East LA Meets Napa Returns to DTLA

East LA Meets Napa Preview Dinner. Photos by Karin E. Baker for The LA Beat.

Enjoy live music from Ozomatli, gourmet dishes from 15 top Latino-owned Los Angeles restaurants, premium spirits, and wine pairings from 15 acclaimed Napa Valley vintners when East LA Meets Napa returns to LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles on July 29.

East LA Meets Napa celebrates the richness and diversity of LA’s Latin cuisine and the Latin-owned wines of California. Now in its 15th year, East LA Meets Napa is the premier fundraiser for AltaMed Health Services.

During an East LA Meets Napa preview dinner at LA Live’s Sol Agave, we savored an outstanding multi-course meal with wine pairings. Chef Oscar Perez of Sol Agave served rack of lamb with mole, chorizo mashed potatoes, and baby veggies. It paired beautifully with a 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Herencia del Valle Wines in Napa.

Michelin-starred Chef Rocio Camacho, known as “la diosa de los moles” (“goddess of moles”), heads the kitchen at Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen in Bell Gardens. She presented us with chicken topped with white mole made of white chocolate and almonds.

Tenderloin with huitlacoche sauce atop roasted corn was the delicious offering from Chef Juan Sanjuan III of Gloria’s Restaurant in Huntington Park.

As one attendee told me, “This festival goes way beyond tacos, tequila, and cerveza.”

The aforementioned chefs Oscar Perez of Sol Agave , Juan Sanjuan III of Gloria’s Restaurant, and Rocio Camacho of Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen are just a few of the participants in East LA Meets Napa on July 29. Also included: King Taco, Porto’s Bakery and Cafe, and much more.

Participating vintners representing the Mexican American Vintners Association (MAVA) include Herencia del Valle, Encanto Vineyards, Honrama Cellars, Bazan Cellars, and more.

In addition to two-time Grammy award-winners Ozomatli, Latin-jazz ensemble Monogorama will perform their unique hybrid of Latino music that merges cumbia and samba with funk, charanga jazz, and more.

AltaMed has helped more than 375,000 residents of LA and Orange counties, regardless of income, with access to health care and education, dental care, senior services, HIV treatment and prevention, and teen mentoring programs.

East LA Meets Napa takes place on Friday, July 29, 7-10 p.m. at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles. All proceeds from the event benefit AltaMed’s programs that grant access to health and dental care to people in need in Los Angeles and Orange counties. You can buy tickets here.

Karin E. Baker

About Karin E. Baker

Karin E. Baker is a native Angeleno who loves the eateries, history, nature, architecture, and art of her hometown. When not exploring poke shacks in Kona, tascas in Córdoba, and konditoris in Malmö, she writes about food, culture, lifestyle and travel. She obsesses over comma usage and classic films and is always happy to find an excuse to open a bottle of champagne.
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