Live on Grand
Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 2014
Grand Avenue between 1st and 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 8/23/14
This past weekend marked the fourth annual LA Food & Wine Festival; this year, it spanned almost 30 individual events over four days. Some of the standbys I’ve attended each year have been the large tasting format events; in my opinion, they’re the best way to access the most chefs and bites with one ticket. This year, I attended the daytime grand tastings as well as this evening event, Live on Grand. What separates this event from the others is a live performance at the end of the night (this year’s performer was Common) and a gorgeous backdrop of downtown LA. Grand Avenue, next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, is shut down specifically for this event.
Dozens of chefs/restaurants lined the street serving up both savory and sweet bites. Of course, it’s all-you-can-eat/drink for the price of the ticket ($250 GA).
Petty Cash Taqueria hamachi ceviche, tomatillo, avocado
Nobu Malibu shima aji with rhubarb salsa
Mozza/Chi Spacca house cured affettati misti
Jose’s Stone Crab housemade pastrami with manchego cheese, mustard on roasted rye
The Polo Lounge corn tortellini, jidori crackling, chanterelle mushrooms
Mastro’s lamb lollipop, pistachio pesto, harissa, frisee-arugula salad, heirloom tomato
Rose. Rabbit. Lie. caviar tacos with yukon gold potato shell and hamachi
Eagle Rock Public House poke on toasted flatbread with coconut and furikake
Ray’s and Stark Bar lobster agnolotti, smoked corn, mascarpone, dashi, trout roe
Plan Check crab cocktail roll-up
Superba Food & Bread tiramisu in white
Redbird/Vibiana/BLD norwegian salmon, black garlic polenta, greens, yuzu kosho
Tim Hollingsworth bbq burnt ends with sweet potato topping
Bourbon Steak citrus ash cured kanpachi , jalapeno, compressed melon, cucumber
Sotto suckling pig salad, pickled cherries, sweet onions, pistachios
Compartes Chocolatier peanut butter and salted caramel chocolates
Bottega/Coqueta ‘bikini’ brioche a la plancha with cana de cabra, roast eggplant and preserved stonefruit
Lorena Garcia crispy anise arepas topped with queso fresco, black asada and spicy guasacaca sauce
Addison tomato soup
Ditmas cow terrine & poultry epidermis
Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn lone mountain wagyu ribeye hibachi grilled with pickled myoga and red shiso
Of course, there were plenty of wines to pair with the food, as well as handcrafted cocktails and brewed options.
There were a lot of great bites at Live on Grand. It’s a close call but my favorite was the caviar tacos from Rose. Rabbit. Lie. The potato taco shell had great crunch to go along with the caviar and hamachi combination that really went perfectly together. I lost count after eating eight of these. A duo of stuffed pasta dishes were also highlights – Ray’s & Stark Bar’s lobster agnolotti had great flavor with a chewy pasta, while the Polo Lounge’s corn tortellini was delicious especially with an addicting jidori crackling topping. Mastro’s served up thick slices of juicy rack of lamb while Neal Fraser’s Norwegian salmon was perfectly cooked served on a bed of black garlic polenta. On the sweet side, Superba Food & Bread’s tiramisu was a highlight while Compartes’ chocolates were a treat. Drinks-wise, Goose Island IPA is always a favorite but I really enjoyed the Heitz offerings including the Martha’s Vineyard cabernet.
Lines were a bit longer this year than I remembered and it did get pretty congested around some of the most popular booths, which speaks to the growing popularity of these events. However, I’m curious what the event planners will do to mitigate this in the future. Overall, this was another fun event and I’ll be interested to see what this event has in store for next year and which chefs join in on the action!
Note: This was a hosted event.