Written with Lindsay William-Ross. And yes, I know it is no longer Autumn. Refer to the Kiki Maraschino Time-Space continuum for further elaboration.
CBS Radford Studios in Studio City held their 23rd Annual Great Chefs of LA last Fall to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California. Hosted by comedian and TV star George Lopez, the event was supposed to draw a number of celebrities, and I was on the lookout for Paul Stanley.
George Lopez said that the Border Grill truck was an authentic Mexican restaurant because "there is an extention cord leading to the house behind it."
La Loteria was across the way giving the Border Grill truck a little competition
Neal Fraser and Mary Sue Milliken were honored as umm, great chefs.
A refreshing cocktail made with Right Gin, fresh orange, and blood orange bitters
Neal Fraser's Braised veal short ribs with polenta. Rich, succulent meat, tender and shredding. It could have used a little more polenta to soak up the delicious meat juices
Ben Ford is so hunky
Brian Moyers of BLT is adorable too
Grilled Hanger Steak from BLT
It was all about short ribs and Fall flavors, as Lindsay puts it so eloquently
Akasha's sumptuous short rib piled atop a salty-sweet slab of pretzel bread served alongside pantry fodder like pickles and preserves. Down the way were eager ladle-fulls of gooey 3-cheese macaroni and more tender short rib meat from Charlie's Malibu--how can you resist?
If it wasn't short ribs, it was definitely game day. I was a little hesitant, in spite of having eaten moose and buffalo and god knows what in Canada and Alaska. But if youre gonna trust anyone with game it's saddle peak lodge. The meat was tender, not gamey, and the crostini made it into a nice little sandwich
Grass-fed beef sandwiches from Dakota in grass
Meanwhile, across the way, sips of seasonal soups like mushroom (okay, fine, Zuppa di Funghi) from Tanino Drago of Tanino & Panzanella Ristorantes and squash from Drago were welcoming flavors. Chef Celestino Drago was to the soup he offered a rich duck sandwich.
Bottega Louie, who also went the sandwich route, pairing tangy-sweet Blood Orange marmalade panini with a sensuous, quivering dollop of fresh burrata with an earthy pesto.
La Loggia and Bokado Langostinos wrapped kataife which was unbelievably delicious thanks to the crispy wrap reminiscent of shredded wheat cereal, which contrasted with the langostino's somewhat unusual texture.
Pintxo de Pollo (lamb)by Chef Frank Leon -- these were slammin! So intense with Indian and middle eastern-flovored spices (though the word pitxo and pinxo are skewered basque tapas). Nice moist meat, and a handy dandy bread carry-all The heat of the day and the Pinxto could be cured with a sip of their Gazpacho Andaluz, too.
Two oceanic bites courtesy of East. First, a plump scallop served sushi-style with lemongrass sambal, wasabi creme fraiche, shiso dust and micro cilantro in its own charming purple half-shell, was a tangy, smooth, vibrant respite. This was followed by a small piece of Hawaiian Walu, served with a mildly smoky miso mustard cream, micor wasabi, chive essence, and smoked chardonnay sea salt.
I was staring at the scallop, and the next thing I knew the chef was sliding a scallop into my mouth. OK, surrender to the experience. Talk about service! It was definitely one of the best bites of the day.
If you were looking for entertainment, though, you needn't have gone further than the table of the folks from Jose Andres' The Bazaar at the SLS. What a show! They brought along the always-enchanting and increasingly popular kitchen ingredient liquid nitrogen. They also had Tomato-Mozarella Pipettes (the mozarella is liquid in a tube that, sorry to say, looks like a tampon and squirts out the cheese juice, so, err, ick!)
Bazaar did pull out the stops with their passionfruit marshmallows
Chipotle-agave lamb loin with jalapeno mint organic grits, This may have been one of the best things I ate all day. A perfect autumn dish. Just enough spice to make it exciting, but not overwhelming
Frank Leon of La Loggia and Bokado
Botega Louie Roasted grape tomatoes, burata and pesto salad
Le Grande Orange Deviled Eggs
Govind Armstrong and Ben Ford
Leyna's Kitchen cupcakes with their strawberry filling are always a welcome sight.
The only star I spotted was Jenny Garth of 90210. No Paul Stanley, and I probably creeped out a lot of tall guys with black curly hair by staring at them while I determined that they were not Paul Stanley.