Sunday, July 11, 2010
It Ain't Nuthin' Without Passion
Glad to say this years East L.A Meets Napa 2010 was a success. For one thing, it was more than twice its size than last year and just as cracking with Latino royalty of all kinds. Although I think that I was probably the youngest person there, but well...as if I wasn't use to that already.
I was rolling deep too, hanging with my older brother Rojelio Cabral (fresh from a three year U.S hiatus in Buenos Aires!). And as you all probably don't know, he basically created The Glutster when he took me out to my first real restaurant five years ago.
This was basically his first non-pampas fed-beefsteak dinner he had in three years too, ha ha.
First things first! I'm only going to highlight the best wine I remember I had that night.
Baja California Mexican Vino
Remember, I'm still relatively new to this wine-o stuff so bare with me. And up until now, I didn't really put to much attention to blends...until I tasted this Miguel Casa Adobe blend. Its made from Tempranillo 80%, Grenache 15%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5% and makes for a quite enjoyable sip. Quite smooth with this deep color and such full body. A slightly leathery nose that gave way for the fruity flavor of freshly cut strawberries that were left on a wood cutting board or something. There I go, trying to sound all romantic about my wine and stuff.
Señor Fish Grilled Fish Tacos
Senõr Fish was the first wow of the night, grilled cod tacos with all the fixins on a homemade tortilla. It was my bro's favorite, although I think its because it was the first time he has salsa in three years too.
Proud to say there was two of my Zacatecano paisanos restaurants being represented too. Both Teresitas and Chalio's were there.
Birria For The Masses
Like last year, they had substituted the usual gamy--flavorful--protein of pinche chivito (goat) for lamb. Whatever really, still tender as all hell, you can't really go wrong with anything you cook that perfectly balanced vinegar and spice marinade they use. Heck, you could even put some boneless, skinless chicken breast and it'll still be bomb. No tortillas though? 'Atkins-ing' it I guess....
Cacao's Trio Of Tacos: Hasta Para Chuparse Los Deditos!
Major props goes out to Andrew Lujan from Cacao Mexicatessen for going all out with his offerings. A first timer to food events, he decided to not hold back on the quality and commitment that is Cacao even if that meant spending a prettier penny to come through. He offered a taco each of Wild Boar, Duck Carnitas, Huitlacoche, and one with his house made Chorizito!
Mexico History On A Plate: Not Surprising Coming From Rocio Camacho
Next to him, was the lovely Rocio Camacho of La Husteca. She basically was offering Mexican History on a plate, having regional dishes from all pre-hispanic bichi's (braised verdolaguitas; Mexican Purslane), Yorique (spiced corn flour cooked chicken in raw mushroom caps) to Mestizo periods (Empanada de Flor De Calabasa; Squash Blossom Corn Turnover & Mini "Brazo De Reyna" Yucatan Tamales; "Queens Arm" Yucatan Tamales stuffed with Pumpkin Seeds and Hard Boiled Eggs). And of course, her deft hand at Oaxacan cuisine will never be absent where ever she cooks, with a tasty tortilla crisp canape topped with braised cactus and grasshoppers.
Indian Spiced Tortilla?: Only From Rivera Of Course!
Last but not The Glutster least, the last highlight of the night came from chef John Sedlar of Rivera restaurant, doing his signature work of art handmade "Indian Tortillas". And yes, he actually imprints them with real edible flowers. This time around though they were actually "Indian" "Tortillas"! ha ha. He changed it up by adding wonderful curry-like spices to the freshly elabortated corn masa. This gave for a PRIMO experience that I relished vastly in, especially when shmeared with some incredibly tart and thick spiced yogurt spread he also made. Think of your most favorite of Indian breads--Paratha, Chapari...Pani Puri even! But made with that golden brown and rich tasting mother grain of Maiz instead. Don't fuck around!
By around 9:30 though, party started to die down. Think it was bedtime for all those rich old folk that attended or something. That was the cue for me and my brother to make like a banana and leave. Of course we kept the ball rolling, introduced him to the L.A standard of desserts at the moment But that my friends--or readers--is a whole other bittersweet post in itself.
Anyways, I could only imagine how next years event will be like. But until then... buen provecho!