Organizers rolled out a golden carpet for this year's LA Weekly Gold Standard. It was 86° Fahrenheit (and under black tents, possibly more humid than the interior of a human mouth), but that didn't stop eaters from waiting in line before noon, hoping to be among the first to taste bites from Animal, Bludso's, Chego, Drago Centro, and 25 other local eateries; wine from over a dozen labels, beer from Stella, Firestone Walker and Singha, as well as a few choice cocktails. When asked whether he would host a similar event at his new Los Angeles Times gig, host Jonathan Gold replied, with a quick nod, "I can't imagine I won't do something similar."
There was more food and more people than at last year's tasting. Three hours into the afternoon feast there was still plenty to go around. Animal's foie gras mousse with buttered toast and Satsuma marmelade was a high point - an ideal combination of savory and sweet, with fat that melted exactly at body temperature. Baco Mercat's braised pork shoulder baco, Drago Centro's mushroom agnolotti with black truffle, and Lukshon's cured yellowtail were all crowd favorites. As usual, Picca/Mo-Chica didn't disappoint and news of their downtown opening filtered through the crowd. Between Mozza's butterscotch budino, Bulgarini Gelato, and Huckleberry's overwhelming table of pastry, dessert was well represented. Not to be missed was David Rodriguez's pistachio and white chocolate creation at Providence.
Michael Voltaggio, who wore a shirt that read "People Hate Me on Yelp," plated a large slice of frozen tongue on a bed of lettuce which was mostly memorable for its use of liquid nitrogen. Jitlada's Jazz snuck out from behind her table this year and traded spicy Thai curry for sweets from Nickel Diner, smiling all the way, though sad that this might be the last Gold Standard. David LeFevre posed and plated and never missed a beat; his Middle Eastern couscous stood out among all of the meat. One felt bad for the coffee guys (Verve, Handsome) as well as Ramen Jinya, on such a steamy day. Overall, the top notch line up of restaurants satisfied every gluttonous craving.
·All Gold Standard Coverage [~ELA~]