Project by Project – The Food and People

Only 3 days till Plate by Plate!!! I can’t wait. It has been awhile since I attended their food/wine event. On this particular post, I was forwarded some great pictures of past events. I thought you guys might enjoy.

What I remember from past events, the lines weren’t long and crowded as other food/wine events. The venues – Pacific Design Center and the current California Science Center, were great choices. The light airy spaces provide great natural light in the early summer nights. The array of tables lined up with the center reflection pool make the California Science Center the ideal location for food and wine festivals.

In addition, being that Project by Project is heavily Asian Influenced, you’ll see some restaurants that aren’t normally at other festivals. You’ll taste Chinese, Japanese, and Korean specialities as well as more exotic Japanese Sakes and Thai Beers.

Here is a list of some of the Purveyors that I am looking forward to. . .
M Café
Japon Bistro
Wabi-Sabi
Moonshadows
Maitreya
Hakutsuru Sake
Ozeki Sake
Singha Beer
Vavo Ginger Ale
Sagatiba

One other nice little bonus. . . Project by Project caters toward the young Asian professional in the Los Angeles area . . . while most other food/wine events have a “higher” age demographic. This means you’ll see more younger and pretty people. . .

Project by Project, a 100 percent volunteer- Asian Pacific American non-profit organization, will host its seventh annual tasting benefit, branded Plate by Plate, in Los Angeles. Leaders of the restaurant business and their executive chefs from across Southern California will gather for a special evening to showcase their culinary artwork to benefit Project by Project’s 2009 non-profit community partner – Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program. All net proceeds from admission and auction purchases of the event will benefit API SBP (http://www.apisbp.org) to help the organization strengthen its foundation and mission to assist the development of Asian and Pacific Islander small and micro businesses in Los Angeles, especially those of low income immigrants of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Filipino communities.
http://www.projectbyproject.org

Where:
California Science Center – Wallis Annenberg Building
700 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

When:
Saturday, August 1st, 2009
6-7pm VIP Reception
7-10pm Main Plate By Plate Event

Tickets:
$150, $275 (VIP)
$200 day of the event
http://www.platebyplate.org

Check out the Project by Project facebook page . . . http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2229201573






Marked 5 and their Rice Burgers!

The latest craze in Los Angeles are the “taco trucks” that roam around serving delicious food. One such truck is called Marked5.

Marked5 serves a simple menu consisting of a Torakku Beef burger, Katsu Pork burger, Torakku 5 Tofu Burger and a Curried Chicken burger. In addition, they have shrimp chips that go along with each of the “burgers”. Their Torakku Beef burger is their best selling burger made from Angus beef. As some of you know, I am not a big fan of beef – therefore this one didn’t exactly woo me. But then I tried the Katsu Pork burger. This one, with the suggested Sriracha hot sauce, was great! This one was clearly one of my most memorable “burgers”. I don’t usually like hot sauce on anything – since I can’t take it. . .but I must admit the spiciness and the sweetness with the tonkatsu sauce was perfect. Yet, I did feel, that this particular burger was a bit “wet” – though I didn’t mind the messiness. The curry chicken one was nice, nothing special . . .could have been a bit more spicy. It lacked some flavor. . . I guess people walking around don’t necessarily want that heavy curry mouth breath. The shrimp chips are quite nice. I liked them a lot. I remember having them as a kid. If you are asian, you ought to know about fried shrimp chips. Most Caucasians don’t know about shrimp chips. These are light and fun to eat.

The reason why I kept use ” for burgers . . .is that the “buns” they use are made from packed rice that’s fried. This concept is not new. I first saw this used for buns, when I was in Taiwan. There’s a Japanese fast food restaurant called Mos Burger. And they use rice buns. The rice buns are great. They are warm to the touch and hold the food together quite well.
You can find more information about a similar Mos Burger here – http://www.mos.com.tw/yakinikuriceburger.htm

Marked5 was recently featured on the Video Podcast Vendr.tv – you can check them out here http://vendr.tv/video/marked5/. You can see Dan Delaney and David Ly on this episode.

You might ask, what is the meaning behind Marked5. I asked David Ly, of Marked5, and he told me that they want people to “mark” their food with “5” points – their fingers. This is to indicate hand held food. Marked(by)5 is the hand held mantra for future roll outs of different cuisines and offerings.

Follow them on Twitter to find out where they will be. I know I do . . .

