Los Angeles Magazine The Food Event 2016

The Food Event 2016

Los Angeles Magazine‘s The Food Event would easily “podium” in a Most Beautiful L.A. Event Venue contest, probably winning top prize too.  Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu is a vineyard, winery, retirement home for exotic animals who worked in show biz, and more!  And for one day a year, it becomes one of the hottest food and wine festivals in L.A.!

On Sunday, October 16th, 30 Los Angeles-area restaurants, some veterans, some new, some that are yet to open, brought out some great grub to The Food Event.  I think I managed to try almost all of them, and posted at least two dozen dishes on Instagram at hashtag #offalofoodevent2016!

One noticeably popular ingredient at The Food Event was octopus!  No less than four restaurants–Baltaire, FIG, Hatchet Hall, and Felix–served the eight-legged beasts in all their char-grilled glory.  And they were among my favorite bites of the event:


Not to be outdone, beef also had strong showings, with the following dishes from Scopa Italian Roots and Everson Royce Bar garnering raves from the attendees, myself included:


Vegetarian dishes were also quite good, with the best entries from The Bellwether, FIG, and Erven:


The restaurant with the most interesting looking dish goes to Terranea, while Jitlada’s booth won best celebrity hangout, and Love & Salt had the best dessert, in my opinion!


As far as what my favorite dishes were from The Food Event, Felix’s octopus, ERB’s burger, and Erven’s dates were probably my top three, in no particular order!  Again you can check out most of the dishes I tried on Instagram at hashtag #offalofoodevent2016!  Thanks Los Angeles Magazine for another great event!

19. October 2016 by The Offalo
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Pier Del Sol 2016

Pier Del Sol 2016

The 20th Annual Pier del Sol fundraiser for Special Olympics Southern California, took place at the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday, October 9th.  The event honored chef Josiah Citrin (Melisse, Charcoal) for his consistent support of the fundraiser over the past two decades. He served up one of the more beautiful, innovative, and, yes, delicious dishes of the event:

Beyond that, my other favorite bites were from the likes chefs Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Connie & Ted’s), Alain Giraud, Danny Waked (The Arthur J), Brooke Williamson, and The Strand House:

(For more images from Pier Del Sol 2016, check out my hashtag #offalopierdelsol2016 on Instagram.)

Pier Del Sol is a great event for families, with unlimited rides to the Pacific Park amusement park on the pier.  If you missed it, you can support Special Olympics Southern California buy purchasing a cookbook featuring 31 recipes from 28 chefs who have supported Pier Del Sol throughout the years.

14. October 2016 by The Offalo
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Children’s Bureau Fundraiser and Los Angeles Times Bite Nite with Jonathan Gold

Food events keep popping up.  After splitting my usual monthly round-up into two separate posts, I am still coming across noteworthy events to mention…

Thursday, October 20th – Children’s Bureau Celebrity Chefs & Wine Tasting:  Children’s Bureau is a non-profit that works to prevent and assists in treating the victims of child abuse.  This fundraiser in support of Children’s Bureau’s cause is now in its 7th year and boasts a top-notch line-up of chefs and restaurants, including Gino Angelini (Angelini Osteria), Susan Feniger (Border Grill), Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish, B.S. Taqueria), Bruce Kalman (Union, Knead), David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), Mary Sue Milken (Border Grill), and Steve Samson (Sotto, Rossoblu), and more!  Tickets are $250, or $500 for access to the Sommelier Suite, where rare wines from around the world will flow generously.

2016 Celebrity Chefs & Wine Tasting - Save the Date

Tuesday, October 25th – Los Angeles Times Bite Nite:  Last year, the Times moved restaurant critic Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants list from a May release date to early November.  However, the annual celebration/launch party for said list, known as Bite Nite, still took place earlier in the year, while a separate party was held in the fall to commemorate the 2015 list.  This year, Bite Nite is back to to launch the 2016 list with a line-up of restaurants that one presumes will (and should) be on the new 101 Best Restaurants list:  Baroo, Guerrilla Tacos, Jitlada, Night+Market Song, Rustic Canyon, Taco Maria, and more!  Tickets are $125 for a chance to mingle with the Belly of Los Angeles and enjoy some incredible food.

