Best Bites Of The 33rd Annual PPLA Food Fare
Ever wondered what the threshold of the average stomach is? If there was ever an event to test the limits of one's stomach, it was Food Fare 2012.
Hosted by Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Food Fare took place last Thursday. The annual fundraising event held one round of festivities in the daytime, and another in the evening, with more events during the latter, including a demo from PPLA's Chef of the Year Suzanne Goin.
“It is truly an honor to be named as Chef of the Year," said Goin. "Planned Parenthood provides an invaluable service to the people of Los Angeles and I am so proud to once again be part of this wonderful event.”
Even with over 150 restaurants, wineries and vendors converging at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, it was impossible to resist tasting all of it, because the food was exceptional overall.
There were diverse offerings, including everything from El Cholo's sweet corn tamales to The Mark for Events' shrimp-topped gazpacho shots.
The splendid Tunisian tuna sandwich from Got Kosher? Inc. contained harissa, potato and a slice of soft-boiled egg, as well as tangy pepperoncini, capers and olives to strike a nice balance with the heartier ingredients. It was served on a soft roll that complemented the filling nicely.
Locanda del Lago's baby arugula salad with creamy burrata cheese and spiced wine marinated figs. The sautéed rainbow trout marinated in a deliciously acidic sauce with juniper berries paired well with the Asti we drank with it, although sparkling wines are generally known for pairing well with fried foods.
Both the mushroom and jalapeño-bacon mac n' cheese from Melody Bar & Grill were cheesy comfort food delights. It may be helpful to know that the restaurant is conveniently located by the LAX airport.
Clementine's mini banana cream pie had a smooth, creamy vanilla and banana filling with a crumbly cookie crust on the bottom, adding the perfect crunch to the bite-size version of the classic American dessert. Clementine also showed up with an elevated mini Sloppy Joe, which had tangy sauced meat and cheddar cheese served on a wonderfully soft, springy bun. Staying true to the tradition of the original Sloppy Joe, it was definitely a knife-and-fork kind of mini sandwich.
Pinches Tacos served up some succulent meats such as carne asada, chicken and al pastor, nestled in fresh corn tortillas, topped with salsas varying in heat.
One of the best eats of the entire event were the cookies from Cookie Good, an online-only bakery that is genius enough to come up with flavors such as a Cap'n Crunch cookie with crunchberries and a caramel-pretzel chocolate chunk cookie.
Other great desserts included indulgent macarons and chocolate roulade slices from La Provence Patisserie & Cafe, as well as Nothing Bundt Cakes' -- what else -- fluffy samples of bundt cake.
Other restaurants dishing out an array of bites included Church and State, A.O.C., Ammo, Angelini Osteria, Drago Centro, Tavern, and Lucques. The Border Grill Truck and The Grilled Cheese Truck also served up food truck fare during the evening session.
What started with a cooking demonstration by culinary legend Julia Child in 1979 has since become the oldest culinary event in Los Angeles. It is now the marquee annual fund raising event for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, whose health centers provide care to over 120,000 men, women and teens each year. The fundraiser was undoubtedly a delicious success.