Last Saturday, I attended the Los Angeles EAT Show, a showcase of the 50 best food vendors in LA. I arrived with an empty stomach and was given an EAT ticket in the shape of a monopoly card, that divided the expo up into twelve sections with four vendors per section (with the exception of the Lucky Strike, which had it's own section). While I didn't make it through all the sections, I made it to nine and tried every vendor in those sections.
The first course consisted of a bowl from The Halal Guys, a poké bowl from Komodo, a taco from Aqui es Texcoco and a taste of KRAVE Jerky. The jerky was really tasty (and is gluten-free)—I especially loved the pineapple orange and sweet chipotle flavors. The other standout item was the taco, which was spicy but delicious.
Next, we tried chicken and fries from Dino's Chicken & Burgers, a quinoa and chickpea bowl and falafel from Fala Bar, a bite of seared pork belly with radish from Restauration, and a taste of kombucha from Clearly Kombucha.
The quinoa salad and pork were the stars of this course. Though I'm not usually one for kombucha, Clearly Kombucha was delicious and refreshing, and I'm definitely going to go back for more of the Strawberry Hibiscus flavor.
We took a quick break to get some refreshments from Mr. Bartender, and tried the Speedy Pepe and Screw the Roses, which was one of my personal favorites. We also tried the Magic Bullet detox drink. This incredible natural-ingredient drink helps detox your liver to prevent a hangover and tasted great too.
Drinks in hand, we next tried a pickle bruschetta from Le Petit Paris, a tuna cracker from Mama Musubi, pancit palabok (a noodle and egg dish) from Kalan Kitchen, and a burrito from Tina's Burritos. The burrito was surprisingly good for a frozen burrito, but my favorite was the tuna cracker, which had spicy tuna served on a black sesame rice cracker.
The fourth round was a little bit lighter because one of the vendors had run out of food and were instead giving out discounts to come into their restaurant, and another vendor was Monster Energy, which I wasn't interested in trying.
We had three varieties of ribs from Fogo de Chao and Japan fried chicken from Okamoto Kitchen. Both of these items were stellar and standouts of the whole event, with delicious marinated meat cooked to perfection.
Next, we had more tacos along with some champagne from the POP Champagne & Dessert Bar, along with a salad and chicken and veggies in curry sauce from Summer Buffalo, a ginger chicken pot sticker from Tom's Urban, and two types of sushi from Hanaro Sushi Catering. The curry dish stole the show in this round, but the tacos were a close second.
This next round, I tried my first chicken and waffles from Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles, and despite my skepticism, I enjoyed it. We also got to try coconut water and popcorn from Vita Coco Coconut Water, which was fine but nothing spectacular. We also tried a raw foods dish from 118 Degrees, and lastly a noodle dish from Chibiscus Asian Cafe.
Though I was getting pretty stuffed, I forged on and tried ramen from Tentenyu Ramen and a coco mango salad from Emporium Thai Cuisine. I also tried bruschetta and the spinach and artichoke al forno from Maggiano's Little Italy. I may be partial because I love artichokes, but the spinach and artichoke dish was another one of my favorites from the whole day.
The expo started winding down, so we grabbed these tastes and got in line for the next round while we ate. We had a delicious lamb tostadita from Swami's Sandwiches, which had chile braised lamb and pork, salsa verde and queso fresco. We also had diamond shell clams from Aroha Restaurant.
We were one of the last people to get in line for the last round, which had been the longest line by far in the show. We definitely saved the best for last and finally indulged our sweet tooth.
Here we tried chocolate cake from Hansen's Cake, which was so delicious. We also tried several flavors of Helados Pops Ice Cream. The Street Churros were a big attraction and I could see why: they were absolutely delicious, and I'm definitely going back for more.
Overall the EAT Show was a pretty spectacular experience. The amount of food was overwhelming, and after the first round, I quickly learned I would only be able to have a bite of everything in order to taste it all. It was a great showcase of different restaurants in the greater LA area.