Food Marathon sent me on my way downtown to the Wallis Annenberg Building at the California Science Center to cover Project by Project's Eighth annual Plate by Plate tasting benefit. Rolling up alongside black suits and cocktail dresses made me sheepishly glance down at my short sleeve button-up and white canvas shoes (thank goodness it wasn't after Labor Day). Luckily a sunny smile from PbP's marketing director Belle Hsu made me feel more than welcomed and sent me on my way into one seriously well-planned party.
Jitlada Southern Thai cuisine. Their spicy Crying Tiger Beef and Chicken Green Curry set the standard for a quality spread.
Fraiche's Salmon Tartare on a potato chip was the first of MUCH raw fish to be consumed throughout the night!
Mo-chica had one of my favorite bites at the LA Street Food Fest tasting event, and again won my taste buds with their deliciously seasoned Anticuchos.
Bistro LQ's Sweet Pea Tapioca with Smoked Salmon wasn't quite my thing, but was one of the more beautiful presentations.
Craft Los Angeles was a tasty twist on prosciutto (though mine lacked the melon!)
Café Pinot was indeed peppered! A bit too much for my taste (caused a light cough), it simply overwhelmed the other flavors.
Musha's Spicy Tuna and Rice Cracker was a nice marriage, but I could have gone for a smaller helping! Hated to leave any unfinished. Their marinated Kushi Kara tofu kebab was incredibly chewy and a lesser favorite.
the Foundry on Melrose what was in his curious looking "Albacore Tartare" he said "too many things to list!" The meaty menage included crisped cheese, beef, onions, and the popular potato chip.
Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza. Not generally a huge proponent of foam, the light orange essence froth here was lovely with the rich and juicy duck.
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, their New Style Hamachi Poke ceviche with caviar the lustful little martini glass on everyone's plate (and it was tasty too). The Forbidden Black Thai Rice Pudding was a welcomed sweet bite at this point, with a lingering herbaceous after taste.
Thompson Beverly Hills composed a tidy Spot Prawn "Cuban Style", which is when I realized I was getting very, very full...
The Blvd (along with impressive design elements and, well, pure charisma) won head of the class for me. Again with the foam, but here as a bracingly crisp planty kiss atop the kampachi. Wow!
One World Vegetarian Cuisine made me realize I had to stop... I do have to give their Vegan Shrimp Spring Rolls & Vegan BBQ Drumsticks credit for being deceivingly authentic tasting meatless bites however! But alas, I had to take a stroll around, taste some wine & sake, and prepare myself for at least a few dessert tid bits from the kitchens' second guard...
Craft's Peach Tart Tatin with Sauternes Sabayon was a warm flaky pastry reminder of my Czech family's summer favorite peach dumplings.
Bistro LQ's sweets were more to my liking, with a Black Sesame Macaron and Tuille Cone with White Chocolate Ice Cream and American Caviar. The satisfying salty crunch of the caviar may have added a new favorite ice cream topping to my list...
Fraiche's Panna Cotta with Watermelon Soup struck me as odd, the cream slowly curling into the watermelon liquid, not the most appealing texture combo, but a very palatable dessert.
Starry Kitchen's Tofu Balls (another LASFF fave), but was happy to have another pass at their Pandam Flan! Starry Kitchen always wins my spirit award - they're so damn cool!
Yogurtland with mochi bits like a food zombie as the celebrity sous chefs were introduced and the event winded down, and slowly made my way out into the night, wishing I had taken the bus so I could jog back to Hollywood...
Health Justice Network visit www.projectbyproject.org