Get full and faded at East L.A. Meets Napa 2012! (Union Station, July 20, 2012 6:00 PM)

It’s about that time of year! Yup, East L.A. Meets Napa is this Friday and the tickets are going fast, well, I’m guessing they are, the event always runs out of food early every year.

It’s definitely among the most unique food events in Los Angeles, it sounds exactly as the title implies: East L.A. (the Chicano elite and the restaurants in the Eastern Los Angeles where they like to eat at) meets Napa (Latino-owned vineyards in North California).

It takes place in the pretty cool, low-pro courtyard outside of Union Station and there is usually a “Latin” band to accompany, complete with a waxed dance floor. If anything, just go to witness the spectacle of buzzed veteranos in guayaberas at a food event.

I’ve been covering the event for the last few years, here are some past links on Teenage Glutster so you can know what to expect.

East L.A. Meets Napa 2011

East L.A. Meets Napa 2010

East L.A. Meets Napa 2009

Ahí nos vemos!

Eater Young Guns 2012 Event at The London Hotel Rooftop

Eater revealed their “Eater Young Guns Class of 2012” yesterday, a selection of “the most promising newbies in food, wine and hospitality, as selected by industry leaders.”

Wow, it’s about damn time an event like this happened.

young guns in L.A.
editor in chief of eater national

“We often hear of the successes of José Andrés and Michael Voltaggio but we never hear of the younger cooks who work alongside them, this event celebrates them” said Raphael Brion, editor of Eater National. The 2012 Eater Young Guns Official Selection Committee was pretty fierce, consisting of such big hitters as José Andrés actually and Suzanne Goin. There were 50 finalists but only 16 winners.

And it was pretty cool, Eater celebrates in style, as apparent by their selection of the freaking rooftop at The London as the official venue for the event. I guess the extreme luxury lifestyle phenomena associated in modern youth culture (looking at you YOUNG MONEY CASH MONEY BILLIONAIRES) is also pretty big in the food industry, YOUNG MONEY CASH MONEY CHEFS?

Some of the winning chefs were flown in from around the country to share their fresh techniques and chaste egos. In particular, Angela Majko of Uchiko in Austin, Jeremiah Langhorne of McCrady’s in Charleston, Matthew Rudofker of Momofuku Ssam Bar NYC and some other guy with a beard who was serving a salty ass vegetable tart.

shrimp on a stick
Pickled shrimp on a stick by Jeremiah Langhorne at Mccrady’s
wild forested mushrooms
Morels, foraged in Charleston North Carolina and prepared by Jeremiah Langhorne

Of course, there were some home grown budding cooks and food people properly representin’ too.

jamon de bellota
dazzling cheese board

Alex Brown, General Manager at Gourmet Imports was rolling deep with some hardcore cheese and meat bling, his cheeseboard was probably worth more than my scooter and my rent for the next half-year. Complete with a whole fucken shoulder of Jamón ibérico de Bellota and five nameless cheeses whose smell I still can’t wash off from my hands.

ink's salmon

Cole Dickinson of Ink showed up with his interpretation of BBQ salmon, meaning cured salmon with BBQ powder and corn chips that required five different steps to make. Complicatedness seemed to be the prevailing element through out the event, there was a sous vide machine tucked away at a corner of Jeremiah Langhorne Mccrady’s booth, god bless that competitive youthful spirit.

All in all, the event was a success, despite the selective invite list that excluded the usual L.A. food communicator suspects but rich in L.A. restaurant P.R. peeps, meaning mostly L.A. stereotype-standard blondes and people in designer clothing.

A nameless cook from Ink said it best as most of the beautiful people walked straight by their welcoming booth without even looking at their offering, “Yeah, it seems like everyone is coming just to hang out and not actually eat.”

I did find it kind of odd that this was also the first food event that still had food flowing until the last minute too. And then people wonder why the L.A. dining scene is never taken as serious as other U.S. food metropolises.

Nonetheless, congrats to all the young guns! Perhaps one day there will be a Young Guns “Food Writing Edition” or something…be still my heart, that day will come soon.

