LA Times The Taste - A Thicc Girl's Heaven - Day Two
Needless to say, after day 1, I headed straight to the couch and almost instantly fell asleep. I woke up at 8 am and had a very productive day.
Then Laura texted me.
"Do we wanna do The Taste again?"
There was no answer but "yes."
This time, we knew how to do it right. Avoid pretty much all carbs unless completely necessary. At this point we knew which liquor vendors were giving out real cocktails vs. little sips and samples of wine and we knew where they were located. Start from the back of the venue and work our way to the front to avoid some of the traffic. Wait in line, anyway. They go by pretty quickly.
Armed with a pair of flats this time instead of a pair of marabou kitten heels, I was ready to conquer.
First stop: Pacific Dining Car was back at it again. This time--baseball steak and lobster Mac 'n Cheese. This place really knows what a girl wants. This steak was honestly BOMB AF. It was seasoned to perfection with so many notes of flavor. I could really taste the tang of aging the meat. I found it to be much. much more delicious and flavorful than the filet mignon! The lobster Mac 'N Cheese was very good, filled with Gruyere and Manchengo so of course it was good, but my homemade Mac 'N Cheese is so darn good, it's honestly hard to deal with a restaurant Mac. It’s just never quite as luscious, if I do say so myself (I did).
Next, we stopped by Faith & Flower, a lovely DTLA restaurant I’ve been dying to try. The sign said “Tuna Cones” and as Laura is deathly allergic to fish, she stayed back and knowing us, she probably refilled her wine glass. If it weren’t for the reaction she would have of her face puffing up into the face of a Michelin Man, I would never be able to forgive her for missing out on one of the last and final tuna cones at the stand. First of all, the thing was absolutely stunning. Wrapped in silver, inside a black cone, and topped with GOLD LEAF (that’s right, gold leaf). I checked the restaurant menu, and they don’t normally top the cones with the gold leaf, so it really was a special touch for a glorious evening at the Paramount Backlot. With the toro tuna in a tomato sauce with oil cured black olives and pickled blue lake beans, the flavor was honestly indescribable. If you combine those ingredients in your mind, you still won’t taste what I tasted that night. I already plan to spend my birthday at Faith & Flower so I can eat these cones endlessly and not feel bad about it. This cone was absolutely the best thing I put in my mouth on day 2. Against my favorite dish from Day 1, the fried olives from Firefly, I’d say the cones take the cake.
Does anything get a girl going quite like charcuterie? The Taste’s VIP section hosted the most lovely charcuterie presentation I have ever seen in my life and thankfully, had the opportunity to devour..demolish? With a dizzying assortment of meats, breads, crackers, hunks of honeycomb, cheeses, nuts, and preserves of all kinds, it was honestly everything I could have dreamed of in a charcuterie. I could have spent my whole night there at that table, and I’d be lying if I didn't admit to spending quite a while there. The goodies came from DTLA Cheese, located inside the Grand Central Market. I’m going to talk less about this grand charcuterie and encourage you to divert your attention to the photo that I so kindly provided for your viewing pleasure.
All of this meat and cheese sure made us thirsty, so we were happy to be standing right next to the Suntory Whisky bar. As one of the few places offering a full sized cocktail, these were also my favorite drinks at the event. The whiskey was premixed with a nicely carbonated soda water and served from a machine, spritzed with orange something, then garnished with an orange zest. It was bitter, fresh, and so crispy it almost crunched. I could drink a whole lot of this (and once in Japan, I did and went on a date with a man who was convinced that I was a samurai in a past life, but that is another story). Bulleit Bourbon also served up full sized cocktails, one of which was inspired by Thai ingredients and filled with coconut milk. It was definitely something I had never tried before (bourbon and coconut milk!) and it was lovely, even though I tend to choose cocktails that are a little lighter in texture and weight.
Next, we stopped by Otium, which offered a beautiful little clear cup containing a scallop with potato, burnt allium, and ficoide glacial. Although I still don’t know exactly what an allium is, I know it was way too burnt for my liking, although I particularly hate the smell and taste of burnt foods after spending a few years of my life smoking too much of the green stuff and falling asleep while cooking and nearly burning my apartment down on many occasions. Besides the burnt, everything in my mouth was incredible—smooth and deep with flavors. This was a stand-out, top-notch dish and I hope to explore the menu at Otium, which I expect to be just as creative and sensual as the small taste I was lucky enough to experience.
Speaking of burning, our visit to Hotville Fried Chicken was one I will never forget. This Nashville Fried Chicken spot is known to be SPICY. As a spicy food lover, I wasn’t scared. On the first bite, I was surprised. In that moment, I thanked the heavenly stars that I also stopped by Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen and picked up some Mac ‘n Cheese and Collard Greens. Anything dairy will cut that spice and reel you back in from the fiery pit way better than water will. I’m not sure what was more delicious, the spicy-ass chicken, or watching the three blonde women with Kate Gosselin haircuts complain miserably over how spicy the chicken was (but not even eat the white bread on their plates which will also cut the heat—too many carbs!). Dulan’s was fabulous—that real homestyle Mac ‘n Cheese that is yellow in color and crazy cheesy and the collard greens were so good, they made me think I was being healthy! Now, although you may see a large hunk of cornbread on my plate, I do not like any corn-based starchy foods, so that was all Laura. I heard it was good, though!
Stuffed at this point, we encountered Doghaus, an all-hot dog establishment in Burbank. As The Hollywood Hot Dog, even though I was act the point of exploding, I had to try one. The dog itself was good, but TBH, even as a slaw fanatic, this dog just didn’t need to be dressed with it and the bun was a little on the dry side. I try not to eat starchy carbs at the food fest to leave room for the good stuff anyway.
Because I am the best girlfriend, I stopped by the Eataly booth on my way out and took a gorgeous little bombolini—a mini fluffy Italian donut filled with gelato—all the way out of Paramount Studios and all the way to our home. When I got there with his surprise, he wasn’t even home.
That disappointment was almost comparable to the disappointment and longing that I will feel all year waiting for this event to happen again. Shall I start a petition to make this event bi-annual? Los Angeles Times, you just might see me outside your headquarters with a sign begging for more THE TASTE!