Malibu—> Opera—> Yelp Party

And Malibu traps me yet again! As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted with a shriek by a girl whom I had never met before. Apparently, it was the K from FinerthingsLA and she yelled, “You’re going to think I am such a nerd, but you’re Josie from Uncouth Gourmands! I recognize your hair!” In total disbelief that my hair was more popular than I was, I replied with a ‘yes’ and we poured ourselves a drink. We talked about blogs, boys, and friends. K is co-author to Finer Things LA, which she and her bestie have been operating for about three months now. Their motto is: A Classy Guide on Getting Drunk and Fat in Los Angeles. I dig this girl’s uncouth ways, and surely, we’re bound to collaborate soon.

The night wore on and we got, what else? Hungry. Next to the Minty, our newest and freshest UG face has been Ms. Veronica in LA. The girl knows far more about what’s hip in LA than I do, and she’s been my tour guide for the past few weeks. As you can see, I showed her my appreciation up above. Anyone that knows me, can vouche that I’m a total carnivore. In fact, I kind of hate vegetarians. I’ve been debating doing a 30-day expose into the life of a vegetarian and documenting it on the blog. However, I’m not sure if I have the discipline for that. Below you can see my last meal – A medium rare piece of pork loin of tenderness – Oops! I mean tenderloin. I think the vegetarian expose will have to wait… I’m not promising anything, either.

See above: It is perhaps the most uncouth moment of the night. Liking her fingers wet after a rare piece of meat, Miss. Veronica is now an official UG.

Speaking of UG staples, Miss Minty, invited me to the opera on Sunday and being the dilettante that I am, I jumped all over the invite on Facebook. I rushed from Malibu to downtown and headed over to see the matinee showing. It was a weird show, but we liked it anyway. From there, we headed to Eagle Rock.

Minty has over 2,000 quality reviews on Yelp, so she had a special invite to the Yelp Elite party in Eagle Rock (and a plus one). Since the show ran late, we missed the first party and met up with everyone at the Black Boar in Eagle Rock. Before we could hit up drinks, we had to tend to more important orders and since food always goes before liquor for this UG, we headed the Vietnamese place on Colorado, Lemongrass. Minty was on camera duty there, so I’ll write about that one soon.

We met up with the rest of the Yelp bunch and partied like rock stars for the rest of the night. We met up with Javier from WeirdTV and I talked him up about beer, OK Cupid, and his new favorite restaurant, Mac and Cheeza in downtown on 8th. M & C comes from the guys that brought you Larkin’s. Apparently, they mix in whatever ingredients to want into your mac and cheese. Anywhere from tomatoes to wild mushrooms. I must check this place out soon. Anyone want to join me?

I got to finally meet Carina’s gay boyfriend, Paul, and I think she may have some competition. Move over, Carina! Josie’s the new gay girlfriend in town. We stayed for a long time, actually and I got to know some of the fabulous people that make up the Yelp Elite mix. I joked at the party that I married into Yelp and when asked who my husband was — I pointed to Minty. See you at the next Yelp party… Or maybe CitySearch…


Yelp Party at J Lounge: Yelp vs. Citysearch continues…

As you’ve read, our lovely Miss. Minty is far cooler than the UG girls, so when she asked me to be her “plus one” for the party at J Lounge in downtown, I willingly agreed. I met her there a bit shy of 7P and the line was surprisingly not worrisome. It was a cold night and I don’t know why but I decided to wear my most scandalous looking ensemble. Our friend, Arun, always takes one look at me and says “JoMo, where’s the rest of your outfit?!” He’s certainly right most of the time and I really should start gauging the efficacy of my outfits in relation to the weather.

I was far ahead of Minty in line but Minty, despite being a Yelp Elite, exerted much willpower and didn’t cut in line with me. You really got to admire that girl. At exactly 7P, the doors opened and the line moved rather briskly. In no time at all, I was inside and headed upstairs with some of Minty’s peers and grabbed a specialty cocktail. I scoped up the place and saw a rather disproportionate amount of sweet to savory vendors. There were five sweet vendors inside and a few others outside. Not a usual sweet aficionado, I admit that the adorable little suckers below by Dollhouse Bake Shoppe were adorable. They were not for sample, but I don’t even think I could even bring myself to eat such beautiful and petite goodies.

