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Best Ethnic Bites at “Field to Fork” at LA Times TASTE 2017

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Ethnic delightful bites  that surprised us the most at the LA TIMES Field to Fork (Sat., Sept. 2, 2017 noon to 3 p.m.) ranged from a delicate French starter to a surprising Jasmine ice cream dessert from McConnell’s Ice Cream in Santa Barbara.  What an overview of the current Southern California culinary world and opportunity to sample the restaurants’ finest, along with becoming acquainted with friendly, helpful chefs and owners.

Amy Scattergood from the LA TIMES and Sang Yoon, Korean Chef/Owner of Father’s Office and Lukshon hosted the event.

The Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills offered the most delicate appetizer reflecting the Southern French background of new Executive Chef, Wildred Hocquet.

Chef Hocquet’s offering of Hamachi Tartar with Mint dotted Sesame Seeds, a spot of Avocado on a couli of Tangerine Reduction was sublime.  It was especially appealing on  hot summer day.

Georgie at the Montage Hotel, 225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA  90210, https://www.montagehotels.com/beverlyhills/dining

Restauration Restaurant, Long Beach served the most unusual bite: Salted doughnut with Oxtail Jam & Black Garlic Salsify.  Owners Robertsons Dana and Rob Robertson succeeded in creating Restauration to be a modernized tribute to the American bistro, and lately brought in Long Beach native and LA vet, Chef Phil Pretty.

Restauration, 2708 E 4th St., Long Beach; (562) 439-8822; restaurationlb.com

Best Italian meatball, the “new burger” was served up by RAOS in east Hollywood, where their Meatballs ($17 on the menu) are made with Ground Beef, Pork, Veal and  Seasoned Breadcrumbs.  The recipe could go all the way to the opening of the New York restaurant in 1896.

RAO’S, 1006 Seward St, Los Angeles, CA 90038, (323) 962-7267,



McConnell’s Ice Cream has been making ice cream in Santa Barbara since 1949.  They offered scoops of their new global line flavors,  Hibiscus lime and Mexican Chocolate.  The surprisingly creamy, bold hibiscus (flower) with tart lime proved a taste wake-up.



No dessert from Chef Brian Melendez, famous for his “Mascarpone Cheesecakes by Chef Turok) and cheesecake  and here with one of his fans and friend, celebrity chef Gilberto Cetina, Jr. of Chicken Itza and now Holbox seafood stand.  What a great, new  look for both of you!

Holbox, 3655 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles.  http://(www.holboxla.com),

Mayura Indian Restaurant keeps with the latest American trends by offering a Gluten Free options.  See LocalFoodEater article: http://localfoodeater.com/mayura-indian-restaurant-on-la-top-100-list/

Mayura, 10406 Venice Blvd., Culver City, 310-559-9644, (http://www.mayurala.com/)


Michael’s Restaurant Chef Miles Thompson shared his own tips at a demo in the shaded BACKLOT CULINARY STAGE.

Crowd-pleaser Chef Miles Thompson carefully explained the Japanese ingredients he loves to create layers of East-West flavoring his current signature dish, potatoes a la plancha parmigiano-reggiano, bonito flakes, furikake aioli ($10)

Young Miles won me over by loving his cast iron skillet and preferring Indian ghee to clarified butter.

Michael’s Restaurant, 1147 3rd St, Santa Monica 90403 h. 310.451.0843  (  http://www.michaelssantamonica.com)

Ethnic and regional food samplings also offered included: Aqui es Texcoco, Banh Oui, Cento Pasta Bar, Coni’Seafood, Cruciferous, M Café, Maury’s Bagels, Robert’s Catering Service and VCHOS Pupuseria Moderna.




Lance Thomas of the BLACK CAT – famous and single!

Everyone was ready for fun -even in the heat!



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Gerry Furth-Sides

Gerry Furth-Sides

Content Editor/Columnist

Photo-journalist Gerry Furth-Sides has been covering the ethnic and American culinary scene in California since it first came into prominence 25 years ago.