The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles at The LAFW
I had such an amazing time at the 2015 Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival. Although the festival is in it 6th year, its the first time that I ever got a chance to attend and it didn’t disappoint! All the top restaurants were in attendance to give the well-heeled and dolled up attendees exclusive samplings of their most popular dishes. Although there were definitely lines at many of the booths, the chefs’ teams were ready for service and guests usually didn’t have to wait long for a bite to eat. There was also plenty of time to go back for seconds! We were so lucky to get press passes for the event, which allowed early entrance and an extra 30 minutes along with the VIP to sample all the food before the General Admission tickets were let in. One hour was plenty of time for me to try every single dish at each nightly event ( I was only able to accomplish this because I don’t drink and didn’t stop to sample wine pairings. Also I get strangely stressed out at food events, not wanting to miss out on anything so I can definitely invest more time in savoring my food!
Watch my full video recap of the entire LAFW event on my new weekly show Kaila’s Adventures
Day One – Ultimate Bites of LA
Steak Tartare by Chef Kyle Johnson of Bourbon Steak
Ricotto Knudi by Steven Fretz of The Church Key
The fanciest booth and longest line was at Chef Tim Byrnes, Dallas pop-up
Caramel Bacon Pretzel Doughnut by Chef Mariah Swan of ICDC
This was an epically rich piece of chocolately goodness. The doughnut was light and perfectly fried with a luscious bacon-y glaze
Emily enjoying her wine selections
I want to steal her dress!
Amazing Foie Gras Tart!
Blue Ribbon Sushi
One of my absolute favorite dishes of the night! An uni topped corn custard, the custard was rich and umami filled by Jerry Su of the Eagle Rock Public House
There was so much divine, meltingly soft pork belly at LAFW! Grilled Bacon with smoked vanilla bean polenta by Chef Dakota Weiss of Estrella
I loved Sweetfin Poke’s presentation – worthy of a selfie!
Sweetfin Poke Bowl
I should have run off with this plate of truffles! Chef Ian Gresik of Drago Centro was super generous with the truffle topping his Corn and Truffle Agnolotti
I only took one photo with a chef which is Ian Gresik because he had my favorite dish of the night!
Day Two – The Grand Ave Night Market
The Grand Ave Night Market was very much Asian inspired. Many of the vendors were the same delicious vendors from the LuckyRice event that I covered recently. CLICK HERE to read my Luckyrice Event recap
Elote- roasted sweet corn, whipped avo, cilantro butter, Cotija smoked paprika crackle from Nick Shipp of Upper West
This was one of my favorite dishes a Filipino Porridge by Rice Bar (a restaurant that I have been dying to try!) What was fun was that there was a bar of different toppings to top your porridge with, including chicharron, eggs, slow fried garlic, tofu, chicken and much more!
Chirashi by Wonny Lee of Hamasuku. Had this same dish at Luckyrice and still a favorite!
This was the best dish of the night but I can’t remember who made it! The sashimi was ice cold and fresh and I loved the pairing with the sweet sticky rice with the tang of the mango sauce and crunch of the fried onion
Another delicious hit of the night, the Thai Snapper Carpaccio from Joji Inoue of Chaya
So exciting! Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell by Neil Maloney of Morro Bat Oyster Co. Not that the oysters needed it but they were also topped with caviar!
Day Three – Lexus Live on Grand
I was most excited about the last night of the LAFW, Lexus Live on Grand. The best and most exclusive restaurants were on site, many of which I had not had the time or opportunity to check out yet. Its so exciting to have all your restaurants in one place at the same time
Smoked Salmon Tarlette by Chef Mourad Lahlou of Mourad
Watermelon handroll by Chef Kelly McCowan on The Kitchen
Pork being prepped for the pork slider from Michael Kahikina of Barrel & Ashes
My favorite dish of the night by Tyler Malek of Salt and Straw: Strawberry shortcake / ricotta cheesecake ice cream / strawberry vinegar / roasted strawberries / buttered almond shortcake. The cheesecake ice cream was super sweet and melded perfectly with the tang of the strawberry vinegar and the sweet crunchy strawberry glass.
Pork Ribs wrapped in Fouille de Brick by Chef Jason Franey of Restaurant 1833
Chef Freddy Vargas of Scarpetta
Delicious Hamachi on Purple Potato by Chef Matrice Martinceau of Montage Hotel
Seared Foie Gras on Pig Skin by Chef Sean Chaney of Hot’s Kitchen was my favorite bite of the night!
I’m so sad it’s all over but what an experience! What was really awesome about the LAFW was the fact that most of the chefs stood out in front and introduced their dishes and welcomed you to their booth. It was a really intimate experience and I also discovered so many new restaurants to add to my favorites list!