The second annual Gold Standard event proved a far better event than the year before. Logistics were murky but food, for the most part, was a success. Often times when I read Mr. Gold’s reviews, I find myself trying to discredit him. Mostly, because I am jealous and deep down I’d like to regard him as a deeply flawed food critic. But then I go and I taste what he finds most thrilling in LA and I’m usually filled with a monstrous love for what I am consuming. And then the guilt sets in – Did I really just devour all that food? Yes, I often do. And yesterday at the Gold Standard event, I did. Nap anyone?
For me, one of the few failures of the event was the price point. Carina and I were sulking on Friday because we were not going to be able to go because we are ‘po and, well, building an empire that sadly brings us no revenue is debilitating. The tickets were $60 for general admission and $80 for VIP. These girls of modest means could just not afford this one, however, there was a crazy turn of events. Our friend Dan, of a Drink.Eat.Play. and the man whom we credit most of our social life to, had an extra ticket and asked me to come along. I was suddenly able to go. I was elated!
I woke up Sunday morning and everything seemed so right. I was up and out early. I got there before traffic backed up on Wilshire Blvd, parked right in front, met up with Dan, met up with another posse of friends, and waited no time at will call. I pinched myself. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m incapable of being on-time and that “without a hitch” is not a common occurrence in the crazy UG melodrama life. There’s always an issue. I overlooked my recent good luck and jumped on the elevator and tried to enter the shindig. The bad Josie Ju-Ju luck returned, and we were told that the event was delayed 30 minutes due to some health department issue. A little disappointed, we returned downstairs and had some soda pop and fries at Johnny Rocket’s. We then toured the Peterson Auto Museum for a bit and got back in line. The line moved briskly. The first line was very congested, so like any regular foodie of the uncouth variety, we started with the middle line – the wine section. There was nothing particularly noteworthy about my wine so we forged forward.
The venue was great. It was a 4-5 story building and the event was on the top floor of the parking structure in a tent. People parked on the bottom floors and the event was on the top floor parking structure level. I loved the idea! Uncouth, indeed.
Now on to the food. Below were some of the food highlights.
Kogi’s Vegan Tacos: Without a doubt, this was my favorite dish of the day. It was a tofu taco wrapped in a sesame leaf topped with a beautiful vibrant green salsa that had subtle Korean undertones but that most definitely resonated with more Mexican influences. Truth be told, the hype had been so big that I had been avoiding Kogi. Now that I’ve had it, I embarrassingly admit that I have been truly missing out. This truck is special.
Mozza’s Ricotta Crostone with Peperonata: Perhaps the first one to run out of food was Mozza. People were elbowing to get to the front and I know why. It was my second favorite dish of the day. Nancy was at the helm of the line carefully assembling each crostini. She’s not a fast paced woman, but she does put a lot of energy into each bite. I appreciate it and apparently, so does everyone else.
Border Grill’s Avocado and Quinoa Fried Tacos with Pickled Onions: Our Twitter bestie, Hot Pink Monolos, was cooking at the Border Grill Truck where they were making excellent tacos. The fried (or baked – I wasn’t sure) quinoa gave the avocado a nice crunchy and interesting texture which was paired nicely some deep red pickled onions.
Upstair’s Braised Kurobuta with Crispy Leeks and Beet Risotto Cake: I was turned on to this dish by a group of westsiders I was with. The minute I took the first bite of my pork, I wanted more. The pork was only further accentuated by the beet risotto and crispy fried leeks. Fully aware that at an event like this resources are limited, I’d say this one was very nicely done.
Ludo Bite’s Melon Chiccaron Soup with Cornishon Sorbet: The culinary masters of branding and Twitter, as well as my favorite man and woman duo, Ludo and Krissy, were strongly representing on Sunday. His soup was excellent. Sipping his soup tasted just like it did in his restaurant. I can assure you that having personally made the cornishon sorbet in Ludo’s kitchen before, it was perfect.
Bistro LQ’s Wild Harring: Ok, so there’s been a lot of hype about Bistro LQ. Ever since he served me a violet infused foie gras and violet martini at his place in South Pasadena, Bistro K, I have been a dedicated patron of Chef Quenioux. The fusion of his French culinary background and his love for local Latin ingredients always makes for an interesting meal. It was an honor to have Chef Quenioux’s food and Chef Ludo’s food within walking distance. Only at the Gold Standard could you get both.
Drink of the Hour: New Belgium’s Seasonal, Mighty Arrow: It was just f-in good. This brew was bold, ethereal and had a great finish. I pounded it in one swig. Damn, I’m an animal.
Another crowd pleaser was Sona, but I was unable to try it. And lastly, the bacon covered doughnuts fared well with the crowd. Maybe it’s just me but, is anyone else sick of bacon?! I preferred the strawberry shortcake doughnuts to the bacon. Yes, I tried both. But I only tried ’em both because I love you. You see what I do for you.
I know we described the body heat at last year’s Gold Standard event as “as hot as a bikram yoga studio,” but I really didn’t have many complaints this year. It seems like the LA Weekly took the suggestion and this year’s event was outdoor. The brisk cool breeze couldn’t have felt better on the warm Sunday afternoon. Thanks for listening LA Weekly.
While the event did have its logistics problems, nothing was too detrimental to detract from the delicious food. The main logistics concern was the line congestion, which our good friend of The Delicious Life had a simple solution for. She suggested that instead of there being two food lines back to back, there should be a food line and a wine line back to back. The food lines were far more congested than the wine lines and this solution would allow for more passing room in between aisles. She’s a smart cookie.
I thought hell, I ate good food, connected with some old friends, and drank all the wine I could drink. Not a bad time for a modest UG like myself.