Have you ever seen a dish in a picture or in person and imagined how good it must be and then when you eat it, it doesn't match the expectations? Well as you can Imagine - I eat a lot of food. No news there right? But not all the food I try at these events or tastings are impressive, I mean they're good , but not wowsa good all the time. So I go to these events cause they're fun and also hoping to find a place I want to go back to, but mostly 'cause they're fun and if you like to drink there's always always plenty of booze, But this year during the first session "Field to Fork" I came across three dishes that knocked my socks off - had I been wearing any.
I came to The Taste this year, on what was probably the hottest day of the year and on top of it all the fire in Burbank surely made the heat worse. I was excited to be there, but at the same time I kind of wanted to go through everything as fast as I could and get back to my air conditioned car. I walked and tasted a few good things and then I came to a little corner they had called octopus island ( because there were two restaurants there serving octopus) I tried the first one which looked pretty but didn't do anything for me in the taste department, so the next table was Preux and Proper they were still plating their octopus dish and having just had the bite from the booth next to them I was tempted to keep walking, but I waited and it was the best decision I made all weekend because this dish was "THE ONE" - that rare dish that comes along every once in awhile and just takes you by surprise. It was perfection! It was made so damn perfect - You would have thought you were sitting right in a restaurant eating this dish and not in a backlot. The octopus was tender , but also had a nice char and so flavorful the greens fresh the sauces perfect and the potato perfectly crispy I couldn't understand how they pulled that off without a full kitchen - there in a little tent. It was Fantastic! I tried more things , but I kept coming back to this one. (three more times to be exact). Yes I had four plates of this generously portioned tasting, but I was obsessed and I let everyone there know about it.
I knew I had to keep walking cause I couldn't eat up their whole supply. I tried a lot more food and came to this table that had this Thai eggplant that almost looked like a tomatillo sitting on a plate of hummus. It was pretty large and I kind of thought about skipping this one too mostly because it was so big, but I went for it and this little eggplant was so good it suddenly wasn't big enough. I needed more the second dish that really awakened my taste buds . I didn't think after the octopus that I would find anything else as good and especially not a cold vegetable dish. I mean I love veggies , but given the choice I'm taking the octopus, and now. Well..... I don't know - It was pretty damn good eggplant.
Just when I thought I had seen it all and I couldn't have anymore I came across "The Green Room", a room hidden inside one of the sets. I went in mostly just to check out what was in there and I found a lot of wine - which I was ok without, but Lukshon and Babycakes were also set up in there and that I just had to try. I didn't even know what it was. There was no signage, but it sure was pretty, I took a little bite and Wow! It was crispy rice - so freaking good, it was the perfect way to end the "Field to Fork"
So remember what I said about not all food pictures live up to the flavor expectation? Scratch that, because these three dishes were out of this world.