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Jul 18, 2009 10:57 PM
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Review - Extravaganza for the Senses

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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