Okay, I’m obviously a little bit behind here. Taste of the Eastside was on May 15th. Back when I was in a nail-polishing phase (they come and go as they please). Sometimes I take a long time to blog things. Sometimes I NEVER GET AROUND to blogging things. It’s part of the delicious suspense of being a reader. (You can always refer to my Flickr to see what I’m not blogging. I faithfully take photos. I’m only HALF lazy.)
Anyway– I feel that I MUST blog Taste of the Eastside in some capacity, because it was a delightful event. For about $25, I got more than I could eat. At first I was stingy with my food-buying tickets (I can’t remember how many we got… maybe 15?), but then I reached a point where I realized– go for broke, kid! Most of us actually ended up with more tickets than we could use, because we got so full.
First of all, the location was amazing. I’ve passed Barnsdall Art Park a billion times (conservative estimate), but I’d never really wondered what was atop that random hill.
Here’s a picture I snapped as I ascended the stairs (this is the view from Barnsdall– not Barnsdall itself):
As you can see, it provides a lovely view of the Griffith Observatory and the Los Feliz/Hollywood Hills area. I’m already so pumped to return, lugging a picnic lunch in my new insulated grocery bag. (Paging Mr. Tea– and anybody else who likes picnics.) (If you don’t, you’re a monster.)
I believe one was banana and the other was chocolate. And they were really “cheap,” ticket-wise.
Out of everything we tried, there were two major stand-outs– two things I still crave. I think this was a general consensus, because these two booths seemed to have the biggest lines.
In the past I haven’t been the hugest fan of mole (mo-lay, a chocolate based sauce), but Huarache Azteca was getting rave reviews, so I stood in the long line. And it was so worth it.
The chicken was tender, the sauce was savory, the rice was puffy, and the bread was… a big hunk of bread. It was a big portion, for only 3 tickets (as I recall). Everybody who ate this got some sauce on their face. (That’s what she said…) It was sauce-on-face good. (Luckily everybody was willing to tell each other, “Hey… you’ve got a little something…”) It’s the kind of food that makes you want to call your friends and family and force them to try it.
Pazzo Gelato was a bit of a surprise favorite for me, because I went there several years back and it didn’t leave a lasting impression. They were another booth that gave amazing value (I think this was 2 tickets for two generous scoops). I chose red velvet and blood orange.
The blood orange was delightfully sweet and tangy, and the red velvet flavor was rich and creamy. The white base gelato had an almost cheesecake-y quality, which is funny because I don’t usually go for cheesecake. But I was all over this!
I was also very intrigued by this artist. I’m not exactly sure what his style was– maybe plein air?– but he was kinda chopping colors on top of each other. When I first saw it he’d already created the background and was chopping in a few people, and every time I walked by he’d chopped more people and details on top of that. (I know, this is all very technical.)
It makes sense because Barnsdall is an “art park.” (They have all sorts of cool offerings, from a Frank Lloyd Wright house to wine tastings to art classes.)
And of course, I can’t pass up a chance to blog about macarons (from Les Macarons Duverger)!
Those were praline, lavender and coffee. The lavender was surprisingly fruity, and better than I expected. (I tried a rose water flavored macaron the other night and threw it away… I know, shocking.) (Hopefully I’ll blog pictures of THAT later.)
Here’s a shot of the lavender filling:
Hope you enjoyed that peek of the Taste of the Eastside. I highly recommend that you attend next year, if you live in the area. There were all sorts of treats I didn’t show– oysters, polenta, ratatouille, short-ribs, cupcakes, pho tacos, breakfast-y foods, and more! (And drinks!) (And a confusing recycling vs. landfill trash system!) (And a DJ!)
There were also people doing crazy handstands-on-top-of-each-other yoga on a nearby lawn. Mocking our gluttony with their… flexibility.
At any rate, make sure to check out the Eastside in your LA adventurings. Maybe I’m biased, but I think it’s an awesome place to eat.
(And now you only have 10 months until the next one. See… that’s the beauty of my procrastination. I should have waited even longer.)