Saturday, August 29, 2009

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic - Malibu

My friend DP asked if I wanted to go out for dumplings Saturday.

Mmm. Luscious Dumplings. She hadn't been in a while. I was just there again earlier this week.

But, when I mentioned I had received an invite for a free press pass with a +1 via E*starLA to the Malibu Wine Classic, dumplings were promptly forgotten.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 1

The 7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic features 60 wineries from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, along with 20 restaurants from Malibu and Los Angeles such as Water Grill, STK, and SaddlePeak Lodge. $50 of each ticket goes toward ChildHelp, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse.

Drink, eat, perhaps catch sight of a celebrity or two. It seemed simple enough, except that everyone wanted to hit up the beach that day. It took us an hour just to crawl the few miles from Santa Monica to Malibu.

 When I got there, a volunteer at the media table gave a cursory glance at the invite list and said he couldn't find me. He demanded I give him my business card to verify my identity.

When I told him I didn't have any on me, he got testier and lectured me about showing up to events without a business card or other proof of my right to be there.

Say what?


A little startled by his rudeness, I suggested he call the PR rep to verify my identity since I had been in contact with her. I, also nonetheless, managed to find "Wandering Chopsticks" and my first name on the list.

He said something else about my last name not being on the list.




Anyway, after that single incident of rudeness, my friend and I got our wristbands and were finally in.

We made our way past the silent auction items.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 2

Tried very tasty tuna tartare from Moonshadows in Malibu.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 3

Then veered back to the entrance to grab wine glasses. Except there were no wine glasses left. So we decided to stop at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and used plastic cups. We got distracted by samples of the chocolate espresso brownies and apple tarts.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 4

My friend was intent on drinking pinot noir that day and luckily we immediately saw Malibu Sanity and got a few small pours.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 5

It was hot! We were melting!

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 6

We stopped off at Charlie's in Malibu for macaroni and cheese with fried sage leaves. Sorry for the overexposed photo. The sage leaves added a nice touch to this comfort dish.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 7

I knew I wanted to hit up STK - Los Angeles since my blogger dinner in April was so fabulous. And indeed, I wasn't disappointed. The beef was so tender. My friend loved this too.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 8

Drawn by the pretty flowers of Shangri-La Hotel we wandered over to find...

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 9

Hamachi on pesto with watermelon and avocado mousse. This was sooo good that I ate another.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 10

My favorite was the tomato salad and tomato water from The Sunset Restaurant in Malibu. Just look at those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes!

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 11

The tomato water with basil and melon balls was like drinking a Caprese Salad. Forget trying more wine, I filled up my cup with this!

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At the bottom were peeled small heirloom tomatoes with prosciutto. After eating the salad, we squirted the tomato water into our mouths.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 13

I heard someone mention and then point to the corner to find spicy tuna in crispy cones by Onyx inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 14

Salmon rillettes with dill creme fraiche from Hampton's also inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village

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One of the last few oysters from Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles. I guess that's the closest I'll ever get to dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 16

Decadent chocolate cupcakes from Luscious Organic Desserts in Orange County.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 17

A light melon salad by Claud & Co, a Pasadena-based caterer, was perfect on such a sweltering day. Was there cinnamon? Hmm. Couldn't tell but it wasn't just a melon salad.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 18

I wandered next door out of curiosity to Fortun Foods, Inc. For when you just want to dump a jar of sauce on food and go, finishing sauces in lemon dill caper, marsala and mushroom, rajun cajun, and other flavors. Not bad, but not really my kind of thing.

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I then ran into Tony of SinoSoul and his better half. Tony said someone spotted Tori Spelling at the event. I didn't see her, and at this point, my friend and I just wanted to get a quick sample of Malibu Toffee and then go.

7th Annual Malibu Wine Classic 20

We did see Miss Malibu Teen USA in all her crowned glory while we were waiting in the valet line for her car.

Even though the wineries far out-numbered the restaurants, my friend and I were quite pleased with the food and the event.

"I can't believe you weren't gonna go," said my friend.

OK. OK. Sometimes it's worth it to crawl out of my hermit shell.

But we still hit up Luscious Dumplings for dinner afterward. :)

Thank you to Rachel Glass for the complimentary press pass.

Who else went to this year's Malibu Wine Classic?
Tony of SinoSoul has tons more photos.

Malibu Wine Classic
Saturday, August 29
1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Malibu Civic Center
23555 Civic Center Way
Malibu, CA 90265
Tickets $79 in advance, $100 at the door.
Valet parking $8.

22821 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Claud & Co
115 W. California Blvd., Ste. #243
Pasadena, CA 91105

Fortun Foods, Inc.

5800 125th Ln. NE
Kirkland, WA 98033

Inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village
Two Dole Dr.
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Luscious Organic Desserts

Malibu Sanity

Malibu Toffee

Moonshadows (Warning: This site has music.)
20356 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village
Two Dole Dr.
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Shangri-La Hotel
1301 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

755 N. La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90069

The Sunset Restaurant
(Warning: This site has music.)
6800 Westward Beach Rd.
Malibu, CA 90265

Water Grill
544 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071

1 year ago today, How to Cook Jasmine Rice.
2 years ago today, J. Paul Getty Center and Museum (Summer) - Los Angeles - California.


  1. I'm not so sure about the tomato water, but I'll take your word for it. I am a big fan of heirloom tomatoes, and I have been known to appreciate a slice of cucumber in my water, so maybe it would work.

  2. Katie,
    It was unexpected, but oh so good. I love heirloom tomatoes too.


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