My Favorite Bites from LA Food & Wine | LAFW 2017

by - 7:36 AM

Quite simply, while I always have a ton of fun at LA Times The Taste, it doesn't hold a candle to my favorite festival of the season, the exhausting 4 days of the Los Angeles Food & Wine festival. Why these two incredible weekends have to be back to back I'll never quite understand, but I know that every year I have to emotionally prepare for a 1-2 punch to the gut of ridiculously amazing food, lovely drinks, and seeing and saying hello to all my favorite chefs from around the world.

This year proved to be another fantastic one for the books with the penultimate moment being rocking out to Wyclef Jean's "Gone Till November." Of all the various artists they've booked to perform in the past - this by far has been the best one!

Here's some of my favorite bites from the weekend... with that caviar cannoli (pictured above) from Plumed Horse being the absolute champ! I might have looped back around several times for this one.

Oh and obviously had to pair it with a Hendrick's gin cocktail, because what goes better with caviar than some crisp cucumber accented booze? And pro-tip, balancing your cocktail inside your wine glass with your food on top is called #Winning.   

Barbara Jean's Fried Chicken & Hush Puppies

 This was the clear winner from Night #1 - but the combination of everything on this plate with the sweet honey, spicy mustard, funky hot sauce, and handmade caviars made it a delightful bite of food!

Slapfish's "Clobster Rolls"

So as anyone who knows me knows "The Minty" is my ride or die partner in crime at most of these events and when we went up to Andrew Gruel's slapfish - she curiously looked at the "Clobster" and wondered aloud if it was a typo? Being me, I started attacking her with little lobster "claws" to which she was thoroughly unamused with my kid like antics, sighed at wondering how she's dealt with me for so long in her life, and we dug into these delightful satisfying rolls. 

I continued to laugh like a crazy person for the rest of the night thanks to this moment.    

Phorage's Truffled Dumplings

I have a story about Chef Perry Chung and his restaurant Phorage - where the "rager" never stops that has forever endeared me to any of his efforts. Thankfully it's a well placed love as he continues to wow and amaze me with everything he creates like these generously topped black truffle dumplings that were an absolute delight! And if you want the story - just ask ;). 

Joe's Stone Crab's Clam Trio & Boozy Whippets

From the first time I met Chef Andre Bienvenu at LAFW in 2013 I was smitten. Not only did he make a Peking Duck cotton candy, seafood popcorn, and iron grilled sandwiches that were the ultimate college dorm room hack - he introduced me to the world of alcoholic whippets, which TBH wasn't a thing that I even knew I needed in my life. But he was back again this year with an upgrade to the whole process, and also serving up a trio of baked clams which - given they're from Joe's are never something you can go wrong with. 

Rosaline's Ceviche

And then there's my dear Ricardo Zarate and his incredible balance of unique flavors and spices that permeate all of his Peruvian creations. With a horribly long line, these multiple component spicy sweet bites were an absolute delight and well worth the wait. 

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