LA Weekly The Essentials – Saturday – Feb. 20, 2016

LA Weekly presents The Essentials at the California Market Center in DTLA. Curated by our award-winning food critic, Besha Rodell, the event showcases signature bites from restaurants featured in LA Weekly’s 99 Essentials restaurant issue that hits stands the same week. Along with the great food, guests will enjoy wine from top shelf wineries and cocktail samples from major liquor partners.

All under one roof it is truly a foodie’s paradise, with more than 60 restaurants showing off their spectacular fare. Located downtown in the California Mart within a very urban warehouse environment, this evening the food was the art and the space was an empty canvas to showcase the fare. Plus, many of these restaurants’ celebrity chefs were on the front lines serving up their fancy grub.

California Market Center (CMC) is the iconic hub of the style industries in Los Angeles. Established in the early 60s, the CMC is now home to the Fashion, Gift, Home, Interior Design and Textile trades. Located on 9th and Main in downtown’s Fashion District, the CMC is home to hundreds of wholesale showrooms in addition to a range of offices, studio spaces, fashion design schools, restaurants, cafes, shops, and special event venues. Visited by thousands of retailers, designers, manufacturers, press, style makers, and taste makers from around the globe, the CMC is open daily and hosts a busy Calendar filled with Markets, trade shows, seminars and events for the fashion, home design, gifts and textiles industries as well as exclusive events and sample sales open to the public. The CMC is also producer and host of the following industry-renowned Fashion, Gift & Home, and Textile trade events: Los Angeles Fashion Market, SELECT | Contemporary Trade show, Los Angeles Kids Market, TRANSIT | Footwear & Accessories Show, The LA Int’l Textile Show (LA Textile), Market Tuesday, CMC Gift & Home Market, LA Majors Market.

The restaurants featured at the event were: Animal, A.O.C, Aqui es Texcoco, Baroo Los Angeles, Belcampo Meat Co., Bestia, Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant, Bludso’s BBQ, Broken Spanish, Burritos La Palma, Button Mash, Cacao Mexicatessen, Cassia LA, Chengdu Taste, Chicken Itsa Restaurant, Colonia Publica, Connie and Ted’s, Coni’ Seafood Restaurant, Corazon y Miel, Crossroads Los Angeles, Dune, El Huarache Azteca, Guelaguetza Restaurants, Guerrilla Tacos, Guisados, Ink Restaurant, Jitlada LA, Jon & Vinny’s, Kiriko Sushi, Kogi BBQ, La Casita Mexicana, Le Comptoir LA, Little Sister, Lucques, Lukshon, Luv2eat Thai Bistro, Mariscos Jalisco, Maude, Mélisse, Night + Market Thai, Osteria Mozza, Papilles Bistro, Park’s BBQ, Philippe the Original, Pine & Crane, POT Restaurant, Providence LA, Racion Restaurant, Redbird LA, Republique LA, Rice Bar LA, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen, Sotto Restaurant, Spago, Sqirl LA, Szechuan Impression, Terrine LA, The Hungry Cat, Trois Mec, Union, Wexlers Deli.

A few of my favorite food items served were: Rice Bar LA’s pork ball, Philippe’s dipped roast beef sandwich, Park’s BBQ grilled Galbi, Union Pork Meatballs with Creamy Polenta, Bestia Pork Belly, and many others. There were a fine variety of all kinds of ethnic food and so many tastings, making it difficult to write about all of them.

The Wineries that were there include the following: Giovanni Almondo, AM/FM, Clos Figueras, Beaujolais Dupeuble , European Cellars, Félsina , Schloss Gobelsburg , Gulfi , Hunt & Harvest – Napa Valley , Chablis – Roland, Lavantureux , Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Koan, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Lieu Dit, Loring Wine Company, Macon-Villages , M.W.T.C, Olé – Patrick Mata & Alberto Orte, il Palagio , Poco Do Lobo , Revel Wine, Rieflé 1609, Saint Jean Du Barroux – Philippe, Gimel , Secco Bertani , Shacksbury , La Tercera , Domaine Gilles Troullier , WineWise – The Vienna Wine Company.

Sponsors: Amoeba Music, Bai, Baja Brewing Co., Birchware, Beautiful Things LA, Califia Farms, Cocktail & Sons, Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Been, Deep Eddy, Vodka, Diabolo, Dry Sparkling, First Aid Shot Therapy, 20 Geffen Playhouse, Grubhub, Heaven Hill Brands, Hustler Hollywood, Jenis Splendid Ice Creams, Kettle Brand, Blanc, LAcarGUY, Melissa’s, Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles – Graduate Division, Naked Pressed, Poached, Schofferhofer Grapefruit, SoCal etsy guild, Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Clubs, UCLA Extension, Wine Exchange est. 1982
XLanes, Zico Coconut Water.The charity that was involved was Food Forward.

The music was provided by: DJ Tropikal, Tropikal is the project of New York City born LA based beatmaker/producer and multi instrumentalist Merlo Podlewski. A blend of Dub Bass AfroBrazil Percussion and Analog Synthesizers.

Many happy people were indulging in all of these great culinary finds. The crowd was full of young hipsters with a downtown vibe, but I’m sure there were all walks of LA life tasting this unique food. The lines were long but really worth the wait! If you want to know who are the latest Chefs and Food in Los Angeles this is a great place to start.

LA Weekly The Essentials
California Market Center
110 E. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90079


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