After the fun I had during the 4th and the 5th Annual AltaMed East LA Meets Napa event, I was excited to be invited back again by Nerissa of NRS Public Relations. No +1 this time though so I was on my own. Not that that mattered too much since I ran into a dozen LA food bloggers. I told ya, it's a popular event!
And not just with food bloggers as you can tell by the crowd.
This year's East LA Meets Napa celebrates the flavors of Michoacan with more than 60 food and drink stations.
I wanted to try more new places and started off with Loteria Grill's scallop crudo, mini chicken sopes in green mole pumpkin seed sauce, and pineapple and prickly pear and lime, chia, and cucumber agua frescas (Mexican fresh beverages). Everything was so delicious. I ended up going back for seconds on the scallop crudo. I really wanted thirds or fourths, but didn't want to look like a pig.
I stopped off at Dorados Ceviche Bar since I do love ceviche. It replaced my beloved Fleur De Lys Patisserie - Monterey Park. But the sample was rather tiny and just OK. I liked the seafood gazpacho sample from Dorados that I received at the 4th East LA Meets Napa more.
I've loved Seta's braised short ribs and polenta the previous two years, so when I saw new offerings, I had to stop by. The pulled pork half-sliders were delicious.
As was the shrimp avocado gazpacho. I really have to get myself to Whittier to check out the restaurant because I do love what little I've tried from them at East LA Meets Napa.
Sofiy's offered tamales and beef ceviche. Both were yummy.
And I've liked Teresitas Restaurant's cactus salad and tostadas in previous years.
Rivera Restaurant this year did not do the flower tortilla, which looked pretty, but tasted bland to me. Corn flan with red quinoa and squash blossoms. The flan was sooo light and creamy. Much, much better than the flower tortilla.
I figured I should give Cook's Tortas - Monterey Park a try after my lackluster first experience and I'm so glad I did. The sandwich bite with chorizo, guacamole, beans, and cactus was yummy. As was the pineapple celery agua fresca.
CaCao Mexicatessen offered boar and duck tacos last year so I wanted to see what they had this year. Beef and mango ceviches. Another place to add to my restaurants to try list.
Mariachi band in the background. The lines this year thankfully weren't as long as last year even though it seemed like there were just as many people. Not sure why, but I was happy to be able to enjoy the food and drinks without waiting too long.
Even though it's not new to me, it's always nice to get some desserts from Porto's Bakery & Cafe.
I've been wanting to try Moles La Tia for a while, but the tamale and taquitos were dry and rather tasteless and the moles were tasteless as well. I know it's hard to keep food crispy or fresh when it's a festival, but so many other booths serve such excellent samples that this made me sad.
I didn't want to end the evening on that note, so that's when I revisited Loteria Grill when I saw that there was still plenty of scallop crudo.
The only thing missing was Attila the Flan's gorgeous flower gelatins from last year's event. But by the time I got to their booth, they were all gone. :(
Just before leaving, I saw El Portal's warm, fresh squash blossom quesadillas and had to get one last one.
And stuffed to the gills, it was time for me to go.
Seriously, I highly recommend AltaMed's Annual East LA Meets Napa event and look forward to it every year. Great food and drinks all for a good cause. Proceeds benefit AltaMed's medical care, dental clinics, senior services, health education, youth, HIV/AIDS care, and substance abuse prevention programs.
Thanks again Nerissa for inviting me! I had a fabulous time.
For more information about AltaMed's East LA Meets Napa, call 323-622-2405.
1576 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041
1944 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Dorados Ceviche Bar
440 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
El Portal Yucatan/Mexican Cuisine
695 E. Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91101
La Parrilla Restaurants (several locations)
2126 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Loteria Grill Farmers Market
6333 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Moles La Tia
4619 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
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
1 year ago today,
2 years ago today, behind the scenes of Jamba Juice Headquarters - Emeryville.
3 years ago today, a quickie Hong Kong cafe-style afternoon tea of ham and egg sandwich and milk tea.
4 years ago today, Fogo de Chao - Beverly Hills.