Eating our way through the “Best of LA” at The Food Event

The Food Event 2012, presented by Los Angeles Magazine is Culinary exploration at it’s finest. We literally dove into a virtual pop up book emulating the pages of the magazines restaurant guide section in 3D. The 7th annual culinary extravaganza featured LA’s best chefs, culinary personalities coupled with some of the best food and wine tastings and a mixology lounge. Lesley Bargar Suter, dining editor for the magazine curated the exclusive list of participating restaurants, while Saddlerock Ranch Malibu played host once again to the foodie-centric Angelino crowd in attendance.

Restaurant’s worthy of being in the “Best of LA” category:

Tavern, Brentwood

The dynamic duo of restaurant veterans Chef Suzanne Goin and Sommelier/Restauranteur Caroline Styne kept things simple in true farm-to-fork style with their Yellow Tomato Gazpacho from Tavern in Brentwood.  Tavern is their third restaurant endeavor from the team that also owns Lucques restaurant and AOC winebar.

Mercato di Vetro, West Hollywood

Chef de Cuisine, Mateo Rogers delivered a dish that tasted even better than it smelled.  A perfect light starter of Black Truffle & Beet Panna Cotta was the right dish to prime the stomach for a day of eating and drinking.

Gladstones, Malibu

For a second year in a row, Chef Dean Grill shows off a taste of the menu since SBE group revamped this Malibu Seafood institution on Sunset and PCH. The team served up a Crab & Avocado parfait served up in a martini glass.

Photo by Rico Mandel Photography

The Strand House, Manhattan Beach

As if serving up a tender juicy Lamb chop wasn’t enough. The team from The Strand House delivered a two for one that also included a healthy serving of Tomato gazpacho with a duck confit crostini.  Its no surprise that Chef veterans Neal Fraser(BLD) & Travis Lorton(Gjelina.) keep guests coming back to the beachside eatery in Manhattan Beach.

Photo by Rico Mandel Photography

The Royce at The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena

Chef David Féau always delivers haute cuisine and no ingredient or expense was spares with his artisticly presented Santa Barbara Spot Prawn and Terragon Granita.

Malibu & Vine, Malibu

Chef Matt Zubrod & Dean Meherin were back for a second year to show that their country club eatery fits right into Malibu wine-country. They served up a comforting dish of Braised Beef Cheeks & Butternut Squash Risotto.

Picca & Mo-Chica, West LA

Chef Ricardo Zarate and Cort Zimmerman showcased two refreshing summer dishes including a Grilled Asparagus skewer & steak tartare dish showcasing their artistic Peruvian meets California cuisine.

MB Post, Manhatttan Beach

Chef David Lefevre brought is personality and savoir-faire and even his goggles out during his grilling session of fresh grilled Sword Squid. It was so good that we had to help ourselves to two or three helpings. And yes, they still have the”Lamb Belly” on the menu.

Public School 612, Downtown LA

We always love running into the creative team from Downtown LA’s school themed eatery, Public School 612.  Last time we saw them they were dishing up shortrib and kimchee sliders and this time, they presented a duo of dishes that included a an amazing cold seafood cedar smoked campechana; a nice contrast to the braised short-rib taco that was also served up.

Plan Check Bar on Sawtelle

Located in West LA’s “Little Osaka” this small plates eatery serves up american classics and derived its name for the adjacent “Building & Safety” department on Sawtelle. Chef Ernesto Uchimura served up plenty of juicy and smokey fried chicken paired with their own infused “Endless Summer Punch.”

Wine Highlights: Where locally sourced & grown is the name of the game!

Hoyt Family Vineyards

Representing the best from the southern and central coast regions of California via its two estate vineyards in Malibu & Paso Robles. This family run operation have just added Tempranillo, Cabernet, Viogner, Grenache and Petit Verdot to their crops.

Our Favorite pours: 

‘09 Chardonnay- Gold Medal Winner at 89 points. Full bodied, French Oak Aged, Slight notes of butter and Oak

‘09 Cabernet- Double Gold Medal Winner at 98 points. Fruity and earthy.

‘09 Dylema- A blend of Cabernet, Petit Syrah and Malbec from Paso Robles

Malibu Family Wines: Producers of Semler & Saddlerock Wines

Their beautiful Malibu Estate Vineyard was the site of another successful Los Angeles Magazine event and an amazing venue site for a multitude of events. According to their website, their “vineyards consist of approximately 60,000 vines on 65 acres, with expansion plans to reach 100,000 vines”. The ocean and altitude combine and provide a perfect climate for optimal grape growing.

Our Favorite pour: 

’08 Cabernet Sauvignon from Semler- 100% estate grown in Malibu. Orange, Cinnamon & Nutmeg, Blackberry & Plum finish.

Casa Dumetz

Another micro wine purveyor in Malibu is Casa Dumetz Wines, a joint venture between winemaker Sonja Magdevski and Emilio Estevez. Both are passionate about growing and creating wines locally. The fruit for their Pinot Noir is from their Malibu estate and they source grapes from the nearby Tierra Alta Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. Read the full story here.

Our Favorite pour:

We couldn’t put down the Casa Dumetz 2010 Viognier. They call it “The white wine for red wine drinkers.” Rhone style, limited production wine with 140 cases produced in 2010.

Wrap up!

In typical LA Mag fashion, the event had a great turnout from the food and lifestyle magazine that curates a taste of the good life and showcases the latest from  LA’s best restaurants. If you don’t already have a copy of the current “Food Lovers Guide To LA,” handed out at the event, we highly suggest picking one up before copies are gone. We would even suggest grabbing a couple and giving them to the foodies in your life for the holidays. In addition, the team from Los Angeles Magazine has recently taken the mobile world by storm by launching its own user friendly mobile app {Dining Out} available via the itunes store. It’s your goto guide for restaurant reviews, bar listings, promotions and more. We are already looking forward to the next one!

Event photography also provided by Samantha Abrahmsohn for VivaLAfoodies.com

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