LA Weekly’s The Essentials Event!
The place to be this past Saturday evening was definitely The California Market Center in Downtown LA. Having never been, I did not know what exactly this huge, tall building was, but, the occasion, taking us to the 13th floor? LA Weekly’s annual Essentials event, which finds over 40 of THE top, best restaurants and drink makers coming together to offer ticket holders a taste of this, that and everything in between.
We all know, for a Gluten Free Pescatarian, these events can be very hit/miss for me. I admit, with near;y an hour wait outside to get into the soiree, I was becoming a bit hangry…or, as Michael calls me, “Mary Hulk”. I was a bit nervous for those around me as I wondered, will there be anything for me to enjoy in this joint?
Well, friends, rest assured because The Essentials was one of the BEST events I have been to in a while, and, there were loads of vendors at the ready to serve me with dishes I could indeed enjoy. There were the 3 trips to Papilles Bistro to get my triple helping of their smoked trout that was divine, the vegetarian mole from Guelaguetza (as well as a fried grass hopper that went in my mouth….due to the wine and vodka talking), The Infuse Spirits vodka tonic that Mike didn’t really want so I helped myself to his glass (as well as mine), Strawberry drenched squid (Yes, it was amazing–trust me) and the many countless wines I had like Felsina, Shacksbury Ciders (Farmhouse over Classic, for the win) and Revel Wines.
Friends, I left stuffed, but wanting MORE.
With our General Admission tickets (valued at $75), we were free to enjoy all we could endure from 6p-10pm. We arrived at 6:20 and at last got in at about 7pm. Word to the wise? Arrive even earlier as by 8 pm, vendors were, sadly, running out of their grub. Thankfully, booths like KRAVE Jerky and several others (as well as the artists offering their handmade goods a la Etsy), seemed very prepared for the sold out crowd. One dish lacking? A dessert. We could only locate one sweet treat, which had been offering ice cream, but, alas, less than two hours into Essentials, they were forced to post a “Sorry, All Out” sign. Le sigh.
Luckily, while you may have been disappointed for a closed up shop, you quickly could find a new dish to try to turn that frown upside down. With such beloved diners like Phillipe’s offering their turkey and roast beef sandwiches, as well INK and Beverly Soon Tofu, there was truly something for everyone at The Essentials.
Bravo, LA Weekly, and I cannot wait to see what next year has in store! xo
(*Disclosure: I was invited to The Essentials. All opinions are my own.)