Marked5
http://www.marked5.com
http://twitter.com/Marked5





Los Angeles Barbeque Festival 2008

Late last year, I went to the Los Angeles Barbeque Festival at the Santa Monica Pier. Held on a nice sunny September day, the 13th and 14th to be exact. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that they moved this year’s, 2009, to May 9th and 10th.

I was searching through my pictures library and came across some of these pictures. The top picture are Beef Ribs from Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs. I was never a fan of Beef ribs. I always thought beef ribs were tough & chewy and didn’t have the flavor of baby back ribs. Then I tried Mr. Cecil’s. He doesn’t even claim to be barbeque’d. Yet, they are grilled tenderly. Taste wise, they are awesome. I always tell people that Mr. Cecil has the best beef ribs around.

The second picture is from LC’s BBQ, spare ribs and beans. The spare ribs, similar to baby backs. . . These ribs are probably the most tastiest that I have ever had. In addition to being tasty, these ribs were tender and the meat was falling off the bone. . . Hailing from Kansas City,

The VIP tickets, in my humble opinion, are well worth the price. The VIP tickets, unlike other food/wine festivals, lets you go in a separate line. The main lines in front of each of the booths can get quite long. These VIP tickets just allow you to walk right up. Other festivals that provide an early hour’s worth of admission is not that special. Who really wants to get there early – we all want to be fashionably late! Personally, I hate waiting in lines. In addition, the VIP tickets also give you a goodie bag, with a T-shirt and other things. The goodie bag is not that great. Maybe it was better in 2009.
All in all, this is a nice festival. I am not missing 2010’s. I wish Los Angeles had more BBQ festivals. I know a couple of years ago, the Gene Autry Center, near Griffith Park, had a BBQ event. I am always on the look out for BBQ festivals.
Los Angeles Barbeque Festival
Santa Monica Peir
http://www.labbqfest.com/
Tickets $10, $50 (VIP)
Mr. Cecil’s California BBQ http://www.mrcecilscaliforniaribs.com/

Upcoming Food & Wine Event – Plate by Plate, August 1st, 2009

Going on 7 years now, Project By Project is one of the Los Angeles’s highlight food and wine events. Personally, I’ve been to 2 of their past events. This pleasant event features some of the better restaurants and wines, around.

The event, this year, will be centrally located in downtown Los Angeles – near USC at the California Science Center. I personally like this airy courtyard which is both somewhat outdoor and indoor.

Below you can see some images that of past events. I will post more about the event – mostly food. . . early next week. I do like this event, since the lines don’t get that crowded. I just hope that it isn’t too muggy or humid that night. Make sure you buy your tickets soon – check out the link below.

Project by Project, a 100 percent volunteer- Asian Pacific American non-profit organization, will host its seventh annual tasting benefit, branded Plate by Plate, in Los Angeles. Leaders of the restaurant business and their executive chefs from across Southern California will gather for a special evening to showcase their culinary artwork to benefit Project by Project’s 2009 non-profit community partner – Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program. All net proceeds from admission and auction purchases of the event will benefit API SBP (http://www.apisbp.org) to help the organization strengthen its foundation and mission to assist the development of Asian and Pacific Islander small and micro businesses in Los Angeles, especially those of low income immigrants of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Filipino communities.
http://www.projectbyproject.org

Where:
California Science Center – Wallis Annenberg Building
700 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

When:
August 1st, 2009
6-7pm VIP Reception
7-10pm Main Plate By Plate Event

Tickets:
$150, $275 (VIP)
$200 day of the event
http://www.platebyplate.org






Food & Wine Events Calendar Los Angeles

Here is a list of the Food & Wine Events in and around Los Angeles. I know some of them have past . . .but you can check for them next year as well. These are some of the events that I plan to attend or have attended.

The Food Event
http://www.lamag.com/thefoodevent/
October 25, 2009, 1-4pm
Malibu
Price TBD

6th Annual Central Coast Wine & Food Celebration
http://www.wallywine.com
August 2, 2009, 12-4pm
Wally’s, 2107 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
$95

7th Annual Restaurant Awards and Chefs Night Out
http://www.childrensinstitute.org
July 26, 2009, 4:30-8pm
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, 101 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401
$150

Plate by Plate, by Project by Project
http://www.platebyplate.org/socal/
August 1, 2009, 6pm-10pm
Wallis Annenberg Building at the California Science Center, 700 State Drive , Los Angeles, CA 90037
$150, $275

LA BBQ Festival
http://www.labbqfest.com/
May 9th/10th, 2009, Noon-6pm
Santa Monica Beach Pier
$10, $50

The Saban Free Clinic The Extravaganza for the Senses 2009

Summertime in Los Angeles is the time for Food & Wine Events. One of the finest events is the The Extravaganza for the Senses by the Saban Free Clinic. They have been having their event for 14 years. They raise funds for their free medical clinics around Los Angeles. Like other Food & Wine events, several restaurants in and around Los Angeles participate with wineries from all over the world. They provide samplings of their best creations.

