This summer brought about half a dozen food festivals. Saving the Taste of The Nation & East LA vs. Napa, it seems what needed to be consumed during this foodiot’s crazy season all somehow made it into my gullet.
Plate By Plate stood out from the rest as the biggest ethno-centric event of the season. LA Wine Fest, Taste of the Nation, Angeleno’s Chefs Night Out all donated towards race-ambivalent charities. If you bought a ticket to Plate By Plate (and I did), you’re donating directly towards an Asian Pacific biased charity, in this case, http://www.projectbyproject.org . So far, so good.
It immediately gets better. Because of the volunteering committee and the associated staff of Project by Project and a smattering of other reasons, the attendees of PbP tended toward socially mobile & equally nubile young twenty-somethings. As a fellow blogger whispered: “this is my kind of crowd.” By his “kind”, I assume he meant really hot, post collegiate, unmarried girls in “semi-formal” (as advised by volunteering committee) attire stuttering, faltering, bumping & grinding all over the event grounds due to bottomless wine. There’s fresh meat, and there’s just meat.
Beyond observing the attempted “macking” on slender girls too busy stuffing their pie holes, there was actual food to be sampled. Best of the evening, which unfortunately wasn’t picked from an all encompassing sample, were the hamachi with avocado mousse from BLVD, Cafe Pinot’s 5 spiced seared tuna, the DIY roasted marshmallows and Craft’s ass kicking art. Chef Shannon is my hero.
Amidst the screams of: OMG! How are you! XOXO, there were whispers of: I can’t eat any more raw fish. This was the biggest problem of PbP — fire, or the lack there of. One joint, serving crab tempura had to rely on heat lamp because there was no deep fryer. The court yard venue may be supremely zen with the splashing pond and the sharp mood lighting, but it is still indoors. Without proper ventilation, ie, open air, the fire marshals obviously wouldn’t allow propane powered cooktops or grills. And without fire, you get tons of ceviche and tuna tartare, most of which were served after sitting in the cooler for hours. California Science Center isn’t a new dig for PbP, from Food She Thought’s PbP pictorial circa 2009, it seems the tartare/raw fish theme is a repeated situation.
Further commenting on the social aspect of PbP: chances are, if you attended USC or UCLA in the last decade, you will run into someone you know here, ie, California Science Center at Exposition Park, across from USC. If you’re a foodiot, you might even run into some person from Chowhound. This phenomenal is a partial explanation as to why we left a bit hungry and made a bee-line towards Leo’s. Everyone was too busy socializing, and the exhibitors ran out of food before established closing time.
Having spent the rare 500 words on an event coverage post, I’m probably never going to get invited back to this again (sorry Belle). Next year’s game plan: buy 2 “early bird” tickets via Goldstar at half off, go early to snap some GOOD pictures with the sun overpowering the colored spot lights, and GTFO before some random chic start saying: DOOO I KNNOOOW YOU? No girl-standing-next-to-the-tea-booth, you don’t know me. Really, for the third time.
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