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!

The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles at (1)

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

LAFW 1 Caviar

Ricotto Knudi by Steven Fretz of The Church Key

LAFW Church Key 1

The fanciest booth and longest line was at Chef Tim Byrnes, Dallas pop-up

LAFW Dallas

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

LAFW Doughnut 1

Emily enjoying her wine selections

LAFW Emily Tangerine 2

I want to steal her dress!

LAFW Emily Tangerine

Amazing Foie Gras Tart!

LAFW Foie 1 LAFW Stage

Blue Ribbon Sushi

LAFW Sushi 1

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

LAFW 1  Uni

LAFW Wine Glass
LAFW Wine Glass

LAFW

There was so much divine, meltingly soft pork belly at LAFW! Grilled Bacon with smoked vanilla bean polenta by Chef Dakota Weiss of Estrella

LAFW-Pork-Belly

I loved Sweetfin Poke’s presentation – worthy of a selfie!

Kaila Yu Sweetfin Poke

Sweetfin Poke Bowl

LAFW-Sweetfin-Poke

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

LAFW Truffles 1

I only took one photo with a chef which is Ian Gresik because he had my favorite dish of the night!

Ian Gresik LAFW

 Corn and Truffle Agnolotti
Instagram: @onemorebiteblog

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

LAFW 2 Eggroll

 

Spiced mango pork belly with bacon biryani by Chef Pawan Mahendro of BadmaashLAFW Badmaash

Elote- roasted sweet corn, whipped avo, cilantro butter, Cotija smoked paprika crackle from Nick Shipp of Upper West

LAFW Elote

 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!

LAFW Filipino Porridge LAFW Grape

Chirashi by Wonny Lee of Hamasuku. Had this same dish at Luckyrice and still a favorite!

LAFW Hamasuku Chirashi

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

LAFW Mango Sushi 2

Another delicious hit of the night, the Thai Snapper Carpaccio from Joji Inoue of Chaya

LAFW-2-Sushi

 

 

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!

LAFW Oysters

 

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

LAFW 3 Baby Mussel LAFW 3 Bouchon Ice

Smoked Salmon Tarlette by Chef Mourad Lahlou of Mourad

LAFW 3 Caviar

Watermelon handroll by Chef Kelly McCowan on The Kitchen

LAFW 3 Hand Roll

Pork being prepped for the pork slider from Michael Kahikina of Barrel & Ashes

LAFW 3 Roast Pig

 

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.

LAFW 3 Salt and Straw

Pork Ribs wrapped in Fouille de Brick by Chef Jason Franey of Restaurant 1833

LAFW 3 Vietnamese

Chef Freddy Vargas of Scarpetta

LAFW Chef Vargas

Delicious Hamachi on Purple Potato by Chef Matrice Martinceau of Montage Hotel

LAFW Sushi Flower

Seared Foie Gras on Pig Skin by Chef Sean Chaney of Hot’s Kitchen was my favorite bite of the night!

 seared foie on pig skin
Instagram: @bhuntmama

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!