I was told there would be over 1K people there, but I must admit that I was a little shocked at the low turnout. But hey, I thought the night was still young  and we continued outside and waited for more patrons to arrive. To our surprise there was a runway show with women dressed as flight attendants passing out food on a catwalk. I was confused. I later found out that they were from Kitchen 12000. The company is in Glendale and I heard about it over a year ago and have been meaning to try it. It seems like an interesting group of founders and, well, I am glad I got to see the live show in action. The experience was memorable but I think it fell short of the point. As we looked around, people were just confused. Why were girls on catwalks and stages?!! And most importantly, why were they showing you how to put on a life vest and safety belts?! It seemed out of place and a gratuitous display of scantily clad women. It just seemed strange and unfitting for the occasion. And trust me, I come from a design background where form usually overrides function, but I (and everyone else) could not see the sense in it – especially, with this devoted crowd where food always takes precedent over anything. However, I have seen their food pics online and I am eager to try it (minus the flight attendants).

After 26 years, I have recently picked up coffee as a preferred beverage and perhaps the funniest moment came from the stoner-looking guy on the patio who was pushing his coffee and coffee flavored desserts. He was handing out medical bottles with coffee beans in it and a sticker that said “legalize it”. I don’t know if he was an actor but he was acting stoned and said to me, “take this coffee, man, it’s dangerous. It’ll keep you up all night.” I laughed and took a bottle and some deserts. On one hand, Kitchen 12000 failed in connecting it’s experience to its product, Coffee Nugs created a memorable touch-point that was novel and funny. I can appreciate that.

VeronicaInLA and I have become buddies over the past few weeks and she joined us for the ending festivities. We spent a bit more time at the Yelp party and headed to the new Big Wangs in downtown to meet up with a few new friends. I will report back soon.

I have to say, Yelp’s most charming facet is its members, and in LA, its members are fabulous. And hell, any company that can bring all those cool ass people together and throw a party to celebrate, is f-in ok in my book. However, I will say this – I have yet to attend a CitySearch party and from what Carina says, there’s a new player in town and she’s slowly usurping the hearts of many of Yelp’s Elite and early adopters. I’d watch my back, Yelp. Just sayin’…

Yelp Elite vs. CitySearch Dictators

On Wednesday, after over a pound of shrimp at Boiling Crab, the Minty took me as her +1 to the Yelp Elite party at Taix. My feelings towards Yelp have been mixed. Prior to having a blog, I loved Yelp, as soon as I took a bite into something delicious I phrased sentences in my head for a review. It was always this tight world of Elites, cliques, and the message board regulars.  After we started Uncouth Gourmands, we became fascinated with  the Yelp demographic; it was a group  I wanted to infiltrate and better understand. I finally got my Yelp Elite badge sometime in 2009. I went to the parties and from what I understand this was when Yelp LA was at its height. The sponsors were better, the parties were classy, and Yelp LA was now the largest Yelp market. I loved Dawson (SauceLA), the new friends I was making, and it was a great mix of people. After Dawson and Yelp LA parted ways my enthusiasm dwindled. My reviews have halted and, well, I do not have an Elite 2010 badge. I want to write more reviews and reach my old stature but with all of the UG stuff I’ve been writing it has been difficult. The party at Taix was French themed, I didn’t have a beret but I was glad that my sweater matched Minty’s beret. I ran into some of my favorite bloggers/yelpers Weird TV, Jenny B, Sino Soul, and more.

I was full from my dinner at my favorite restaurant so I just stuck to some red wine and a bit of baked brie. It was a fun night but Yelp is definitely as cliquey as ever. I have dated a few Yelpers in my day and one of these gentleman has also dated a few Yelpers. It is is so high school but I was glared at all night and the guy that I am still friendly with got text messages while he was talking to me that said, “Yay, I love being ignored.” Sometimes I miss high school, so its okay. With or without my Elite Badge it is still a tight group that is hard to infiltrate.

The following day was the first ever CitySearch LA Dictator party. Minty was the one that told me about this program and there is something I really liked about it. You get weekly assignments to write either lists or reviews and you can win prizes like restaurant gift cards or even hotel stays. On Thursday,  I dropped off my new CFO near USC and then raced into West Hollywood before the party started at the Surly Goat. I called my WeHo guy to see if he wanted to be my date. He agreed, but he is not exactly a party animal. He had to be back at 8P to do inventory and other work. He also could barely finish a pint of beer, but I am not complaining. He did, however, make a funny joke about dictators that involved putting a body part that I don’t have in to a bowl of  taters (potatoes). I walked in only knowing one of the Citysearch LA editors, Charlie, and the Minty.

