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Taste of the Nation LA

Is anyone else going this year? I know I end up posting about this every year because it truly is my favorite food event of the entire year. The list of restaurants is outstanding again and once again, 100% of the proceeds go to help end childhood hunger so it's a great cause. I can't wait!

http://www.strength.org/losangeles/

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  1. Yep, bought the tickets a few weeks ago! It'll be my first time and am very much looking forward to it. I will most likely be the one in the stretchy pants...

    20 Replies
    1. re: baloney

      Awesome! Stretchy pants or a mumu are entirely appropriate for this event as it's a massive amount of food and drink.

      For people who haven't purchased tickets, there are benefits being held pre-event around town, the first one being a tasting at Hatfield's on Wednesday, May 25th, 7:00-9:00. A $50 per ticket includes passed appetizers and complementary cocktail - 100% ticket proceeds will be donated to Taste of the Nation. Taste of the Nation LA tickets will be available for $110 for VIP and $75 for General Admission.

      There's also an event at Bloomingdale's in Century City on June 2 from 6-9. $50 entry gets you $25 in Bloomingdale's money, plus $25 off a TOTN ticket, plus possible % off purchases that night along with food, door prizes and a goodie bag.

      1. re: mollyomormon

        Here's the list of restaurants that will be at TOTN:

        A-Frame / Beechwood

        Border Grill

        Campanile

        Chaya Restaurant Group

        Church & State

        City Tavern

        Comme Ça

        Craft

        Culina

        Farmshop

        Fig

        Fonuts
        Go Burger

        Grace / BLD

        Hatfield's

        ink.

        Jitlada / Singha Beer

        LA Market

        La Seine

        Le Saint Amour

        Loteria Grill

        Lucques/AOC/Tavern

        M Café

        Madame Chocolat

        mar'sel

        District on Sunset

        Michael's

        MoChica / Picca

        MoKo

        Napa Valley Grille

        Osteria Mozza

        Patina

        Pazzo Gelato

        Public

        Ray's & Stark Bar

        Red O

        Rivera / Playa

        Scoops / Scoops Westside

        Simon LA

        Short Order

        Sprinkles

        Starry Kitchen

        STREET

        The Bazaar by José Andrés

        The Foundry on Melrose

        WP24

        and beverages:

        1886 Bar at the Raymond

        American Tea Room

        Brewery Ommgang / The Golden State

        Duvel

        Eagle Rock Brewery / Verdugo Bar

        Firestone Walker / Library Alehouse

        La Descarga

        Pour Vous

        Sotto

        The Bruery / Steingarten LA

        The Spare Room

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        Border Grill
        1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

        Jitlada
        5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

        BLD Restaurant
        7450 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        Madame Chocolat
        212 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

        Library Alehouse
        2911 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

        Loteria Grill
        6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        Comme Ça
        8479 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

        Napa Valley Grille
        1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024

        The Verdugo Bar
        3408 Verdugo Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90065

        Church & State
        1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

        The Golden State
        426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

        Le Saint Amour
        9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

        Chaya
        525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

        Tea Room
        12229 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

        La Descarga
        1159 North Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006

        The Bruery
        715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870

        Osteria Mozza
        6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        Culina
        300 S Doheny Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        Eagle Rock Brewery
        3056 Roswell St, Los Angeles, CA 90065

        Red O
        8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

        Starry Kitchen
        350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

        WP24
        900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

        Scoops Westside
        10640 Woodbine St, Los Angeles, CA 90034

        Go Burger
        6290 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

        LA Market
        900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

        A-Frame
        12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

        City Tavern
        9739 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

        Steingarten LA
        10543 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        1. re: mollyomormon

          Posted this in an older thread but never got a response. Can anyone comment on what the VIP tickets get you and if it's worth it (extra $50 each)? Trying to decide which tickets to get.

          1. re: Discokill

            This is what I received from AMEX concierge which I asked the same question to:

            Golden Apple VIP
            Allows entrance into the American Express Tent and there you can taste the creations of Bazaar's Jose Andres. You will also be able to meet Top Chef's season 6 winner, Michael Voltaggio and you'll receive a gift bag.

            You also get valet parking.

            1. re: baloney

              Ask him when INK is opening please :)

              1. re: Porthos

                Ha! Will do.

                Pour quoi you no go, Sir Porthos?

                1. re: baloney

                  Working that weekend :(

                  Also, my mouth is writing checks my body can't cash. I need to ease off the gluttony un poquito...

                  1. re: Porthos

                    After reading your Paris shenanigans, I understand! Actually, I'm in the same boat, though I am still yearning daily for that seaweed butter at Le Cinq....

                    1. re: baloney

                      I'm craving some comte. Doesn't have to be Bernard Antony 48 month old. A simple 24 month old will do...

                      ...which I've recently noticed on the menu at Fig in Santa Monica.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Really? I'm looking for a great cheese cart from anywhere in LA since Bistro LQ is no longer around. I agree, had some great 2 year Comte from a random cheesemonger back in September, better than the older stuff from Ledoyen. Also, would love some lait cru Epoisses...

                        -----
                        Bistro LQ
                        8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                        1. re: baloney

                          I'm looking for a great cheese cart from anywhere in LA since Bistro LQ is no longer around.

                          ========================

                          You and me both. Epoisses (doesn't say if it's lait cru), Valençay, Comte, Bleu de Causses, just to name a few...

                          http://figsantamonica.com/pdf/FIG_men...

                          See you there.

                          1. re: baloney

                            Word is Starry Kitchen is going to provide a cheese selection in conjunction with LQ's cuisine...maybe you should stop by their booth and put in a couple of requests. Add a +1 for me for 24 month Comte and lait cru Epoisses please.

