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Top 5 Bites from Taste of the Nation
We came, we ate, we donated to a worthy cause…we ate some more
The only thing simmering away more than Joe Miller’s massive paella at this year’s Taste of the Nation charity food event was us—the asphalt was awfully toasty by 2 p.m. The region’s buzziest restaurants pulled out all the stops (and plenty of fried chicken) for the charity tasting extravaganza. (Proceeds are donated to the non-profit Share Our Strength, which aims to end childhood hunger in America).
Truly, this shindig was a good’un. All the bites were a notch above the norm (good show everyone!). But among the treats from spots like Waterloo & City, Culina, Night + Market, Umami Burger, and Fig were a handful that had us contemplating seconds—before we got distracted by all that wine and hooch. Here are Los Angeles magazine’s Taste Of the Nation Top 5.
Ink. Sack debuted a sandwich at the event: the avocado melt. Served on Black Cat Bakery bread, it's reason enough to line up along Melrose yet again.
Lo! Behond the Plan Check fried chicken dish. This easily won out among the event's numerous fried poultry plates, but it may also be our favorite bite overall. In fact, definitely. Smoky, boneless, and served with yam preserve and pickled okra.
FarmShop's pastrami monte cristo came with a tangy mustard slaw. We're not sure we could eat a whole one, but in bite-form the sammy was practically perfect.
Lazy Ox Caneen's Perfecto Rocher was on hand charming the pants off guests (i.e. us) and dishing out his squid ink fideua. Like a long grain paella, this jet black bowl needed no other accompaniment. The ink provided all the fishy depth needed.
This last one is less of an edible and more of a drinkable—but these liquid nitrogen-frozen pina coladas required the use of a spoon, and thereby we're giving it a winning spot on our list. Pour Vous bartender and Los Angeles magazine columnist Lindsay Nader mixed these up with the help of Marcel Vigneron and Chaya's Harutaka Kishi. One bite had us longing for a chaise and some sand between the toes, and delivered a swift boozy kick. For a minute there we could have sworn the asphalt was the beach. Till next year!