Sunday, September 5, 2010

Plate by Plate 2010

On August 14, 2010, I was a guest of Project by Project's Plate by Plate 8th Annual Tasting benefit to raise funds for the Health Justice Network.

The Health Justice Network's mission is to raise awareness of the spectrum of health needs and disparities impacting the Asian Pacific Islander community in Los Angeles and Orange counties. All net proceeds from the event's ticket sales and silent auction went to benifit the HJN.

A different kind of scientific experiment was going on in the Big Lab of the Wallis Annenburg Building of the California Science Center. That of intoxicating potions, and the sensual chemistry of the culinary arts.

The event brought restaurant like Jiraffe, Bistro LQ, Charlie Palmer, Jar, and the Foundry together with great restaurants representing various Asian style of cuisine like Maison Akira, Nobu, Musha, Starry Kitchen, and Jitlada.

The night's libations were provided by Sapporo and Singha beer companies, Ozeki sake, and wineries, Peter Franus, Trinchero, and Viader to name a few.

It was a chance meeting with Jin Kang at Star Chefs earlier in the year and running into Jin with Belle Hsu and Oanh Nguyen at Taste of the Nation that led to my invite to this grand event.

This is the second Los Angeles event I've attended that had dominant cultural lean, in this case Asian, that as much as it was centered on this group, felt 100% Los Angeles in its spirit. It's great to see another beautiful color of Los Angeles show its flavor and style.

The crowd was young, á la mode, and spry. The spicy pair of canny glamor girls in the blue numbers, Oanh on the left and Helen on the right, made sure along with the rest of the Plate by Plate staff that all attendees had a great time.

Wineries like Peter Franus, Trinchero, and Viader were present to entertain in between stops, and to accompany your tastes, but,as this event had an Asian theme,But...

stopping for an ice cold Singha seemed more to be on course.

Or perhaps Sapporo, which you don't see at just any festival.

The opportunity to sample a line of sakes from these hospitable representatives made my night.

I knew Ricardo Zarate of Mo Chica would be in attendance, but I was excited to get a pre-preview of Anticucho, which jus finished a sneak peek at the newest sensation, Test Kitchen.

I overheard someone say,"did you like the tongue?" That was beef heart, my dear, Ricardo's contemporary take on the iconic Peruvian street food. This is a refreshing spice chef Zarate has crafted.

Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen was out and about, showing his softer side, having run out of balls, he calmy and pleasantly promoted his wife's delicious pandan flan.

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion had a nice hamachi poke done in a contemporary style.

The yellow fin tuna with heirloom cherry tomatoes was one of my favorites of the night. This was a great example of what restaurants should be doing at these events. Cafe Pinot's executive chef, Kevin Meehan brought this grand surprise.

I also enjoyed Fraiche's slamon tartar on a potato chip. There were plenty of cool summer bites here at Plate by Plate.

I had been looking for Jitlada, but caught up in the infectious groove of music, people, and drink, I had almost forgot about them, but there they were, serving up to the last moment of the event.

I parked myself here for the last bit of mitaki vegetable with tofu, and some of their crying tiger beef.

Plate by Plate is another one of a handful of events I shall look forward to each year. It's a flashy event filled with the best restaurants, a variety of premium beverages, and a chance to get to experience a vital part our Los Angeles culture, the young Asian-American community.

See you next year at Plate by Plate So. California.Also look for their events in New York City and San Francisco.

Special thanks to Jin Kang,Belle Hsu, and all the fine people at Project by Project for the invitation.

For more information on Project by Project, please go to their website.

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