Saturday, January 23, 2010
Have you ever gone to a party and you are thinking, "I don't belong here...this is really awkward...who are these people anyways?" Well, the DineLA party at the Roosevelt was the exact opposite of that! It was like the party I have been waiting to attend all of my life! The Roosevelt a cool venue, the music was cool and non-thumping, and it was not too crowded.
But the most exciting part is that the room was crammed with the best chefs in LA! And I LOVE them! I get all chatty and gossipy over garnishes and game as if we are schoolgirls talking about the boys in class.
I had a conversation something like this with Chef Jean Francois Meteigner of La Cachette (Imagine it all whispered superfast):
"It's the king of foie gras!"
Did you have the pate or which foie gras?
"I love ALL of your foie gras, but especially seared."
Oh, you should have come in a few months ago. I seared it with these little kumquats...
"No way! Oh my God!"
Yes! You call ahead and I will get you your foie gras
Can you imagine the balls it would take to call ahead to inform the chef you are on your way for foie gras?
So I was running back and forth between the red carpet and greeting people and trying to make friends with Neal Fraser and I saw my darling John Sedlar Rivera! Now the party could start! He was still laughing about the llama.
When I finally stopped fawning over John, I made my way inside and hung out with Linds and Caroline on Crack. HC, and a bunch of other food writers. We tried a cold corn soup with a little teensy clamful of goodness. The event was catered by Dakota and 25 degrees.
The line for drinks was a long one, and I later discovered that was just for wine and sodas. Wine was provided by Wente.
One place they could improve upon is to have cold bottles of water available somewhere. Cocktails were passed. I tried what I thought was a mojito, but Caroline on Crack reports was not. Still, it was very mojito-ish.
The Cherry manhattan had what I thought was a cherry at the bottom - because that would make sense. But according to Linds it was a shiitake mushroom! It could have been an eyeball for all anyone knew.
They had a birria taco bar
I asked this guy to take a bite of taco for me to photograph. He was like You want me to what?
It just proves if you are nice enough, most people will cooperate eventually
The pork belly was glorious.
The goat tacos were so delicious. The sauce and juice ran down my hand and I immodestly licked it off.
I was handed a sweetbread on a skewer and hesitated. I have had sweetbreads at the Gaucho Grill and was none too impressed. But there are certain places that can make you like things you are unsure of. And this was not a night for half-assed cooking. I told John, who was chatting with other chefs, "I'm afraid to eat the sweetbread." Neal Fraser said, "It's brains."
I said, "Thats what my dad said the grit in clam chowder was when I was little."
John said, "There's no grit in that."
Josie said kindly, "It's the thymus (and demonstrated on herself where it was). You'll like it. Try it.
So it only took three chefs to get that thing down my gullet. It was nicely crisped and caramelized on the outside, which made the inner liveriness less pronounced.
The speaker started speaking on the podium, and I was standing taking pictures when I turned and noticed the mayor standing next to me. As they mentioned the sponsor, AMEX, I told the mayor, "I bet you have the black card."
He said, "What?"
"I said, there is a black AMEX with no limit."
"He said, 'Oh, I know. You have to spend an awful lot to get there.'"
Then they introduced him and he said, "Blah blah blah, and thanks to American Express...(pointing in a friendly way at them) Hey, I'm still waiting for my black card guys!"
I looked over, and was like, "Hey, that's totally Tom Labonge!" He is so friendly in a big happy dog kind of way.
Desserts were hit and miss
But the party was raging
Neal Fraser was sporting badass shoes
Robert from Laconda del Lago
Chef Eric Greenspan of The Foundry