Sunday night at The Taste it was time to let our hair down and party. Broadway was closed down between 8th and 9th until midnight, and there is nothing like drinking on the street! Just ask anyone who has been to New Orleans. The food lines were long, but the liquor lines weren’t. We were on Cedd Moses’ turf now and it was all about the cocktails! Food writers and friends amassed in front of the Orpheum Theater and let the booze do the talking.
Cole’s was pouring a 1930’s Rye Buck with Rye Whiskey, Lime, Ginger Syrup and Soda. They went hardcore with ice cut on the spot into large cubes with a bandsaw. Svedka Swedish Vodka mixed up a delicious Clementine and Cranberry crush. 320 Main offered 4 Oranges Vodka with rhubarb tonic. In the wine category, Layer Cake’s rich and jammy Cab was a winner.
Music was provided by Dengue Fever, whose music is reminiscent to the uninitiated of Thai or Bollywood music . The music ranged between danceable covers of 60s Cambodian rock tunes and haunting vocals sung in Khmer by Chhom Nimol. The Orpheum provided a cool respite from the party, showing vintage cartoons, Hitchcock coming attractions and Historic newsreels, some of which were not quite conducive to the festive atmosphere. As Eddie Lim of Deep End Dining noted, switching into a 1940s newscaster voice, “Hitlerrr invaaades Polaaand! WaRRR is declaRed on GER-man-EEE.”
As for the food, pasta ruled the night, especially if you include mac and cheese. Drago Centro led the pack with a stunning Wild Boar Garganelli. Terroni was cranking out their own fresh pasta. You don’t usually find the larger pastas like rigatoni housemade, so it was quite the treat. Two mac and cheeses were vying for attention, with Mac and Cheeza coming out ahead with the kick of chiles. In the non-pasta category, Chaya Downtown offered refreshing compressed watermelon bites and Kobe beef canapes with horseradish. Pinche tacos represented with generous plates, donning Lucha Libre masks whenever someone pointed a camera. Rivera provided a favorite dish, creamy corn custard with quinoa while Malo used the last of summer’s corn to bust out esquites.