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Review - Extravaganza for the Senses

t
tangy tart Jul 18, 2009 10:57 PM

Saban Free Clinic held their 12th annual food and wine event at Fox Studios. Great evening all around. Started at 6pm for VIPs and 7pm for general admission. A good variety of restaurants and wineries and cocktails, but mostly on the lower end, no big chefs.

Here's what I can remember and my favs:
Best Food - Foundry on Melrose - grilled cheese (taleggio / raisin bread / apricot-caper puree)!

2nd best (it was very close) - Ivan Kane's Cafe Was - bacon wrapped fig with cheese (Medjool Dates/ roquefort / smoked bacon / 12-year balsamic) Their pot roast with potato puree was OK - but I've had better.

Best dessert (Hands down) - MILK - 3 different types of mini ice cream sandwiches (grasshopper, de leche, coffee), 2 types of "drumstick" cones (strawberry shortcake, vanilla) and bon bons - yum!

So over it - I think at least 3 separate tables had Tuna tartare. The best, of course, was Chaya Venice, but I'm so over this dish.

Not worth trying - I didn't even want to bother with the fried rice, long green beans from Buddha's Belly or tomato/ mozzarella from Louise's Trattoria - sorry, not worth it to me.

Others:
Bombay Cafe - breaded chicken and potato cake - it was better without the sauces.
Breadbar - lots of bread and mini almonds cakes - yum.
Corn Maiden Food - 4 types of tamales - good
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop - very nice mixed salad with strawberries, grapes and blue cheese.
Hansens Cakes - lots of mini cupcakes - carrot, vanilla, marble etc - but there was a guava mini cupcake from another vendor (I forgot who) which blew Hansen's away.
Lawrys - can't go wrong with prime rib on a mini roll.
Mr. Cecil's California Ribs - really good meaty rib and also a slow cooked beef.

I forgot who/ what? - I was in a food coma by now - so apologies but there was a great tri-tip on a bed of Israeli couscous, jumbo coconut shrimp on a bed of coleslaw, refreshing cucumber soup with creme fraiche, calamari ceviche - not bad (they also served a mushroom tart and cantalope with proscuitto - no flavor, I've had better )and I think Upstairs 2 - had the lobster roll? - it was very tasty.

Other notables- Wine -lots of wine!, Dr Bob's handcrafted ice cream, Great DJ, plenty of tables to stand up and eat, nice auction items and Food Network had 3 of the finalists from the "Next Food Network Star" doing demos. Xooro was listed in the program guide - but I didn't see them.

GA Tickets was only $100. VIP $225 was definitely not worth it. Got an extra hour of entry and valet parking but the separate area with seating only had 3 vendors you couldn't get outside - Coke, Ococoa chocolates and Citizen Smith restaurant (bread pudding, tuna tartare on a cucumber, jalapeno mac and cheese - I didn't like it).

Cons - Only thing I can complain about is the bathrooms - port-a-pottys - really? Yuk.

Love to hear from others who attended and had a better memory than me!

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