East L.A Meets Napa This Friday! Carnitas and Cabernet!

Damn, this year went by pretty fast, huh?

Well, its that time of year again for everyone’s favorite food and wine event! The 6th annual East L.A Meets Napa celebration is happening this Friday evening at Union Station! From 6-9 PM, get drunk and full as f*** for a good cause!

its not always 40 oz.
It’s Not Always 40 oz!

And I’m not just using “everyone’s favorite” as a generic term foo. For some reason, everyone–Eastsiders and Westsiders alike–tend to dub this event as their “favorite” every time they they meet me. Compared to the rest of these traditionally stuffy, snobby food and wine events I guess? It must be out latin passion eyy! haha.

No but seriously, this event is pretty fun. It wrangles together most of the cities current top Mexican restaurants and some pretty top-notch latino-owned wineries. Also, its pretty funny to see all the powerful brown politicos dancing salsa and grown up hoochie-mama’s taqueando and getting all barras! Support the cause ese!

un taco de cevichazo y nopalitos
Ceviche and Nopales From Last Years Offerings

cacaos taquiza assortment
A Taquiza Plate from Cacao Mexicatessen (taken last year)

I’ve been covering this pachanga for the past three years and trust me, this shit cracks!
Check out my past coverage.

East L.A Meets Napa (2009)

East L.A Meets Napa (2010)

Here is the info, I know the ticket is a little pricey but its worth it! I promise. C’mon its for a good cause!

(taken from the email they sent to me)

Carnitas and Cabernet Converge as East LA Meets Napa Celebrates

the Cuisine of Michoacán

What: AltaMed’s Sixth Annual East LA Meets Napa celebration returns to Union Station to pay tribute to the regional cuisine of Michoacán – considered by some to be Mexico’s soul food. The event will feature the diversity of Los Angeles’ Latin cuisine and fine wine from Latino-owned or -operated Napa Valley wineries. A total of 60 wine and food pairing stations will feature the best wine and food Southern and Northern California has to offer.

East LA Meets Napa showcases the contributions of Latinos to California’s multi-billion dollar food and wine industry. The event provides culinary enthusiasts with the opportunity to support AltaMed’s mission – increasing access to quality and culturally relevant health and human services to underserved communities in Southern California. AltaMed provides quality care without exception.

When: Friday, July 8, 2011

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Where: Union Station

800 N. Alameda St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Who: Cástulo De La Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed

Wine Industry Representatives from Napa Valley and

Latino Winery and Restaurant Owners

Music by Jose Rizo’s Mongorama

Visuals: 1,400 guests enjoying fine wine, fantastic Latin food, and dancing to live music amidst the backdrop of historic Union Station.


East L.A Meets Napa 2010 On July 9th: You’re Not Down To Go…

Yeeah homie!
Being born and raised in East L.A, I’ve been waiting for this event to come around again since last year’s was PURO Pinche Pari!

Its just something about seeing other homeboys dressed in their Sunday Guayabera best sippin’ on some fine Shiraz…ha ha. All for the sake of giving back to to Alta Med, an organization that I personally know has really helped around here.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a preview tasting of some of the stuff that will be featured in the event.

The tasting took place in some cool little eatery out in the underestimated city uptown Whittier
called Phlight.

Here are some of my favorites of the tasting. I was told that all the ones I highlight will be offered at the event.

From Phlight Restaurant:

queso stuffed squash blossoms
Squash Blossoms stuffed w/ Mexican Cheeses and Tempura Batter, Flor De Jamaica [and Lavender] Orange Blossom Consome

This was damn good, a dish concentrated on the typical deliciousness of a typical Mexico City lunch. Oozy queso fresco went all the floral flavored crispy golden edges.

deconstructed posole
Deconstructed Posole w/ slow roasted Pork Tenderloin

This dish made me embarrassingly giggle due to its similarity in taste to one a many bowls of traditional posole I’ve had in every other family gathering. The mulched hominy came with a rich pork stock and tasted like pork flavored grits! Pork was a bit tough though.

chile relleno with crab
Chile Guero stuffed w/ Crab Meat and Asparagus, Tequila Crab Chipotle Cream Sauce

Easily my favorite from this restaurant. Staying true to the chile relleno comfort classics of that airy fried egg batter soaked by a tasty chilito but with the added benefit of sweet crab meat.

