Monday, October 11, 2010

Jonathan Gold Hosts L.A.'s Ultimate Cocktail Party

Take some of L.A.'s best restaurants... add in some of L.A.'s best bars and mixologists... stick it inside the beautiful ticket concourse at Union Station... throw in DJ Garth Trinidad... and make it for a good cause.

The one man who could pull off such an event? L.A.'s Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, of course.

Gold threw his second annual Union Station Speakeasy Cocktail Party, a fundraiser for the literary salon Zocalo Public Square, on Saturday night. And thanks to fellow blogger Sarah at The Delicious Life, we scored tix (normally $185/person). Worth finding family members to babysit the boys? Uh, yes.

And the great part: The party lived up to expectations (other than the humidity inside the Union Station ticket concourse). There were no lengthy lines to try the various restaurant eats and bar concoctions; the food was tops (special shout out to Lazy Ox Canteen) and the drinks strong -- literally. And even the music by Garth "Don't Call It Chocolate City" Trinidad was spot on.

A round up of eats:

Lazy Ox Canteen (Chef Josef Centeno): Yellowtail crudo with avocado, creme fraiche, white soy -- easily our favorite of the night. We could have eaten 20 of these.

Providence (Chef Michael Cimarusti): Japanese kanpachi sashimi

Rustic Canyon (Chef Evan Funke): Black mission figs, roasted chestnuts, burrata, saba and toast

Rivera (Chef John Sedlar): Pre-Columbian and post-Columbian gazpacho

First and Hope (Chef Joseph Panarello): Savory butternut panna cotta with crab salad

Other restaurants: Comme Ca (Gougeres, duck rillettes, chanterelle cream); Jar (pork croissant with mustard sauce); Susan Feniger's Street (Burmese melon salad); and Grace (braised pork, squash flan, smoked sage jus). We managed to try everything but Grace, which ran out before we got to their booth.

The drinks:

Seven Grand: Selection of Chivas Regal 12 Yr Scotch Highballs (Chivas Regal, soda water, artisanal bitters, house-made syrup, fresh squeezed citrus over ice)

Cole's Red Car Bar: Pikesville Classic Manhattan (Pikesville Rye, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Angostura bitters, with luxardo cherry)

Also: Las Perlas (Spiced PaQui Tequila Daisy -- my favorite of the night); Cana Rum Bar (Cruzan Rum Ace of Spades); and The Varnish (The Plymouth Fitzgerald)

The event was also a great way to spend time with some pretty cool folks, including Taster Tots' Jessica Ritz and her husband, Henry; also Los Angeles mag's Mary Melton and bloggers like H.C. from L.A. and O.C. Foodventures and Esther from estarLA.

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