Thursday night, Planned Parenthood LA hosted “Food Fare,” their highly anticipated annual food and wine event, while celebrating PPLA’s 50th anniversary. The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica was decorated for spring, with sunflowers and umbrellas everywhere.
Over 150 of SoCal’s best restaurants, wineries, breweries and retail merchants participated in the fundraiser. Chefs included Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts, Celestino Drago, Suzanne Goin, Joe Miller, Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, and Alain Giraud as well as Food Fare Restaurateur of the Year, Jenny Rush of the Blue Plate Restaurant Group.
While the room was crowded, the massive selection of food and drink ensured short lines at most individual tables, even for hot-ticket items like the Blue Plate Lobster Roll and Mexikosher’s killer Chorizo Pambazo, essentially a grilled sandwich topped with mole, one of the most intense bites we savored all night. Hungry Bear Catering had a Korubata pork belly bite that made this author do a double take.
It was an equally intense night for wine tasting, with quality California vintages seemingly within arm’s reach from any point on the floor. We were particularly taken with the grenache and tempranillo blends from Ventura’s Four Brix vineyard, which paired exceptionally well with the nearest food offerings: American Wagyu steak with a Caesar wedge salad from Boa Steakhouse, and roast pork and frisee from Michael’s Santa Monica.
Many LA restaurants that are regulars at these events, like Hudson House, Drago, Pink’s, Craft, and Border Grill were all well-represented and solid as usual. But it’s always exciting to wander around and find something exciting we’ve never run across before. Sugar Rush By Iisha had a chicken and waffle cupcake, topped by a tiny piece of fried chicken, that provided the biggest “whoa!” factor for us.
It was exciting to see so many of LA’s finest merchants putting their backs behind a grand effort for such a worthy organization. For more information on how to support PPLA, visit their website.