I ended up seeing Diana Takes A Bite, meeting Food For Fel (If you ever wondered what her blog name meant, her name is Felicia and she goes by Fel), and another one of my favorite yelpers Gastronomnom. I got a stamp, drinks were on CitySearch, and a good time was had by all. The Surly Goat was a very mellow beer bar and not what I would ever expect in the center of WeHo. They carried our local favorite neighborhood brew from the Eagle Rock Brewery guys and I had a very banana scented Hef. I will have to take my beer loving other half, Josie, there at a later time to get the full report but I was impressed. Too bad my date was such a bad drinker. The night was mellow and it was kind of like seeing Yelpers in exile. We met all of the awesome editors including one woman who went to school in New Orleans and we talked about how it is so cheap to drink in that city and I reminisced on my trip there at this time last year. It was a nice night and towards the end of the evening two ladies that brought everyone the LA Street Food Fest, Sauce LA and Unique LA, made a cameo. I had to take my date on the tight schedule home but I came back to keep the night going and The Minty and I went for sushi afterward. I heard some Yelpers say that they are still searching for their CitySearch voice, and I completely understand. I am most comfortable writing here on UG, but I am trying to branch out to keep me current and I like going to parties. I will work on writing more Yelp reviews and today I wrote my first citysearch list entitled, Hotels with the Biggest Personality in LA. In other words, I don’t want to choose, I want it all! In a city as big and spread out as LA I love any group or association where I can see old friends, make new ones, and hear about great new places in LA to eat and drink.

Los Angeles: An Explosion in Foodie Subculture

This post seems very apropos given that the Gold Standard event is on February 28th. The event celebrates, remember this is according to Jonathan Gold, the best of what LA has to offer in terms of food. Which actually got me thinking about low-end food. I was actually inspired to write about this after I read Mattatouille’s article, “The Greatest Food City in the World” and also the one by Mr. Rotund himself, thejGold, so aptly titled, “The Hungry Metropolis.” I know there’s been a bit of backlash about LA being a food wonderland, and it may very well be a myopic point of view, but really?! It’s an editorial piece. And maybe, just maybe, we feel the need to represent for once. Especially considering that we get so much sh!@ from other critics about being sub par. In other words, perhaps we need to publicly address this so that the rumors that “LA has nothing to offer in terms of food” no longer linger. My purpose for writing this post  are two:

1. To give you a defense for why I (remember I) think that the LA’s food scene is superior:

a. Interesting trends that are almost exclusive to the LA food scene. Most notably, food and its compatibility to mobilization and technology.

b. A powerful subculture of bloggers and Yelpers  that so willingly embrace the foodie niche. (And so do their readers.)

2. Stating that LA is, in fact, a food mecca is just that, an opinion. It’s emotional. Deal with it.

We have an amazing foodie subculture that has exploded in recent years. More specifically, food trucks. Other cities only pale in comparison. The LA Street Food Fest is proof of that. And rather unfortunately, we get no street cred for this. And while NY and SF are indeed the kings of the high-end, LA is king of the low-brow. For LA, much of its culinary color is unburdened by high-brow snobbery, much of which other cities so willingly embrace. So maybe we’re a little low-end, but there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

Just to give you an example of how quickly this happened, I remember five years ago when I was in college the only mobile trucks were taco trucks. I was in Highland Park at the time and the only people that dared to eat from such eateries were Latinos. Ok, there were also those half-drunk bar-goers at 2:30 in the morning. (Don’t worry, they didn’t remember eating from the taco trucks the night before anyway so I guess it didn’t count.) As time passed and the rise of Twitter came about, these eateries started to become more and more popular. Suddenly, gourmet taco trucks were appearing everywhere and thousands of followers were now actively seeking these eateries on wheels. I suppose it made sense. Along with the food trucks came the poor man’s food critic, the blogger – and many at that.

Rewind and think about it. SF-based Yelp and its tech-saavy demographic is on the rise and suddenly there’s this group, The Millennials, who have more disposable income than their family-raising elders, love to dine out, and who like to be “in the know.” So much so, that people are vying over Yelp Elite statuses and every foodie wants to know what’s good before the “big time” critics ruin it with a review. The internet empowered these people to write a review and suddenly this group, the “low-end” critics, had a voice. Plus, did you know that the Yelp LA is now the biggest group of Yelpers? We blame/thank Sauce LA for this astonishing feat during her time at Yelp.

