Monday, July 26, 2010

East LA Meets Napa Returns Big

East LA Meets Napa, the annual fundraiser benefiting AltaMed, is a special event for Los Angeles. Not only does it raise money for free quality healthcare for those who need it the most, it is the only event of its caliber that gathers Latin restaurants around town and Latino-owned or operated wineries of California under the same roof.

Well, technically there's no roof.

East LA Meets Napa is held at the courtyards of Union Station
There are two connected courtyards at Union Station and while last year's event occupied only one of them, this year they expanded to both and even filling up the adjoining hallway.

There's even a mariachi band making its way around the event.
As wine kept flowing, people started to salsa on and in front of the stage.

The evening started with a VIP reception at Traxx, which had more wine tasting - some of which were also available at the main event. This year's event is also special since in accordance with Mexico's bicentennial anniversary, they also had wineries from Baja's Valle de Guadalupe participating, along with guest chef Patricia Quintana from restaurant Izote in Mexico City.

There were plenty of Napa cabs, but at the VIP reception we also got to try a sweet blend of late harvest grapes from Ceja.

I had my first tastes of Cook's Tortas. It's not the full experience but a great teaser, using the same bread they use in their regular tortas. I'll be making it out there soon.

It would be impossible to go through everything, but here are some highlights:

Wild boar & duck carnitas from Cacao Mexicatessen

Chapulines (grasshopper) tostada from La Huasteca

These weren't as good as Guelaguetza's chapulines but it was fun having my friends try them for the first time.

Golden gazpacho with poached shrimp and Israeli couscous from Setá

Various desserts from Porto's Bakery

There were more of course, here's a slideshow of the others:


Joshua Lurie

Good recap of one of my favorite L.A. food festivals. I'll never get tired of eating's Rivera's tortillas.

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