I had such a great time at AltaMed's 4th Annual East LA Meets Napa celebration at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles that I was overjoyed to receive my own invite the following year from Alexia at Double A Public Relations & Marketing. I got a +1 too and invited my friend Don since his birthday was coming up, but he couldn't make it. So I asked my childhood friend since she works downtown. She had a sore throat, a result of a too tight neck hold during Brazilian jiu jitsu class, and couldn't comfortably eat, but she didn't want to miss the opportunity after I raved about it so much.
East LA Meets Napa is seriously one of the best food and wine events I've attended. I love almost every food stall and it introduces me to so many great new Mexican dishes and restaurants in SoCal. All proceeds from the event also benefit AltaMed's programs to provide care for underserved areas of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
After seeing Gourmet Pigs' pictures of the gorgeous Attilla the Flan's floral creations, I was determined to hunt some down for myself this year.
One of the reasons why I love East LA Meets Napa is the classier presentation and atmosphere. Nice wine glasses. Not thick goblets. Not plastic. It really does make a difference in my enjoyment of the wine.
My friend and I stopped off to fill our glasses before we made our way round the food booths. This year, the event spilled over into several courtyards at Union Station and Madrigal Vineyards just happened to be in our path.
My favorites were the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (Estate) and the 2007 Reserve Petite Sirah - Barberis Vineyard. We tried a handful of other wineries too, but didn't like their wine as much so we returned to Madrigal's booth.
One of the revelations for me at this event was that there were so many Latino-owned wineries. The owner talked us a little about growing up in a family that had been making wine for three generations. He was so nice and his wine was so good, that instead of visiting other booths, we went back to Madrigal Vineyards a third time.
We started off the food by visiting Seta's booth since I told my friend how much I enjoyed their red wine-braised short ribs and polenta last year. Totally did not disappoint. Tender, flavorful beef and creamy polenta. Great way to start off the food sampling.
Seta also served a shrimp and avocado gazpacho that was amazing.
I stopped off to get a sandwich from Homegirl Cafe and Catering - Los Angeles. They were OK. The bread was too thick and I didn't want to fill up my belly with so many carbs.
They were located next to Porto's Bakery & Cafe, so I stopped off for some lovely desserts. Unlike last year, I couldn't fill my plate with what I wanted, but had to ask for it so I couldn't pig out nearly as much as I could have.
Rivera Restaurant's famous flower tortillas.
These look pretty, but taste pretty bland to me, even with the guacamole. I got one though so my friend could see what it looked like.
Teresitas Restaurant's cactus salad and braised pork, the same as last year, but just as enjoyable.
Ceviche and a taco from La Parrilla Restaurants.
Boar and duck tacos from CaCao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock. This was a new restaurant for me to try and both tacos were delicious. The meat was juicy and flavorful.
I was drawn toward La Huasteca Mexican Restaurant since it touts pre-Hispanic Mexican cuisine. What does that mean? On the far left: Yorique, mushroom rellenos with chicken and cactus; Bichis, shrimp and quelites (Mexican greens) canapes; Cochinita Pibil, Yucatecan slow-roasted pork; and cactus. All were totally awesome.
Luna Restaurant & Lounge also had a variety of small bites. Clockwise from the top: more cochinita pibil, a mole tostada, ceviche, coconut shrimp, and huitlacoche (Mexican corn fungus). All yum!
Finally! I saved the best for last. Attila the Flan's gorgeous jelly desserts.
It looks like they encased a real flower inside the gelatin, doesn't it?
I marveled at the delicacy of each petal.
And asked the owners how they did it.
They said they draw the flower in with a toothpick and milk.
A toothpick and milk?!
I took my dessert into the courtyard for better lighting so I could photograph the details some more.
And with that, I achieved my goal of hunting down Attila the Flan. I was also stuffed to the gills with fabulous food. Despite her sore throat, my friend said East LA Meets Napa was totally worth it.
If you can afford it and enjoy food and wine festivals, I highly recommend AltaMed's East LA Meets Napa.
Thanks again Alexia! I had a fabulous time.
For more information about AltaMed's East LA Meets Napa, call 323-622-2405.
Attila the Flan on Facebook
No address but you can contact the owner at attilatheflan (at) yahoo (dot) com
1576 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Homegirl Cafe & Catering
130 W. Bruno St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
La Huasteca Mexican Restaurant
3150 E. Imperial Hwy., Ste. 100
Lynwood, CA 90262
La Parrilla Restaurants (several locations)
2126 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Luna Restaurant & Nightclub
3220 Temple Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
3718 North St. Helena Hwy.
Calistoga, CA 94515
Porto's Bakery & Cafe
315 North Brand Blvd.
Glendale, California 91203
1050 S. Flower St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015-5100
13033 Philadelphia St.
Whittier, CA 90601
3826 E. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90063-3602
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