Thursday, October 14, 2010

No. 182: Food Event Marathoner ~ J Gold's Speakeasy Party & Savor the Season

As someone who like alternating nights out on the town with a day or two of resting & cooking at home, I surprised myself with four consecutive nights out of events and tastings (though to be fair, some invites came to me last minute and were just too good to pass up.) And what better way to follow up a marathon of outings than a marathoner post? Let's take off!

Speakeasy Collage
On Saturday, thanks to a last-minute win of 213 Downtown's twitter contest, I was able to get two passes into Jonathan Gold's 2nd Annual Union Station Speakeasy Cocktail Party (benefiting Zocalo Public Square, which puts on all sorts of provocative discussions & seminars to reinvigorate thoughtful dialogue in the modern world.) With five 213 bars making a signature cocktail and nine eateries serving up delectable bites, fun times were had by all as the alcohol kept flowing and the hors d'oeuvres kept coming out.

My favorite bites of the night included Rustic Canyon's burrata with black mission figs, roasted chestnuts, salsa and toast (so comforting & Christmasy!) still-in-transition Grace's melt-in-your-mouth squash flan with smoked sage jus and Street's Burmese melon salad with crisped coconut, peanuts and sesame-ginger dressing (cooling, refreshing and much needed as the space started heating up from the cocktails, the hot foods and the crowd.)
Manhattan Makin'
Of the drinks, being a gin lover I was partial to Varnish's Plymouth Fitzgerald, a simple concoction of Plymouth gin shaken with lemon juice and sugar, topped with Angostura bitters. Second in my heart was Cole's Pikesville Classic Manhattan with Pikesville Rye and Dolan Sweet Vermouth, though I was peeved my first Manhattan was prematurely bussed away (WITH MY LUXARDO CHERRY STILL IN IT) Of course, the natural solution is to get another!
Caroline & Esther drinking
After a little mingling with other bloggers and friends, chatting with the ever-gracious Jonathan Gold and his wife Laurie Ochoa, and a little dancefloor time, Matt, Esther (my Speakeasy +1 btw,) Caroline and I moved onto afterpartying @ La Descarga, where we enjoyed MORE drinks and Matt showed off his suave double cigar-puffing technique.

To cap off the night, K-town Karaoking & sharing a big heaping plate of dukkboki & ramen. Did I really sing "All the Small Things" and "Don't Stop Believing"? Of course I didn't, and there's no way (or person lucid enough) to prove it! Even if pictures suggest otherwise!

Getting home around 2:30 a.m. (thanks Matt for driving me back to the Gold Line station where I parked & metro'd,) I had all of four hours' sleep before getting up in time for a promised 7 a.m. canyon hike with my friend; 9 miles, 5 hours--I'll admit to not really feeling it at the start but once I soaked in the amazing views and scenery it definitely gave me a spring in my step.
Savor the Season collage
And of course, all that hiking worked up an appetite (and made me feel less guilty) about Savor the Season that evening, taking place in the Lot Studios and benefiting Break the Cycle, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth to prevent & end domestic violence. I attended this two years ago in Downtown LA's Vibiana (soon to house Grace Restaurant!) and I definitely loved the venue move. The evening was warm, breezy and perfect for an outdoor tasting (though a few of the organizers readily admit to leaving their hands to Lady Luck and Mother Nature for this late October date and obviously thankful it wasn't one of those crazy days with record-breaking heat and pouring thunderstorms.)
assorted fudges from Aahsome Fudge
Street was there again, this time with their famous finger-friendly pani puris, and other delectable treats include Stefan Richter's show-stopping liquid nitrogen passionfruit ice cream lollies, and some aahmazing fudge samples (and a fried chocolate raviolo) from Pasadena-based [AF]2.
Lou w Wine
Equally astounding were the wines served, including Lou on Vine's Lou pouring of A Donkey and Goat Syrah from a keg. Don't laugh, it tasted way more delicous that it looked (though my allegiance still lies with their Grenache Gris Rosé, a fragrant, refreshing blush wine I look forward to sipping every summer since my discovery.) For the bubbly-inclined, Girl Meets Grape' Bonnie Graves, who's been working with Savor the Season for four years, was there to pour tres-chic Comte de Dampierre's Brut des Ambassadors champagne. Crisp, apple-y with a touch of toast... and I'd imagine going VERY well with the shucked-to-order Carlsbad Luna oysters that Christophe Hapilllon had going on one booth over.
Kat w Oyster
(yes, I said imagined... it was very tempting, especially when Kat was overtly savoring them in front of me. Maybe I should follow the way of that one vegan who occasionally enjoys oysters.)

Given my other going-ons for the days ahead, I took off from Savor before its final hour, but I definitely hoped the event itself and the silent auction raised lots of much-needed funds and awareness for Break the Cycle, and that Savor the Season will be just as picture- and palate-pleasing the next time around!

And with that, I got two events (and the official weekend) down, and two more to go in the days ahead. Stay tuned for part two of this four-day bender . . .

In the meantime, enjoy more photos from my flickr of the Union Station Speakeasy (& afterwards) and Savor the Season


Diana said...

How am I not surprised that you liked Rustic Canyon's bite the best? ;)

Banana Wonder said...

Stop! You're having way too much fun.

David said...

I remember the foodie fest! Good times, many cool people! What ever you do, do't eat the Icecream though! LOL..that bacon ice cream..ugggg...


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