LA Mag’s 6th Annual Food Event: Old Favorites

Written with Elise Thompson and Bob Lee

LA MAG’s 6th Annual food event seemed to go off without a hitch. The sunshine was a little stronger than usual for this time of year, but they provide ample shade and VOSS provided ample cold water. It was a day for appreciating old favorites and discovering new restaurants. Our list of places to try just keeps growing.

Naturally, our long-time love affair with John Sedlar’s Rivera continues. Joe, the Chef du Cuisine, served Flan De Elote. It was a savory corn custard with black quinoa and squash blossom sauce.  As you ate them you got the sweet and savory custard followed by a nice crunch from the quinoa. All the flavors danced harmoniously together.

Gladstones was right on the money with their Seafood Ceviche Gazpacho. The shrimp and scallops were fresh so the flavors of the chiles and herbs popped. This dish was so refreshing, beautifully spiced, and perfect for a hot day.

Loteria Grill’s esquilites was some of the most delicious corn I have ever had. It’s like a roadside elote served in a cup. With house made Mayo, serrano chile, salt, queso fresco, chile pequin and pork skins, it was heaven.  If you like your corn to kick you in the mouth then you have to try this. The heat of the chile was nicely balanced with the sweetness of the corn.

Who doesn’t like pulled pork? Westside Tavern pleased the crowd throughout the afternoon with their pulled pork sliders.  They kept it simple, topping the sandwich with a tangy aioli sauce.

Adam Gertler, of Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, loves this Grilled Cheese from The Foundry.  This isn’t you’re conventional grilled cheese. This earns its title, served on a raisin bread with taleggio cheese and apricot-caper puree. The purees rotate, but our love for this sandwich will never waver. To see how it’s made, check out Kiki Maraschino.

Stella Rossa Pizza Bar shines again with their Oven Roasted Beet Carpaccio. This dish was again, perfect for the heat of the afternoon. With so many meat dishes this was a nice surprise to the palate. The beets were served with fresh burrata, toasted pistachio, aged balsamic and wild arugula.

Please don’t tell Chef Sedlar that we are cheating on him with Chef Rory Herrmann of Bouchon. Not only are his blue eyes dreamy, but he makes a duck confit to die for. Die.

Public Kitchen & Bar brought a dessert that was like none other this year.  It was this light tropical panna cotta infused with passion fruit. There was an interesting crunch from the passion fruit seeds and pistachios. This creamy custard was so light and refreshing I could eat it every day.

Malo/Mas Malo had a line that just wouldn’t die. These crispy fried tacos were a hit.

SaddlePeakLodge is all game when it comes to cooking. Their Elk Tenderloin was so well balanced served on a crostini with vanilla butternut squash puree and brandied cherries.  If you didn’t tell me it was Elk I might have thought it was a great steak.

We love Chambord, especially with champagne on New Year’s Eve. The sparkly cocktail they concocted to pair with the cupcake war this year was a nice change of pace.

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