Taste of the Eastside is one of our favorite events. Not because there are internationally famous chefs or high-end ingredients like caviar and foie gras. Those things have their place, but not here. We love Taste of the Eastside because it is a hyperlocal community event. We get to meet our chefs from neighborhood restaurants and get turned on to bakeries and cheese shops we never even knew were there.
We were delighted with bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes with a honey-serrano glaze, yuzu burrata, wasabe anare, goji berries and shiso from RBTA. It may sound like they threw a dart at a list of all the ingredients that are in vogue right now, but everything worked together beautifully. Cheese seems like an easy thing to do, but it is all about the selection, the temperature and the flavor combination. Say Cheese knocked me out with their Brillat Savarin with pineapple. If it hadn’t been one of my last stops after I was already full, I probably would have embarrassed myself by eating that cheese until somebody stopped me.
Latin American influences are a part of the neighborhood and always popular. Taste of the Eastside regulars Diablo Taco made delicious little chicken picadillo tostadas. Malo Restaurant served carnitas soft tacos gringo-ed up with sour cream and guacamole. We were so enamored with El Cochinito’s garlic and lime lechon asado (slow roasted pork) and creamy flan that we are going there Monday.
Longtime favorite Little Dom’s presented smoked albacore with whipped burrata on homemade brioche. For dessert, they had baked a rich brown butter cake with raspberries and creme fraiche. There were several other little canapes that would be perfect for cocktail parties. “Locksmith Bites” from Belle’s Bagels were comprised of lox with beet cream cheese, crispy salmon skin, radish and dill. Curried cauliflower and eggplant caponata canapes from Mare were each decorated with a single leaf of parsley and an almond. And it was great to see Chefs Eric Greenspan and Josh McKnight.
Hache LA made a refreshing strawberry basil lemonade instead of their usual burger and we enjoyed McConnell’s Ice Cream, Pazzo Gelato and ube pavlovas from Frankielucy Bakeshop. Families spread blankets on the grass and children ran around, laughing. People relaxed in the courtyard and as the day faded into evening, they danced.