Over the weekend I was lucky enough to attend LA Times The Taste held at the Paramount Backlot. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I was doing anything over Labor Day and at the time I wasn’t so he offered me his two free tickets he had been given, but couldn’t attend. I got to pick any of the events that wasn’t already sold out, so I checked out the website and when I saw the word “cocktail” it was a no brainer, Cocktail Confidential on Sunday night it was! I called up my friend Laura and asked her and hubby Darren to join me and they were in. Darren was even willing to drive so Laura and I could get our drink on.
This was my first time and I have decided that I definitely want to come back! It lasts the entire weekend, starting Friday night with a kick-off event (that sold out very fast), and events during the day and night on Saturday and Sunday (all events are 21+ except for the Labor Day Block Party). Local chefs and food critics gave demonstrations throughout the weekend (although we soon forgot about those once we started tasting all the food and alcohol, lol) and there were booths from all sorts of restaurants, wineries and spirit companies, with small tables scattered throughout so you could sit down and enjoy yourself or take a break if needed. People crowded the Streets of New York backlot but not so much that you couldn’t move around. They had also set up booths in their water tank/parking lot so there was plenty to see. I was glad we chose an evening event, otherwise it would have been too hot and miserable to do anything with the 100 degree weather Los Angeles has been experiencing right now.
We circled around the Streets of New York first, grabbing an Orange Julius with vodka, beef burger slider with truffle and Parmesan fries first (pictured below). The lines were all fairly short which was a huge plus. I think the longest we waited was 10 minutes for any booth. There was so much food! When I was recounting it all to a friend the next day I was surprised at how much we ate and I’m pretty sure I forgot things. There was Korean BBQ, lemon poppy-seed cake from Rosebud Cakes (see the cake photo!), eel bruschetta, tuna tartare, tri-tip (that I went back for seconds!), a turkey burger slider with brie and green apple from The Counter (a local burger chain), kosher tortas (yes, there is a Kosher Mexican restaurant in LA), gelato with 22 year aged sherry, and chocolate cupcakes with Bailey’s. We also ate carne asada with cactus tacos and tortillas made right there from Juan’s Restaurante! Check out this short little video! There was also a fried mac-and-cheese with prime rib ball from Fred 62 that Darren ran straight to. (Definitely NOT kosher, lol.) And that’s just the food I can remember! Drinks included a mojito from Don Julio, wine from various wineries including Blackstone and Wente, vodka tastings, Stella Artois (their new cider is delicious!!), a prosecco cocktail from Mionetto that was very yummy (picture below!), and so many more I honestly can’t remember which ones I tried. You can find a full list of participants here.
One of the things that was pretty cool was the red carpet they had set up. It was a “do-it-yourself”, but had this great chalkboard set up that they put their logo on and then had buckets of chalk for anyone to add whatever they liked. We made sure to make a stop and take our pictures and add our own signatures to the board.
And no event is complete without some free swag, which came courtesy of Flor de Cana and Stella Artois. We got free sunglasses (pictured below) and a Stella Artois glass (yes, the glass they use in all their commercials they were passing them out with a full pour included!). I’m not sure which I like better, although I’ve already been using the sunglasses everyday, lol. But I love my Stella glass and will feel fancy the next time I have a drink at home.
I wanted to take more pictures, I really did, but two things were in my way: my iPhone is still a 3GS so the camera isn’t the best, especially at night, and more importantly it was really hard to take a photo with a drink in one hand and food in the other and very few places to sit, lol. I promise to plan better next year 🙂 And I hope you’ll join me!