Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Taste of Santa Monica - A Taste and More

So I went to the Annual Taste of Santa Monica this past weekend after getting $20 tix from Goldstar. I thought with $20 it seems worth a try! There were a lot of different little things everywhere but I will just give you a sampling of what was there - I didn't visit every booth and didn't take photos of everything I visited either!

The type and amount of food they give you there vary a lot, and so did the lines. Some booths had a really long line, like the one serving oysters and also this crepe booth:
Acadie Hand Crafted French Crepes:
Buckwheat crepes with mozzarela tomato and basil; and also one with Nutella
The filling was nothing spectacular as you can see, but I did like the buckwheat crepe. Different and gave a bolder taste than normal crepes.

While waiting in the long line for crepe, I sustained myself with a panini I grabbed from the not-so-crowded booth next to it:

Chicken pesto panini from Panini Garden.

Decent panini - bread was pretty nice. A decent-sized portion too I may add. We grabbed one and it was enough for two.

I loved the Green corn tamales from El Cholo.
This was a sweet tamale filled with cheddar, cheese, and ortega chili.
I really liked the sweetness of it and thought it worked well also with the cheese (although the cheese is not evenly distributed, but oh well).

They gave you a regular sized tamale, which really started to fill me up!

Shrimp and seabass cevice from The Lobster
Not bad .... I guess? I just came back from Peru so I have high expectations for my ceviche, and this one doesn't quite cut it. Also, too much onion.

The mussels from i cugini.

This was hit or miss. I got two mussels and one was practically a shrunken little thing, while the other was a nice, plump juicy piece.

Prosciutto melone fromIl Fornaio
A nice little combination and easy to just grab and eat. The prosciutto was just okay, but the whole thing was pretty refreshing. (There's only one place giving out drinks here so any ice cream/gelato/fruit booths were a blessing for me!)

Chilled shrimp with arugula, and tomato black olive relish
from Cezanne @ Le Merigot
The shrimp was big, fresh and crisp. Nice texture and refreshing taste!

The most fun part of the festival was probably watching the "Molecular Ice Cream Lab" where they make ice cream in these kitchen aid mixers using dry ice:
The ice cream was tangy and the different "flavors" didn't really come out, mostly due to the dry ice which gives it that tangy flavor.
But it was still such a fun addition to the festival!

Of course, we didn't manage to get seconds ... we didn't end up filling up our card and there were still quite a few booths we didn't visit. Oh well. We were full though and for $20 Goldstar tickets, the event was well worth it. Not sure if I would pay $40 though! Maybe if I didn't have to go to the BBQ fest ....

You will probably end up having to buy drinks - they have a full bar and already prepared a hundred cups filled with muddled mint for mojitos!



Wow, that is actually quite a bit of food for $20. I didn't know they were going to do it on a stamp card basis. I wasn't really looking to pay for every little booth so I didn't go this year. But I'll definitely keep it in mind next time the occasion rolls around.

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