Events to look for in November and December:  Baby2Baby (Nov. 12th), Sips & Sweets (Dec. 2nd), and I’m sure there’s many more!  Let me know if I’ve missed any other major events happening between now and the end of the year!

07. October 2016 by The Offalo
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Eastside Food Fest 2016

Eastside Food Fest 2016

It’s hard to believe that Eastside Food Fest is only in its third year.  Seems like it’s been running for a while now.  The event this year was very well attended, to the extent that the interior studio space that held half the participating restaurants did get quite a bit sweltering.  In a fortunate twist, the weather was nice and cool outside unlike earlier in the week, which facilitated the circulation of guest between the two main spaces.  Also, I think they did sell more tickets than anticipated as some restaurants ran out with still two hours to go, though many I spoke with said they actually brought the same amount as last year and had so much left over last year.  I guess they’re still striking a balance, but unlike other events that ran out of food early, I didn’t hear a lot of attendees grumbling about it here.

Top bites for me were Same Same Thai’s crispy rice salad, Ohana Poke Co.’s tuna and salmon pokes, Starry Kitchen’s tofu balls (in my mouf), and a pair of dishes from Kettle Black and Sawyer, the latter of which had the longest line!

Other highlights included Little Beast’s lentil quinoa salad, Pok Pok’s sai ui Northern Thai sausage, and Creme Caramel’s ube and pandan custards.  Cocktails by Our/Los Angeles vodka was also a treat!

It wasn’t all unlimited eating at Eastside Food Fest.  Chefs Ray Garcia and Steve Samson did cooking demos on Big Green Egg grills, and there were several panels including a live recording of the Super Amazing Restaurant Show podcast, which was great fun!

Last night's live recording of the @superamazingrestaurantshow (show… show… show…), w/impromptu banana-suited guest @starrykitchen, talking about $15 minimum wage, service charges, etc. — My semi-related question, which I'd have asked if they had time for audience Q&A: Do you tip for take-out? Not delivery, that's another conversation, but I know folks who tip 10% or 15% on to-go food. I'd never discourage people from tipping, but that's half of what people leave for good full service, so does that make sense? Have an opinion? Please chime in! — From @eastsidefoodfest #eastsidefoodfestival #eastsidefoodfest #eastside #foodfestival #losfeliz #silverlake #macksennettstudios #theoffalo #offaloeastside #offaloeastside2016

A photo posted by The Offalo (@theoffalo) on

Had a great time at Eastside Food Fest this year, looking forward to 2017!

06. October 2016 by The Offalo
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Off the Hook Seafood Festival 2016

Off the Hook Seafood Festival 2016

If there was a theme to this year’s Off The Hook Seafood Festival, it was raw tuna and grilled oysters!  At least three restaurants were serving some variant of raw tuna, be it in hand roll, taco, poke, or tostada form.  And two participants were grilling up some beautiful oysters (with another serving them raw).  This is out of a field of around 15-16 restaurants.  Not that I’m complaining!  I love raw fish and oysters in any form!

Top bites for me were Mare’s baby octopus, Herringbone’s yellowtail w/caviar, and yes, the two grilled oyster dishes.  Oh, and who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot day at the beach?


(For more pics, check out #offalohook2016 on Instagram.)

In its second year, Off The Hook was I believe a little smaller than last year, as far as the number of participants went.  When I arrived 15 minutes before opening, there was only a dozen or so people waiting in line, but actually the event filled up quite quickly.  The bands were tight: Black Crystal Wolf Kids performed great covers of recent and not-so-recent hits, Brightside had a great Afro-pop meets reggae sound that was perfect for the beach!  As with their inaugural event, I do wish VIP had early access (even half an hour) and of course the line-up could be augmented a bit for a little more variety, but it’s definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon!

05. October 2016 by The Offalo
Categories: Events and Festivals, Seafood | Leave a comment

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