Sunday, June 12, 2011

Photo Essay: Taste of the Nation LA 2011

I've spent the last two days pretty much in bed or in the bathroom, writhing in pain, since I woke up Friday morning with food poisoning from dining out the night before.

I lost eight pounds in one day.

I think I lost my mind a little too.

But by the time I got sick, I'd already bought a ticket to today's Taste of the Nation event in Culver City, and despite my weakened constitution, I decided to go anyway.

Last year I'd pigged out with friends at the Wine & Food Festival in New York and had a grand ol' time, so I figured I'd go to a similar event in LA (OK, Culver City) to schmooze with chefs, bartenders, mixologists, and fellow foodies. After all, these are my people!

I arrived con gusto but could only really eat for a third of the event's duration, and then sat against a tree groaning. I'd eaten at least a nibble of every dish I'd taken, but if I didn't absolutely love it, I threw the rest out (causing enormous feelings of guilt since the whole point of the event was to raise money to end childhood hunger).

I sipped many cocktails but finished none.

And when I'd had my fill, I went home to recuperate.

Here are some of the highlights of the day:


Lamb terrine from Comme Ça


Cold beet & scallop* from Simon LA
(*looked pretty but my poisoned stomach could not handle cold seafood)


Lamb pop w/fava reduction* from LA Market
*favorite




Toasts from Church & State


Fattoush salad* from Lucques/AOC/Tavern
(*not a good representation of what these guys can do, was good but seemed too simple for the event)


Octopus lettuce wrap "taco" w/coriander flower from Tres / The Bazaar by Jose Andres


Egg toast w/olive tapenade & tomato from Campanile


Lamb slider from Go Burger


Highland Park Swizzle by Bols Genever


Rice Pudding* from Craft
(*I didn't actually eat it but it looked great)


Chicken pops* from Lukshon/Father's Office
(*I didn't actually eat it but it looked great)


Rabbit Rillettes from Le Saint Amour


Kaya toast* from Susan Feniger's Street
(*this was a somewhat deconstructed version of what you get in her restaurant, still very good)


Quinoa crabcake from Border Grill


Grilled cheese on raisin nut bread* from Foundry on Melrose**
*favorite
**most boisterous booth, with lots of bell-ringing


Paloma


Beef & pork "bolognese" (aka sloppy joe) from Short Order*
(*coming soon to the Hollywood Farmer's Market)


Chocolate pudding "donut" from Fonuts


Key lime pie cupcake* from Sprinkles
*favorite

I'm back in my apartment, writhing in pain, wondering if I should've stayed in bed today instead. But I never want to be left asking, "What does it taste like??" And now I know, even if all I got was just a taste...of a lot of different bites.

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