Secrets from the Kitchen & Cellar
The Taste 2011
9900 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 9/3/11
After Friday’s opening night event “Burgers & Beer,” Saturday brought two more: “Secrets from the Kitchen & Cellar” and “Taco Tequila Tryst.” I elected to go to the first. Whereas the “Burgers & Beer” event was focused around burgers, this one was open to the restaurants cooking whatever they wanted. Given I had close to 20 burgers the previous evening, I was looking forward to some variety.
The venue was set up pretty much exactly the same as the previous night, with two large tents housing the food & drink, and a number of tables outside. Also, a few tents with small stages were set up for various cooking demonstrations and chef panel discussions.
Cafe del Rey lobster ceviche
CHAYA Brasserie seaweed salad with chicken; compressed watermelon with basil oil
Craft sonoma pork, heirloom beans
Enoteca Drago cherry balsamic glazed roasted pork belly, sardinia fregola salad
Il Pastaio baked spaghetti wrapped with eggplant, mozzarella, tomato basil sauce
K-ZO crispy albacore
Larsen’s Steakhouse prime new york strip, creamed spinach, garlic mashed potatoes
Locanda del Lago rainbow trout marinated with celery, carrots, onions, juniper berries
Mezze ginger cookie, honey milk sorbet
Momed duck shawarma
Mr. Chow shrimp with glazed walnuts
Napa Valley Grille wild halibut crudo, summer root salad, gin citrus vinaigrette; heirloom tomato gazpacho
Oliverio at Avalon Hotel orecchiette with lamb ragu
Picca beef wrap, quinoa risotto, rocoto sauce
Public Kitchen + Bar pork sausage on ciabatta
Ray’s & Stark Bar marinated bay scallops; pork meatball
Sam’s By the Beach wild boar lasagna
Simon LA braised short rib, creamy farro, pea puree, toasted pine nuts, merlot glaze
Sotto crispy pork belly porchetta
Sushi Roku heirloom hamachi salad
Tender Greens wild alaskan salmon, corn, arugula, roasted peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, lemon basil aioli; agave cupcake, black mission fig
Wood & Vine foie gras & pork terrine
Dozens of wineries and spirits were featured, but my favorite drink happened to be this one:
Cuties has started bottling their citrusy goodness (I love their clementines). I tried the clementine/Mandarin juice and it tasted just like the fruit…I will be buying these in the grocery store soon. Love the bottle too.
I also dropped in on Scarpetta chef Scott Conant doing a cooking demonstration, the Lefebvres talking about their history and new show, and Craig Thornton (Wolvesmouth), Walter Manzke, Michael Voltaggio and Jonathan Gold discussing the role of social media in today’s restaurant scene. I thought these side events were an excellent opportunity for anyone wanting to take a break from stuffing their faces with more food.
My favorite dish would was definitely Sotto’s pork belly porchetta. The meat was rich and succulent with a complementary fennel flavor. And a crispy skin! So good. Neighbor Picca had another memorable dish, with chunks of beef and a quinoa risotto wrapped in lettuce cups, topped with a rocoto pepper sauce. Sam’s by the Beach had a simple-seeming lasagna, but it was comforting and delicious. Lastly, Chaya’s compressed watermelon were refreshing sweet bursts of flavor, while the basil oil really elevated the bites. Perfect for the weather.
I actually liked this event more than “Burgers & Beer” particularly for the wider variety of food, as well as the option of the chef panel discussions.
Disclosure: This event was hosted.