Every week involves a seemingly continuous stream of food, drinks and people. Of course not every taste or conversation is post-able, but the range of experiences is usually pretty amazing. Discover favorites from July 11 – 17, 2011, some of which will help to fuel full posts.
7/15/11 – Fresca Fruit features 30 flavors of raspados in South Gate thanks to a couple from Guadalajara who initially ordered syrups from their Mexican homeland, but now make them in-house. My choice was arrayan, a true jawbreaker, with teeth-rattling seeds from the green, guava-like fruit. They also have flavors like grosella (gooseberry), nuez (walnut) and guayaba (guava).
7/16/11 – On Saturday, my base of operations was the L.A. Street Food Fest, this summer in the shadow of the Rose Bowl. Since it was still hot at 3:30, my first stop was at Ice Ice Shavie, a shaved ice vehicle from The Roger Room head bartender Damian Windsor and Liz Wiltgen that features seasonal flavors like Mojito with lime, mint and sugar; Hammer Thyme with strawberry and thyme, and an off-menu Afternoon Delight with raspberry, cinnamon and agave. They appear every Sunday at the Studio City Farmers Market.
7/16/11 – Relate chef Dan Moody recently popped up at Scoops Westside with a dessert concept, and he and his team kept things sweet at the Street Food Fest with banana bread pudding a la Bourbon pecan pie, topped with whipped cream.
7/16/11 – La Guerrerense was one of the anchor booths from an esteemed Baja contingent. Sabina Bandera, who’s mastered Ensenada seafood since 1960, offered tostadas of sea urchin, Pismo clam, salsa, mango enchilado and an oil-based salsa with peanuts and more.
7/16/11 – Notable Tijuana and San Diego chef-restaurateur Javier Plascencia showcased two of his concepts at the fest, including his most cutting-edge restaurant to date, Mision 19. He presented char grilled oysters on the half-shell with lemongrass foam, shirt rib chicharron and sea asparagus, known in Spanish as salicornia.
7/16/11 – The Luxe Lounge featured bartender Julian Cox, who made two cocktails with Hendrick’s gin, including the Peat Rose with lemon juice, sugar, club soda, lemon verbena and rose air with a float of Balvenie 17-year peated cask single malt Scotch.
7/17/11 – Eat Real Fest took over a big chunk of the Helms Bakery complex for two days, featuring food trucks, cooking demos, debates and a large retail component. My first stop was at the Beer Shed, a retrofitted shipping container built by Magnolia owner Dave McLean that featured beers like Hangar 24 Columbus IPA and Lost Abbey Red Barn. This was one of the Westside’s better beer bars, well, at least for two days.
7/17/11 – Eat Real Fest also hosted the debut for Handsome Coffee Roasters, a new triumvirate in downtown’s Arts District. Intelligentsia veterans Mike Phillips, Chris Owens and Tyler Wells cold brewed and pulled shots of Mbeya Mwalyego, Iwala. Mbeya, Tanzania. Instead of macchiatos, cappuccinos or lattes, they offered “Espresso and Milk,” either 3 oz., 6 oz. or 9 oz. So far, they’re only offering bags of beans, but plan to open a retail component.
7/17/11 – Eat Real Fest drew Lefty Ayers of ReRide Ranch, who brought in Yorkshire Hampshire cross to star in a butchery demo, and later, in Daniel Nelson’s caja china. The Yard executive chef CJ Jacobson moderated the action, which centered on Bouchon Beverly Hills butcher Michael Pluglisi.