Thursday, July 1, 2010

Croquer: Yamashiro Garden Market

There are certain times when the posh eccentricities that give LA its inimitable LA-ness can fully be welcomed with open arms. Visiting the Yamashiro Garden Market with my friend Lisa last week was one of those instances.
High above Hollywood on one of LA's most popular viewpoints, Yamashiro restaurant is a lofty respite for taking in sushi, sake, and the city. But this summer with poolside cocktails, live music, wine tasting and high brow food vendors they're putting an elegant Hollywood twist on the traditional Angeleno farmer's market, and so far to overwhelming acclaim.
Artisan pretzel breads, homemade salsas, Rainier cherries, and a gourmet cheese truck add a nice twist at the vendor's booths, as well as wine tasting.
The longest line was for Yamahiro's Yamasada taco booth, which are only available at the Thursday night market.
The smell of miso-sake marinated black cod on the grill made my eyes roll back a little in anticipation as we waited, sipping a crisp Grillo wine (out of glass glasses - nice touch). Naturally I ordered one of each taco, and tried my damnedest to get every condiment onto my plate.
I started right into the black cod which was crispy smokey awesome, dabbed with sharp wasabi guacamole. The Korean short rib was tender and bursting with umami flavor, complimented nicely by the spicy salsa roja and some pickled chili peppers.
The Hoison Duck Confit was heaven dressed with a fresh Santiago Farms fruit salsa (plums to die for). I used the few chips remaining and my fingers to scrape up every speck of goodness from the box.
Before departing, Lisa and I made a final stop at the Bulgarini booth for what many claim is the best gelato in the LA metro area. The salted chocolate and goat cheese cocoa nib duo was a bold and practically savory dessert, but one to luxuriate in and contemplate. And we had plenty of time to do this - the main flaw came at the end of the evening waiting with 100+ other market-goers and restaurant diners for our conveniently priced $2 valet. The wait was approximately an hour, but to the management's credit, they were out there themselves moving cars, expediting as much as possible, handing out their cards and apologizing to patrons. Thank you Carlos Ulloa of Yamashiro for that personal connection. (This week an alternate lot and shuttle have been set up to alleviate the congestion). Delayed departure aside, I can recognize a fixable error and would definitely recommend the garden market for the distinguished Hollywood urban epicurean. 
New Vendors: Japanese Veggies, Afghan Food, Tiramisu and more.
Free Flower: For tonight and tonight only, SKYLINE FLOWERS will be
offering FREE flowers. Come by & get some flowers while supplies last.
Please take advantage of the free parking and shuttle service located at the Christian Science Church on La Brea at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. Shuttles will be running continuously from 5-9pm.
Follow on Twitter @LACityFarm

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