By Joan Alperin
The Taste is my favorite event of the year, mostly because I think of myself as a foodie. This festival is all about the food and the talented people that create it.
According to the Los Angeles Times, who put on this fabulous event, The Taste is dedicated to Southern California's most inspired food and drink. This year there will be a special tribute to beloved Pulitzer-Prize winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold who passed away last month.
Every year the most eclectic restaurants participate in the culinary event. On Friday night, LA's pop -up and underground restaurants will take center stage with a demo of Cajun-by-the-way of Compton cuisine from chef Michael Lawless (Shad's New Cali Catering), while Ludo Lefebvre (Tros Mec and Ludo Bird) showcases his French flair. This is one demonstration you do not want to miss.
Now what would a tasting be without wine and cocktails? For that, The Bar Stage will be serving up white wines of Italy while Cari Hah (Big Bar) demonstrates how to make the ultimate Martini.
Friday's restaurants include: Armor y Tacos, Baltaire Restaurant, Bone Kettle, Casa Vega, Chao Krung, Farmhouse, Hinoki and the Bird, Otium, Pop's Bagels and Wanderlust Creamery.
On Saturday, there's another night of delicious food, including creations by Briana Valdez (HomeState) who will demonstrate her signature dishes celebrating breakfast all day. On the Bar Stage, Sommelier Ira Norof and Wes Hagen from J. Wilkes Winery will show you 101 reasons to drink wine, and Adrienne Borlongan and Dana Borlongan from Wanderlust Creamery host an ice cream social. The wonderful restaurants this night will include Cento Pasta Bar, Border Grill, Crustacean Beverly Hills, Jaffa, Kali Restaurant, Madre Oaxacan Restaurant and Mezcaleria, Mayrura Indian Restaurant, Prawn, Taste of Tehran, Trois Mec and Winston Pines. Something for everyone.
Finally, on Sunday, you can experience the diversity of flavors from Sean Lowenthal of the Little Beast Restaurant and LA Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter who will highlight Southern cooking while Minh Phan (Porridge + Puffs), Charles Olalia (Rice Bar/Ma'am Sir), Jennifer Feltham and Teodoro Diaz-Rodriguez (Sonoratown), and Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama (n/naka) give cooking demonstrations.
Sunday's restaurants include 71 Above, Banh Oui, Coni Seafood, Hotville Chicken, Itza, Hotville Chicken, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, Inko Nito, Kobee Factory and Syrian Kitchen.
If you can't decide which night to attend, attend them all!
The Taste LA takes place Aug 31 - Sep 2 from 7:30 to 10:30 pm at Paramount Studios backlot.
Tickets: $115 GA, $165 VIP admission. 21+ only. Your ticket is all-inclusive and is good for unlimited food, beer, wine & spirits tastings. This is a great event for family, friends and date nights. Don't miss it.