LA Weekly’s The Essentials – Sunday, March 26, 2017 – California Market Center – Downtown Los Angeles

I went to this extravaganza last year but it was at night. This was from 2-5 in the day and more food and drink then any one could possible taste. It is a huge, taking over 1 full floor, east west, north south at The California Market Center. Many fantastic restaurants in tow, and some of the newbies in town as well. If your a foodie then this is a must have event for you. For me it is amazing, but I also ways like to go to the individual restaurants after this to see what they are all really about.

Here are all of the participants: (The 99 Essentials and The 15 Freshmen)


Angelini Osteria, Animal, A.O.C., Baroo, Bestia, Beverly Soon Tofu, The Bellwether, Bill’s Burgers, Beijing Pie House, Apple Pan, Baco Mercat, Bar Ama, Adana, Alimento, Baran’s 2239, Destroyer, Broken Spanish, Burritos La Palma, Cacao Mexicatessen, La Casita Mexicana, Cassia, Chengdu Taste, Chichen Itza, Chi Spacca, Colombo’s Italian Steakhouse and Jazz Club, Connie & Ted’s, Coni’Seafood, El Coraloense, Dal Rae, Dune, Din Tai Fung, Egg Slut, Father’s Office, Gjelina, Gjusta, Gwang Yang BBQ, Hatchet Hall, Ham JI Park, The Hungry Cat, El Huarache Azteca, Isaan Station, Jon & Vinny’s, Kogi BBQ, Langers, Kobee Factory, Leo’s Tacos, Locol, Love & Salt, MB Post, Mariscos Jalisco, Matsumoto, Petit Trois, Philippe, Pizzeria Mizza, Q, Quesadilla lady, Redbird, Revolutionario, Ricky’s Fish Tacos, Rustic Canyon, Rose Cage, Ruen Pair, Salt’s Cure, Sapp Coffee Shop, Sea Harbor, Shunji, Spago, Tsujita, Oh My Pan, Shibumi, Howlin Ray’s, Colonia Publica, Elf Cafe, El Huarache Azteca, ERB Bar, Guelaguetza, Guerrilla Tacos, Guisados, Jitlada, Kogi, Le Comptoir, Lucques, Lukshon, Maude, Melisse, n/naka, Night + Market, Park’s BBQ, Pine & Crane, Providence, Racion, Republique, RiceBar, gotta have S’MORE, Rose Cafe, Rustic Canyon, Sotto, Summer Rolls, Szechuan Impression, Trois Mec, Tsjuita LA, Union, Wexler’s Deli, 71 Above, Erven, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Gwen, Here’s Looking at You, Holbox, Kali, Kato, Lalibela, Michael’s, Salazar, and Winsome.


Alexandra Wine Company, Babcock Winery & Vineyard, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Brightwater Vineyards, Ceres, Chalone Vineyard Estate Grown, Clearview Estate Winery, Ferrari Trento 1902, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Foley Johnson, Fresco Baldi Toscana, Kaena, Librandi, Emblem Napa Valley, Martellotto, Montemar, Myka Cellars, Nielson by Byron, NZ Wine Navigator, Drumsara, OTU, Penville, Pence, Pico Maccario, Roth Estate, San Antonio Winery, Planeta, Santa Barbara Vintners, Shacksbury, Squawking Magpie, Susana Balbo, Darling, Wine Exchange Est. 1982, Sweetzer Cellars, Vidal Estate.


Angel City Brewery, BAI, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Basil Hayden, Birchware, Broken Shaker, Cacique, Califia Farms, Center Theater Group, Corona Extra Draft, Dave & Buster’s, Don Julio, Dry Sparkling, Farm Fresh To You, Food Forward, Freehand Los Angeles, Going In Style, Gotta Have S’More, Grub Hub, Health Ade Kombucha, Honest Tea, Hubert’s Lemonade, 93.1 Jack FM, JAKEMANS, Jim Bean Black, Ketel One Vodka,, Life WTR, Melissa’s, Milk & Eggs, JDN73, Neuro, NZ Wine Navigator, O.N.E Coconut Water, Panache Jewelry, Santa Barbara Vintners, ShowGrow, The Dudes Brewing Company, UCLA Extension, Waltzing, Wheel House, Wine Exchange Est. 1982, San Antonio Winery.

My favorite dishes were: the shrimp cocktail from Chef Sang Yoon, from Lukshon, with whipped tom ka gai, mushroom crumbs, pork, and lime, so ingenious and inventive. Then there was crab porridge from the newbie Kato, so delicious. Park BBQ did a nice rice ball kimchi style with BBQ meat that was very tasty. Lucques dished up an astonishing salmon, Chef Suzanne Goin did not disappoint, it was slow roasted with a superb flavor. Baroo did a galbi short rib that was tender and flavorful. Summer Rolls restaurant served a great fresh duck roll, very hearty with wonderful subtle flavors. Spago had a broth with a piece of black cod that would rock your world. Bestia delighted us with a lobster crudo, who would think that raw lobster cooked with citrus acid would be so incredible. Gus’s fried chicken, probably the best chicken you will ever eat. For a unique dessert the s’mores were fantastic, by gotta have s’more. Half cupcake half smore, but all delicious.

This is a great event that will get you all current with the Los Angeles food scene, which by the way is really gotten up there with other trending cities. I really didn’t eat very much before I went so that I would be able to try a lot, but there is so much food that you have to pace yourself or only eat they type of cuisine that you like. My advise do not eat anything before you get there and you will make it threw at least half of the restaurants represented. Not to mention the lively cocktails that are being made and the astounding wines that you’re able to taste. All in all what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!


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