Category Archives: Alcohol

Artisanal LA 2010, Downtown LA (Savory Edition)

And so man cannot live with desserts alone. After all, the sweets often come after the savory. So as not to saturate and kill my palate and appetite with too much sugar, I also had to make my way towards the salty, bitter, meaty, and even the “hoppy”. At the Artisanal LA Fall 2010, I didn’t need the salt over the shoulder to have good luck, I had no problem finding the best savory had to offer.

Enjoy my sumptuous finds:

I had to buy Damn That’s Good’s curry sauce for a dinner idea I immediately envisioned after I tasted their sample. It was not a simple sauce to make, and the taste showcased its complexity well. It had a perfect amount of spice, very well-balanced with a spicy taste towards the back-end without overpowering the combination. Their risottos were actually okay. I must admit, bias set it when I had to taste it cold, it didn’t really sit well atop my tongue but I’m sure it would have been better received had it been at least a little warm. Their pastas were also cold. But all had a good promise of flavors.

Winner of the KCRW 2nd Annual Pie Contest, The Flying Pie Man shared his savory creation only during this event. Yuichiro Sato unfortunately does not have a means of selling his product yet (store or online), but we were blessed indeed that he has shared and we have tasted. It was more like a Shepherd’s pie or also called Cottage Pie. The seasonings in the ground beef had strong flavor (almost too overpowering for my taste), the mashed potato at the bottom was creamy and buttery, and the vegetables were actually still crunchy despite having been marinating with the juices from the meat, the mashed potato, and steam within.  The pie crust was actually the best part; it was flaky, salty, buttery, and just crunchy delicious. So here’s a plea: get your site together Yuichiro, the line at your table said it all.

This table was packed with visitors so I barely had a chance to take a decent photo, my apologies. I was about to leave when I was asked to go ahead and taste the meat, so over the shoulder of a stranger I reached out for my sample of healthy, grass-fed steak from Open Space Meats. It was decently cooked, I didn’t expect it to be like a restaurant serving me my medium rare cut, but the meat had a much stronger beef flavor. And of course, lower in saturated fat and higher in Omega 3 fatty acids, which means a healthier option for you.

Of course, I wouldn’t think of leaving without visiting a local brewery. Eagle Rock Brewery showcased two of their Artisan brews. Addicted to my caffeine, I had to choose the Stimulus (Belgian Amber with Ethiopian Coffee). It did not have a strong coffee flavor, but it was definitely present in each sip. The citrus created a fine after-taste that it was a little sad that it only came in sample cups.

I had just enough time to peak in at the most popular demo of the event: Pig Butchering by Lindy and Grundy’s Erika Nakamura. Skilled with a knife, Erika wielded with ease and cut down the half-pig in no time at all. Lindy and Grundy will soon serve Los Angeles just like the forgotten times, with a local, sustainable butcher shop selling organic and grass-fed meat.

Whew, the tasting extravaganza ended there. But it was not only the samples that shined during this Artisanal LA event. The owners and chefs that continue to pursue the healthier, organic side of cuisine and produce showed to us that healthier does not necessarily mean tasteless. And that handmade with the finest ingredients are sometimes a much better and not necessarily a more expensive route to take. So don’t deprive and cheat yourself of the finer and healthier things in life, Artisanal LA proves that they are definitely worth it.

Please support our local farmers and business owners. Click on the links to check out their websites and also how to order.

 

 

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Who’s the dummy now?

I am now a proud owner of Cocktails for Dummies (pocket edition). YES, I am. We went to Target yesterday and there they were: IPhone for Dummies, Twitter for Dummies, Blackberry for Dummies, and Cocktails for Dummies. I simply had to get one, a newbie at this dummy thing I was all giddy going back home.

For only $1 you will have the pleasure of serving your most favorite and most complicated drinks at your next holiday party. 56 glorious pages of alcohol at its finest. And even on one chapter called Methods to the Madness, it teaches the dummy in us on how to slice a lime or an orange. NICE. I’m not a fancy hostess (well, to a certain a point) so a simple excess of alcohol is enough for me. When they have the cranberry or OJ in place next to the Grey Goose then my part is done. The rest will all fall into their specific glasses. But it is relieving to know that if someone asked me make a Bellini then I would know to muddle a peach in a champagne glass, add simple syrup, and plenty of champagne. Or if someone wanted an Irish Buck then I would know to hand him/her whiskey and ginger ale and call it a day. Or that if someone shouts out Nervous Breakdown it may just mean vodka, Chambord, soda, and a splash of cranberry mixed together. Do NOT call 911.Boo yah.

In conclusion, buying ________ for Dummies may not necessarily mean that you’re a dummy. It just means there are certain things that you are not so familiar about. Take it from me. I am a self-confessed expert on anything above 5%alc but I did not know before tonight that Buttery Nipples exist (Irish cream, vodka, and Butterscotch Schnapps).

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