AFW: Sunday Lexus Grand Tasting

On Sunday The American Food and Wine Festival presented Lexus Grand Tasting at LA Live. The air-conditioned tents were a cool respite from the heat and the crowd seemed to be in good spirits. Thirty chefs and innumerable wine cellars were on hand to serve a wealth of unearthly delights.

My favorite taste of the event was Nobu’s whitefish sashimi with jalapeno relish. Even though Nobu himself wasn’t there, his chef Gregorio Stephenson had matters well in hand. The longest lines were for John Sedlar’s whimsical tortilla cones, and Celestino Drago’s pasta with shaved truffles.

Ray Garcia served a delicious “pork and beans” with a dark cherry that was the perfect compliment to the pork. Jennifer Robles served a round of Jidori chicken topped with a ravioli and copious amounts of shaved truffle that looked like a little Eggs Benedict at first glance. For dessert, I thoroughly enjoyed the sticky toffee pudding (how could you not?) from Hector Ramirez and Gale Gand’s buttermilk panna cotta.

Peter Armellino served an unseasonable shortrib, and Ilan Hall went off into bat country with a bacon and marshmallow sno-cone topped with tapioca. He is like a Dada chef and sometimes I think he is playing a joke on us.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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