I started and finished with coffee…

I just got home from attending Share Our Strength’s 25th annual Los Angeles Taste of the Nation event. This year marked a change in venue after a goodly number of years that the restaurant, wine and spirit tasting was held at a beautiful park in Culver City. I hope they stay in this new space on The Lot in West Hollywood for as long since it is a great space and well suited to the event. The Lot is the old Warner Bros. Hollywood studio. Here’s information if you’re interested; the place fairly drips Hollywood history http://www.seeing-stars.com/studios/warnerhollywoodstudios.shtml.

Share Our Strength supports local organizations across the country working to end childhood hunger. Great event for a great cause!! Not many photos here though the presentations were as pretty as delicious; it’s just not what the day was about.

My day started on the flip side of the food coin, doing my regular monthly volunteer stint at SOVA food pantry, which served to make me aware not to be wasteful as I sampled from some of LA’s best restaurants. I did a quick walk-through to plan my eating, fully intending NOT to throw anything away. I started out with a quick espresso from Intelligentsia Coffee and moved onto the savory bites. My salad course was wonderful Chilled Korean Noodles with Spicy Sesame and Seared Tofu from Susan Fenniger’s Street, followed my fish course (from several places including Jimmy Shaw’s Loteria Grill’s scallop ceviche – all raw, so I wanted to get that in early on this pretty warm afternoon). There was lots of seafood this year. Two years ago was the year of the pork belly; not a good year for Kosher vegetarians. There were great vegetarian options this year; I would imagine that there was some feedback on the issue in 2010.

As I said, it was pretty warm so I stayed away from the alcohol with the exception of a Watermelon SacrifICE made with Plymouth Gin, which was oh so refreshing! Recharged and onward!

I had a lovely skewer of beef filet (properly rare and simply seasoned), fabulous paella (good crunchy soccarat and lots of saffron YUM!) from Joe Miller of Bar Pinxto. I was not at all fond of Haven Gastropub’s foie gras cheesecake. Too bad since they are here in Pasadena. I’m not likely to go there if that’s their signature dish.

Super good and a few blocks from where I work is Ray’s and Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I find museum food to be pretty good (at good museums anyway), but this place is a step above. Today they were dishing up house made squid ink pasta with octopus. Again YUM! After all this and other odds and ends in between I was starting to hit the food wall. I headed over to see Mary Sue Milliken at the Border Grill station for a hug and a quesadilla (and as it turned out a kilo wheel of Cacique Family Reserve cheese).

Time for sweets! At this point I didn’t need much. I tiny scoop of strawberry ice cream that I had spotted earlier, a glass of Short Cake’s New Orleans style iced coffee (cold brewed with chicory, sweetened and with milk but still dark and strong) and a scoop of Pazzo Gelato’s coffee toffee gelato.

What’s for dinner? Sparkling water. Several glasses…

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About floricooks

I cook; I feed; I eat
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