Highlights of LA Times The Taste 2016 – an annual food event at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
I’m going to be honest with you – around Labor Day Weekend (when The Taste 2016 is), I get a little sick of eating. That’s because one weekend is LA Food and Wine, and the following weekend is the LA Times’ event. It’s a lot of chewing. This year, I implement a new strategy. Ask people what’s good, and try only those things.
My first night, we run into actor Chris Williams and his friend Ariel Paredes (she’s a hand model, which still blows my mind). They mention these burgers that are available on Princess Cruises. I know, not the first place I would think of, but their chef (Ernesto Uchimura) is the same guy responsible for Umami and Plan Check. So, it’s quite a resume. The burger is a Ribeye and Shortrib patty on a brioche bun, with beer battered jalapeño and grilled pork belly. It’s my first bite of the evening. You can see my reaction of it in this video.
There are two more videos from this night – one which you’ll see at the bottom of this post, and the other is coming soon to my YouTube Channel. I go to bed satiated, but not overstuffed. It’s kind of an incredible feeling, compared to years past.
The next day, we arrive at the Sunday event with one hour left to taste. I say hello to my fellow Los Angeles food blogger friends (there’s Tara Redfield and Maren Swanson above), but really we are there to shove as many things into our mouths as possible, before restaurants run out of food. Actually, it’s mostly Abe that’s doing the eating because he’s just completed a long bike ride. So we search for all the vegetarian options.
I get some meat tacos too, in the form of this Salbutes, or puffy taco from Chichen Itza. It’s the best thing I’ve eaten all weekend. You may remember this was my favorite dish from The Taste 2015, as well.
I also get in on some burger action…a little slider from Little Tart…
…and a sizable Turkey Burger from Simmzy’s.
So happy to see my beloved Dog Haus Dogs! They make the most adorable little mini dogs for the event – a pork belly hot dog with their version of Cheese Whiz. It comes with pickled hatch chiles on their signature grilled Hawaiian Roll.
Honorable mention goes to this Sambasa from Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant – filled with lentils, grilled onion, and jalapeños. The pastry dough is light and flakey.
Unlike last year, there’s not as many dessert options. But this S’mores Ice Cream Sandwich from Hinoki and the Bird is the perfect last bite.
VIDEO: Corn Ice Cream from Smitten and LEONA’s Popcorn Masa