Twitter is a popular ad tool for bloggers; it helps them whore out the word about new content. It’s succinct and usually useful. With hundreds of blogs and wannabe writers (UGs included), bloggers inform their audiences about what’s good in their neck of the woods. With none of the pretentiousness that comes along with stuffy food reviews, food bloggers report on the food and their stories at these particular eateries. “It was at THIS particular place at THIS particular time that I had THIS particular experience.” Nothing more and nothing less. All of a sudden LA was equipped with food trucks popping up everywhere, bloggers eager and ready to support them, and a viewing public that is, unlike traditional media, BOTH actively and passively (in the form of news feeds) listening.

Marry bloggers, Twitter, and a relentless passion for food and you have the LA foodie subculture. That’s a powerful phenomenon. If you ask me, that’s pretty fu@!ing cool. Can you call that a competitive edge over NY and SF? I’d say so.

Which brings me to my last point, I’m biased. Maybe I’m just cheerleading because, for me, my love for Los Angeles is inelastic. And obviously, those subtle emotions influence my opinion in the matter. My point is, it’s obvious Angelenos are going to have a predilection towards food in their city. And obviously, our opinions will carry a disproportionate weight. The fact is that we prefer LA’s culinary landscape is merely our opinion – which is deeply rooted in our emotions – and which play a powerful role in evaluating our world, especially when we’ve got experience in that domain.

Conversely, perhaps our need to defend Los Angeles as a great foodie city is a guise which allows us to cope with the unspeakable culinary misery we have…;)  What do you think? Can there even be an even-handed approach to this question?

In the meantime, I’ll see you at the Gold Standard event.

Woodlands Cafe: An Unusual Location for Great Thai

A few weeks ago I was alone in the office and had a hankering for some curry. I was interested in the Thai variety but I feared that there was nothing good in the Montrose area. I did a quick Yelp search and the first place that came up was called Woodlands Cafe. It had 5 stars- a rarity in the Yelp world. My first thought, “well these are white foothill people what do they know about Thai food”? Have no fear, the hypocrisy is not lost on me. Although, I constantly say I am Asian in my heart; sadly, I am not in my blood. I did, however, live in Los Feliz/Thai Town for 2 years and consider myself somewhat of an expert from years eating at Ord, Ruen Pair, and Yai. I was interested in trying this perfectly starred restaurant near my office. I called in an order of panang curry and some tom ka kai. The lady on the phone was very sweet but she misheard my name and called me Serena. I liked the name, so I didn’t mind at all.  I drove by and missed the place at first. I then went up an alley to retrace my steps and in the alley I found a very colorful adorable preschool. As I turned the corner I saw the very colorful, also preschool-looking Thai restaurant. I walked in and the sweetest woman behind the counter asked, “Serena?” I happily nodded and when I went to pay by credit card, she looked down and was embarrassed that my name was actually “Carina.” I shrugged it off and told her it was fine. I left this tiny establishment and brought it back to the office to eat.

I poured the curry over the rice and it was perfect. Not spicy but surely I could have asked for it to be. What impressed me the most was the tom ka kai soup and the mushrooms in it. I hate straw mushrooms. I mean I love all mushrooms- they are zero calories of deliciousness, but straw mushrooms are always canned and, well, canned mushrooms are disgusting. It is my only grudge against Casa Bianca. I like my shrooms all-natural. However, these straw mushrooms had a perfect bite. I was so impressed by meal that I returned to dine in with our new intern, Maria.  Here at UG Global Headquarters, lunch is always top priority. We sat at one of the few booths in the joint and were served by the same lovely lady. The menu was interesting, all pictures with a big photo of a dish per page. Maria got the pad thai extra spicy (I like the girl’s style). I ordered the ginger and chicken and asked her to add in bamboo shoots; I am basically a panda bear in love with all rooty things.  The sweet woman smiled and told me she loves the shoots.  I asked her why her straw mushrooms were so darn good and she explained she spends a lot more and gets them shipped in a bag from Thailand. Great business decision, totally worth the extra money. I really love this place and find it to be some delicious neighborhood Thai.