Robert Tapia of Mission Wine And Spirits in Pasadena was kind enough to pair some exquisite wines with a lot of these courses. Although I didn’t get to try much, there were a couple that made made me raise my eyebrow.

San Simeon Pinot Noir

From Seta Restaurant:

Golden Gazpacho With Poached Shrimp
Golden Gazpacho W/ Poached Shrimp, Cous-Cous

A couple of tacos were brought out by Steven Arroyo of Cobras & Matadors and Church & State. He is about to open a new taco shop called Esquela based on the philosophy that everything tastes better when wrapped with a Tortilla.

Escuela Pork Tacos
Braised Pork Chop Tacos

Handles! Can’t Wait!

Eat and get effed up for a good cause!

Buy tickets here

People Behind East L
The People That Make East L.A Meets Napa Crack!

(Taken From Press Release)

“It’s that time of year again when Latin Cuisine flirts with fine wine. Please join us for an exclusive sneak peek into AltaMed’s 5th Annual East LA Meets Napa event with a special celebration of Mexico’s Bicentennial. Enjoy bicentennial dishes prepared by some of LA’s premiere chefs and fine wine from Napa Valley and Baja California’s Valle de Guadalupe. Participants at this preview event will include: Chef Daniel Salcido, Jay Arroyo and Nikomi Arroyo of Phlight, Chef Hugo Molina and Javier Jimenez of Setá, and Steven Arroyo (Cobras & Matadors, Church & State) of yet to be opened Esquela.

About the Event

AltaMed’s Fifth Annual East LA Meets Napa celebration returns better than ever on July 9th from 6-9p, with an expanded courtyard in one of Los Angeles most historic settings – Union Station. This year, the event also presents some of Baja California’s best wineries to showcase wines from the Valle de Guadalupe region in commemoration of Mexico’s Bicentennial celebration. The event will feature the diversity of Los Angeles’ Latin cuisine and fine wine from Latino-owned or –operated Napa Wineries through 60 wine and food pairing stations.

AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa was inspired by CEO Cástulo De La Rocha’s passion for goo
d Latin cuisine and fine wine. In that spirit and with his enduring commitment to serving communities in need, AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa fundraiser was born.

The event will provide more than 1,400 entrepreneurs, community leaders, and food and wine enthusiasts with the opportunity to support AltaMed’s mission – increasing access to quality and culturally relevant health and human services to underserved communities in Southern California. During the past 41 years, AltaMed has been committed to providing quality care without exception. For more information on AltaMed please visit www.altamed.org> .

Partial List of Participants for
AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa 2010


Birrieria Chalio
Cacoa Mexicatessen
Casa de Moles “LaTia”
Cobras & Matadors
Cook’s Tortas
El Portal
El Tepeyac Café
Homegirl Café
La Casita Mexicana
La Parrilla Restaurant
La Serenata de Garibaldi
Phlight Restaurant
Porto’s Bakery & Café
Rivera Restaurant
Señor Fish
Taco’s Baja
Tamayo Restaurant
Tila’s Kitchen

** – are Baja Californian vintners

Alex Sotelo Cellars
Ceja Vineyards
El Centauro del Norte
Elements of Sonoma
Encanto Vineyards
Gustavo Thrace Wines
J Lohr Vineyards & Wine
Karl Lawrence Cellars
Madrigal Vineyards
Maritas Vineyards
Mi Sueño
Renteria Wines
Robledo Vineyards
San Antonio Winery
Sequoia Grove Vineyards
**L.A. Cetto Vineyard
**J.C. Bravo
Frias Family Vineyard
Chadeau de Vie
Maldonado Family Vineyards
Black Coyote
V. Sattui Winery
**Adobe Guadalupe

We look forward to seeing you soon. Buen Provecho!”