                            -----
                            Starry Kitchen
                            350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                            1. re: Porthos

                              Shall do so! How awesome would that be to have those two cheeses??

                                1. re: baloney

                                  Baloney, while we're waiting for this imaginary cheese cart to materialize, just wanted to let you know I was able to get Epoisses, Comte lait cru "12-16 month", and Morbier lait cru at the Long Beach Bristol Farms. No Epoisses lait cru or Comte at my local Whole Foods btw.

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    Really?? Have you tried it any of them yet, if so, how was it?

                                    1. re: baloney

                                      Tried them all this weekend. The Epoisses was pasteurized but still good. Even better as it warmed up to room temp. Comte was good also. Definitely satisfied my cravings.

                2. re: Discokill

                  If you're worried about getting enough food, then you'll be fine with just GA tickets. But if you really want to meet M Voltaggio, it's a great cause so go for it!

                3. re: mollyomormon

                  ooh, lots of new restaurants and some of my favorite local breweries!

                  1. re: tastycakes

                    they'll be announcing wineries soon too. it's such a great selection of restaurants this year!

            2. I'll be going - looks like a fun event! Curious to see what Voltaggio will prepare, among others.

              1. I'll be going for my first time this year. Anything that I should know about? i.e. Should I arrive early and get to the front of the line (if there is a line?) Will restaurants run out of food? If so should I make sure to check out the popular ones early?

                1 Reply
                1. re: andytseng

                  My main piece of advice is to pace yourself. It's an enormous amount of food and if you aren't careful, you'll fill up way before you've sampled everything. I've seen restaurants run out of food toward the very end, but I've always been able to sample everything I wanted. I always try to arrive near the start of the event but no need to get there early.

                2. another great event this year. standouts for me were the kaya toast from street (that wasn't foie gras on it btw, it was soy butter - could have fooled me!), the pork sandwich from grace, the tongue sandwich from fig, the scoops yuzu strawberry beer float, pazzo gelato's strawberry mint sorbetto, mole marinated hamachi sushi from chaya, and the fried chicken plate from lexington social house. that cornbread was glazed in honey butter from heaven. go burger's lamb slider was also fantastic, as was the tropical tres leches from hatfield's. the cocktails and beers this year were miles beyond those in the past. the chocolate extravaganza from madame chocolate was simply delightful, not to mention the crowd-pleasing jacques torres himself pouring champagne for everyone and posing for pictures.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: tastycakes

                    Jacques was charming as always. My favorites were also the fried chicken, kaya toast, the bolognese sliders from Short Order, Intelligentsia, and a few others that I'm blanking on now. It was a bit of a blur as I hit almost every stand! Must review my notes....

                    1. re: baloney

                      In addition to the above-mentioned items, I loved the chicken lollipops from Lukshon, the octopus tacos from Tres (Jose Andres' new restaurant), and the waygu beef tongue and olive oil ice cream from ink. I thought the event was an incredible success and I'm already looking forward to next year.

                      -----
                      Lukshon
                      3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

                      1. re: mollyomormon

                        Speaking of Ink and beef tongue and olive oil ice cream (together or separate?)...when is it slated to open?

                        1. re: Porthos

                          They were served separately. The beef tongue was sliced thinly and served with tiny pickled onions, a pumpernickel beignet and mustard powder. I know the restaurant is currently slated to open in July and I can't wait!

                        2. re: mollyomormon

                          i too thought that the lukshon chicken pops were great. the beef/veal terrine from la seine was spectacular. some of my other favorites were the chorizo stuffed chili from ray and stark. the lamb from culina. the lamb slinders from go burger were terrific. actually, lots of great food, some great beers, and great cocktails. well done event. oh, those tropical tres leches from hatfields was great too.

                          some of my least favorites were the sopes and shrimp from red o and the kettle corn from a frame. seemed like an easy way out.

                          1. re: cdub

                            I forgot about the chorizo stuffed chile; that was amazing.

                            1. re: mollyomormon

                              Hmm, I wasn't too impressed by the stuffed chile, maybe I just don't appreciate chorizo enough. But I did enjoy my brunch at Ray's on Saturday. I also got NO spice from the chicken pops, perhaps they forgot to spice mine?

                              I forgot that the chicken anticucho from Picca/Mo-Chica was nice as well. And of the two bacon frozen desserts....oh, tough call but I think I preferred Pazzo Gelato's to Scoops by just a hair!

                              1. re: baloney

                                baloney- did you stop by SK's booth and whisper sweet cheese nothings in their ears?

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  Starry Kitchen? Ha, nope, I couldn't keep a straight face what with Thi wearing a ridiculous banana costume(I just kept thinking of Family Guy, totally distracting). And I didn't see Chef Laurent, if he was there, I would've begged him directly!

                                  -----
                                  Starry Kitchen
                                  350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                  1. re: baloney

                                    I stopped by the SK booth and whispered sweet cheese nothings in Chef Laurent's ear. That's one charming (and flirtatious) frenchman.

                                    1. re: mollyomormon

                                      At least one of us got to him! Hey, now that I think about it, there were at least TWO charming (but maybe a tad less flirtatious, what with his wife being there) frenchmen if you count Jacques Torres!

                    2. It was my first time going this year and I was impressed...I'll be coming back next year for sure. Similar to others, some of my favs were the fried chicken from Lexington Social House, anticucho from Picca, and lamb from Culina. Loved the beer garden and cocktails too!

                      Recap with pictures of (almost) everything: http://darindines.com/2011/06/14/tast...

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                      Culina
                      300 S Doheny Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                      Lexington Social House
                      1718 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028