Woodlands Cafe
Category: Thai
Neighborhood: Glendale
2527 Canada Boulevard.
Glendale, CA 91208

Pho in Pasadena? Adventures on North Lake

I hate when I start sentences like this but here we go: Not to be a snob but….I hate to eat pho outside of San Gabriel and I rarely go north of the 210 on Lake. Sure my new favorite hot dog place is up there, there’s good Salvadoran food, Bulgarini gelato, and those cupcakes that I try weekly to try (even though Polkadots is ALWAYS closed) but it is not an area I explore very often. On Super Bowl Sunday we had a strange run-in with the people at Coffee Gallery. We were giggle corner and had the weirdest day of eavesdropping. First, the counter girl with no provoking said she hated people on Yelp. Not smart when you have two yelpers in front of you. One of these ladies has almost 2,000 Yelp reviews and you better believe she is going to write about this. This afternoon spent in a coffee shop was hilarious. Zombie bunnies, eyepatches, and a secret reservation line for the coffee shop were amongst the topics discussed. I even did a bit of celeb sighting. I had just returned from the bathroom and noticed a pretty woman walked in and I was “star stuck” trying to place her. I then realized that I just saw her picture in the hallway and that she was doing a concert at the cafe in a few weeks and tickets were $15. Everyone seemed to know one another and people were taking naps on the couches. It was this bizarre world that I felt that I accidentally entered. We were so out of place we began to attribute new names to the people we were in contact with,  I called them “Mountain Folks” and Josie called them “Renaissance Fair Goers.”

After all, this area is where our friends the Climbing Couple live and all they does is hike and do crazy things like exercise…daily. I kid, but the difference between North Lake and South Lake are vast. I live on the South Side so I normally stick to that side. Yesterday, on my way home, I decided to drive up Lake because I had to get a new cord for my Tivo/TV connection. I drove past a coffee shop that I have seen numerous times but this time I noticed a banner that said that they are now serving pho in addition to their regular menu. Now this regular menu is sausage, eggs, and pancakes so Vietnamese soup didn’t necessarily complement it, but I was fascinated. I looked for The Reyn on my Yelp App and saw that filet mignon pho was quite popular. I called in an order to go while I was S-Video cord shopping. When I went to pick up my soup I was amazed by the aqua blue diner interior and that you could buy lotto on the right hand side of the restaurant. My pho was double what I pay at Golden Deli, around $9, but any dinner under $10 is good for me. The owner was charming and when I asked if I could take a photo he said exactly what the infamous sticker says, “People on Yelp love us.”

I have tried several different pho places in Pasadena and they were all less than mediocre and yet I had slightly higher hopes for this place. I went home and rather then first eating I decided to go to an area that scares many, the back of the entertainment center. I am the kind of girl that never needs a man to program my Blu-Ray player. It took me probably 20 minutes and then I decided to break into my pho. I have ordered pho to-go at numerous places and I know the drill. The large container of broth/meat, the box of noodles, the bag of just cilantro and onion, and a bag of produce additions, and then little containers of sriracha and hoisin sauce. I started to add the noodles in and then I saw that there was a bag that I had never seen before, a plastic bag with raw filet mignon. Normally, I wouldn’t have minded except I was worried my broth may no longer be hot enough to cook the meat. I instantly dropped it in and when it wasn’t changing colors I rushed it to a pot and put it over heat.

I was laughing the whole time and it was one of those UG moments that should’ve be on camera. It was funny because I was reading a review on Yelp where the girl didn’t like that her filet mignon was served already cooked. If I was in the restaurant that also would have bothered me. However, I was not, I was at home and had a bag of raw meat to deal with. I think Reyn needs to change their meat serving protocol: raw meat in the restaurant and cooked meat for take-out. I poured my soup into a new bowl, dressed it up, and finally got my first good pho from Pasadena. Is it better than Golden Deli? No, but I will definitely go back and eat a bowl there. I love Vietnamese food and if I had to spend the rest of my life slurpin pho and eating bahn mi, I would die a happy woman. Thank you North Lake Avenue for giving me funny situations and adding a new element to my Pasadena (or Passédena) life!

Coffee Gallery
Neighborhood: Pasadena
2029 Lake Ave
Altadena, CA 91001
(626) 398-7917
The Reyn
Neighborhood: Pasadena
635 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5768

LA Street Food Fest: Was it Too Good of an Idea?

I have just returned from the LA Street Food Fest. Josie needed a nap and I need to reflect.  First, let me say who could have planned for that weather? It was beautiful and perfect. Hard to believe that 70% of the USA right now is covered in snow and I may have gotten a sunburn. Josie and I arrived there only 10 minutes after the event started. We were volunteers so we got easy underground parking, checked in, and got our working aprons in preparation for our 2-5 shift. Of course, we put them on immediately so we could look official and have a bib for all of the eating we were planning on doing. Minty was to be leading a crawl once inside but we arrived before her and began our eating process. At this point, all of the lines were beginning to grow and it was only 11:30. We are both sandwich lovers but if you have begun to know our taste buds than you know Josie loves fried eggs and I loved pickled things. That means Josie started with a croque at Monsieur Egg and I had a mini bahn mi from the Phamish truck.

