitlada’s Tamarind Dip Chicken wasn’t as spicy as many of their dishes, but we were grateful for the Turmeric Rice with Tofu, considerately prepared for vegetarians, that helped balance out the heat. Sotto mixed things up with a creative Pulled Pork Salad and Loteria Grill brought the always welcome chilaquiles, both verde and roja.
Photo essay after the jump