Angeleno Magazine‘s 13th annual Live & Dine LA event took place on Sunday, September 20, 2015. Celebrating the magazine’s “sweet sixteen” years in print, the event took place at the Fairmont Miramar and featured 40+ restaurants. The event space was split between the food area, which surrounded a very large tree providing shade to half the space, and an entertainment space with the musical stage and small lounge areas that looked like magazine covers come to life.
The extended heatwave that Los Angeles has been experiencing has finally reached the collective consciousness of the participating chefs. I’ve never seen a larger concentration of raw and/or cold dishes at one event. I could literally count the number of hot dishes on one hand! And while I heard more than one complaint from attendees about eating yet another ceviche or tartare, I was as happy as a (raw) clam!
Seafood definitely made the strongest showing at the event! Aestus had a refreshing tomato ginger soup with crab, while Bombo served a tasty grilled shrimp cocktail. Even Barrel & Ashes got in on the fish game with its smoked trout rillette, topped with my new favorite garnish, fried capers!
Amphibious assault came in the form of two of my favorite dishes of the event, The Little Door‘s duck & fig toast, also one of my wife’s top picks, and Terrine‘s crisp yet juicy fried frog legs, one of the few hot dishes served.
Landlubbers, though, were a little more limited in selection, though the options available were quite good! Faith & Flower served a simple yet delicious steak tartare, while the Fairmont’s own FIG drew crowds with its grilled lamb bao buns.
Surprisingly, only a handful of sweets were served. Meal and a Spiel‘s strawberry and peach cobbler was raw and vegan (and delicious), while Maru served a brownie topped with beautifully brûlée‘d marshmallow fluff.
I rather enjoyed doing a top x listing like I did for LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade, so I’m going to try it again. The aforementioned amphibious dishes were my fourth and fifth favorite bites of the event (you can decide in what order). So what were my Top Three dishes from Live & Dine LA 2015?
3. Duke‘s dish of raw salmon ceviche/poke/tartare/something, with sesame oil and flying fish roe, hit all the right notes with me. I was only disappointed about one aspect of this dish, and that was me not getting the full description of it. I even enjoyed using the trio of skewers bound into a trident for a semi-primal eating experience.
2. The Arthur J‘s sirloin tartare was simple yet extremely delicious. I don’t generally prefer a fine mince or grind for my tartares, but it allowed the flavor of the beef to really come through while still retaining a pleasant texture. It was my favorite non-seafood dish of the event!
1. Mainland Poke‘s spoons of raw fish goodness combined fresh salmon with a variety of interesting and delicious ingredients that made it my wife’s favorite dish of the event, and I wholeheartedly agree. It was quite unique and really made me want to go try their shop sometime!
People keep asking me what food event has been my favorite, since I’ve been to so many. It’s really difficult to say, since each has its own quirks, pros and cons, etc. I really like the relatively small scale of Angeleno Magazine’s Live & Dine LA. I like that some of the restaurants tables are in the middle, so we can see some of the prep work happening behind the scenes. The chefs just seemed a little more accessible compared to the events with the big enclosed booths.
Incidentally, I just want to say that chef David LeFevre (of MB Post, Fishing with Dynamite, and The Arthur J) has just been killing the food festival circuit lately, with strong showings at LAFW and LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade (even squeezing in the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival in between) and now here as well! Next he’ll be at Tastemade‘s Gallivant event this Thursday! Can’t wait to see what he’s serving!
For more dishes from Live & Dine LA 2015, check out hashtag #offalolivedinela on Instagram!
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Angeleno Magazine’s Live & Dine LA 2015
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
101 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401