Both sandwiches were  exactly our flavor profiles and it was a good opener that required no real waiting. It was around this time we realized some very important things. First, we were listed as the top prize on the Raffle List. Never has a date with the UGs been such a commodity.

Secondly, we realized that neither one of us was prepared. We both had cell phones that were on the verge of dying. Not smart when we were on the lookout for friends and our crawl leader. We found our group in line for the India Jones truck and they all still had some Don Chow in hand. We sampled both and would have tried more but we were on the lookout for something refreshing. You should know us well enough to know that refreshing for Josie means an ice cold beer and for me (Carina) means something fruity and/or bubbly and cold. Jose grabbed a beer and I got the most delicious popsicle from Popshop.

Now it was 12:30, that the sun was beating and the lines were growing. We were planning on hitting up Flying Pigs with the crawl group but the line was too intimidating. Instead we waited for 20 minutes for Fish Lips Sushi. I have heard great things about this truck but this was my first time trying it. While in line, Minty used her feminine ways to get some red velvet pancakes from the Buttermilk Truck that had a 40 minute wait. They were light fluffy and tasted just like you would imagine with sweet cream cheese on top.

Josie did a beer run for the crawlers but requested I order her one of her favorite foods, karagee, Japanese fried chicken. I got something I never eat a crunchy roll. My new line is, “I am SO over eating cooked fish”. However, this was a bargain philosphy. They had the temari sashimi plater for $5, which looked amazing. It was rolled into a ball and perfectly bite sized. I was going to order that until I realized that the crunchy roll was the same price, $3, as the California roll. Hold the phone, you’re telling me I can add in shrimp tempura in the roll for free. Of course, I had to order this. It was pretty good and the tempura was still crunchy. We got princess seating on the (fish)tail end of the truck.

Josie was not that into her fried chicken. I get it, this is a sushi truck and apparently that isn’t even normally on their menu. Josie is allergic to most seafood, so this is what she was stuck with. However, even before arriving we knew that there was one person’s fried chicken that everyone was dying to try and that was Chef Ludo‘s. The time now was about 1:20pm and we were already getting word that people were waiting 45 minutes to order from the truck and then another 30 to grab their fried chicken. We didn’t have time for this because we were set to volunteer, or else maybe we would have waited. Thankfully, while we were working our awesome friend Kane was sweet enough to bring us over some to try. I don’ know how Ludo makes it so moist (not trying to be vulgar) but it was such delicious chicken. Would we have waited an hour? Probably not, but it was finger lickin good.

At this point we knew the place was packed. Far upwards of the expected 10,000 people. We ran into a bunch of friends: yelpers, bloggers, interns, and more. We knew we would be working the front door and as we were walking over there we heard that no one else was going to be allowed in. We could see the line and there were thousands of people. The lines inside were getting bad and they had to put a stop to the people coming in, it wasn’t a simple problem. Being that close to the door and organizers, I can tell you that they really tried to ease the situation. Announcements were made, drinks were given out to those people waiting, and they truly tried to be accommodating. Around 3:00pm people were slowly allowed in and at 4:00 the gates were open to anyone that wanted to come in. Josie and I have been to a ton of food events and whenever it is a 1st annual there are always glitches. However, they are reports that 15,000 people showed up; no one could have predicted that. We left our shift early a little beat up from the sun and by this time both of our phones had died. We lost one another in the crowd and it wasn’t easy to get reunited. It took about 40 minutes to find each other and then we left exactly at 5:00pm, the end of the event. There were still trucks serving, people in line, and it was still nice outside. Here is a shot only seconds before we left:

I am sure that a lot of people will have a lot to say about the event in the upcoming tweets, hours, and days but I must say that all in all it was a very fun event, I really liked what DJJEWLZ tweeted:

Lines aside, @lafoodfest was a fun place to eat some food, hang out with other Angelenos, enjoy DTLA and soak in the AWESOME weather.

Also, EatingLA‘s tweet was what made me think of the title for this post:

Oh oh! Backlash against @LAFoodfest building quickly — lotsa pissed-off comments on my blog already. Guess it was TOO good an idea.

Having too good of an idea doesn’t seem like a crime to me. I truly commend SauceLA and UniqueLA for dreaming up this event and making it happen. Josie and I love downtown LA, trying new food, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. This event offered all of that. Whatever people say about LA, there are a ton of real people that love street food and are looking for a gathering place. City of Santa Monica, please take note and consider reopening the Santa Monica Food Truck Lot.