Some of my favorite plates for the evening were Dr. Bob’s Handcrafted Ice Cream, Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs, and The Foundry. Dr. Bob’s Tahitian Vanilla Bean ice cream was probably the best vanilla ice cream that I have ever had. Serious. Period. I don’t know what it was. . .but it was quite tasty. Heck, I might even look for them in the future, just for their ice cream. Additionally, Mr. Cecil’s Ribs were quite good as well, they had a small slice of their beef ribs as well as a small baby back rib for each plate. In my humble opinion, Mr. Cecil’s has the best Beef Ribs. Perhaps with my limited California bbq ribs experience, I am a bit biased or I haven’t tasted many of the top Mid-west rib shacks. . . but i am willing to have Mr. Cecil’s up against anybody for their beef ribs. The Foundry had this mini grilled cheese sandwich with salsa – which was quite tasty. They used some sort of artisan bread with some expensive white cheese, but it was the salsa that made the sandwich.

Since I am not a big fan of wines, I don’t really remember drinking many wines that I liked. Thought I did have some Skyy Vodka throughout the night. The event, located at the Fox Studios outdoor lot, off of Pico Blvd, provided a nice outdoor summer setting. The cool night helped for most of the slightly buzzed wine drinkers.

This particular Food & Wine event also had a great silent auction. Other similar events didn’t have the wide range of items, nor the big ticket quality ones. They had a tech savvy way of doing their auction with bar codes with credit cards, which made it easier that other auctions.

In short, I think the food was a bit lacking, in comparison to other events, but the silent auction more than made up for the event. Tickets were $100. I’m not sure about their VIP tickets.

http://www.thesabanfreeclinic.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=50&Itemid=91





Johnny Rocket’s

I’m not sure what I would categorize Johnny Rocket’s. It’s similar to fast food, but you have waiter service. It’s similar to a dine-in restaurant, yet they mostly have burger and fries. I like Johnny Rocket’s for several reasons.

A. They have a consistent menu that is the same.
B. Their fries are some of the best around.
C. They can put a fried egg in your burger
D. They have old-fashion milk shakes

I don’t think I have to say much more. . .most of you know about Johnny Rockets and have been there before.

One last note. . . one place in West Los Angeles that features some of the same types of menus – perhaps Johnny Rocket’s copied. . .is the Apple Pan – just great burgers.



Johnny Rockets
400 S. Baldwin Drive
Arcadia, CA
(626)462-1800
http://www.johnnyrockets.com/

Johnny Rockets on Urbanspoon

Violet’s Cakes, Pasadena

Everyone knows about DOT’s in Pasadena. . . . but not everyone knows about Violet’s. Violet’s is hidden behind the hustle and bustle of Old Town Pasadena. I recently went there after lunch to try some cupcakes.

Personally, I am not a big fan of sweets and cupcakes. But I must say, Violet’s is quite a find. Not a lot of seating in their space. You’ll see a couple of girls working in the back on cakes and cupcakes. Then you will see a small glass display refrigerator with three or four rows of their daily selections. I saw these little treasures of cupcakes with massive amounts of frosting in different colors and flavors. Not your typical looking cupcakes. I saw a chocolate looking pointed one with hard shell top – which I picked out myself to go.

Then my friend and I tried a couple of cupcakes right then and there. I choose the PB & J and my friend got the blackberry/vanilla. As a big fan of peanut butter, I knew I had to pick the PB & J. The peanut butter frosting was not too sweet with my first bite. Later, i was surprised with the Jelly filling inside the cupcake. It was a great cupcake that I would pick again. The blackberry vanilla was also a good choice. Since I am not a big sweet-tooth, desserts that aren’t that sweet are to my liking. Both the blackberry and PB & J are both not too sweet and could cater toward mainstream tastes.

Each cupcake is about about $2.50 and some go for higher. I have heard many things about DOT’s, but Violet’s currently has my heart with their cupcakes. Though I will have to try DOTs very soon.



Violet’s Cakes
21 East Holly Street
Pasadena
626.395.9821
http://www.violetscakes.com/

Violet's Cakes on Urbanspoon

Violet's Cakes in Los Angeles