LA Weekly's "Gold Standard" Food & Wine Event

Today marked LA Weekly's 2nd annual "Gold Standard," a food and wine event of "epic"urean proportions held at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, the eponymous event featured samples from 30 of Los Angeles' best and brightest culinary institutions. Not to mention wines poured from over 30 of the Wine House's featured vintners.

No one described the event better than Gold Standard's official program: "This is your chance to embark on a flavorful journey through Los Angeles' best and most eclectic dishes, as well as experience new wines and meet the chefs that make [Los Angeles] a world-renowned food city." True to form, Gold Standard was a star-studded celebrity chef event. Every turn provided glimpses of culinary royalty from Ludo Lefebvre (LudoBites), Nancy Silverton (Osteria & Pizzeria Mozza, Mozza2Go), Suzanne Tracht (Jar), Susan Feniger (Street, Border Grill, Ciudad) and Brandon Boudet (Dominick's, Little Dom's), just to name a few. And just what were they cooking? All things braised – think pulled pork, pot roast and short ribs – tacos and sweat-inducing heat (Jitlada, anyone?) were prevalent themes.

The impressive range of restaurants – reflective of Los Angeles' culinary melting pot – included Babita, Beacon, Little Dom's, Loteria Grill, Nickel Diner, Palate, Bistro LQ, Good Girl Dinette, Kogi BBQ, Mo-Chica, Upstairs 2, Meals by Genet, Kyochon, Mozza, Angeli, Jitlada, LudoBites, Wurstkuche, LA Mill, Hungry Cat, Let's Be Frank, Saffron Spot, Sona, Lou, Huckleberry Cafe, Alcazar Express, Pollo ala Brasa, Tiara, Jar, Border Grill, Ciudad, Bulgarini, Natraliart and La Casita.

A Mini View Inside the Gold Standard Tent

One of Four Wine Sampling Tables

Outdoor Booths

Despite only being in its second year, Gold Standard impressed legions of repeat customers with a bigger venue and a seemingly unending supply of wine glasses, silverware and napkins. While food samples allegedly ran out early at the 2009 event, 2010's tastings were ample more than three hours into the event. And while Petersen's rooftop tent was jam-packed with foodies from all walks of life (people-watching was almost as satisfying as the food), there were few times where it became overwhelming or claustrophobic. Overall, it was a delightfully delicious day and we look forward to going again next year.

Here are a few (or not-so-few) of our favorite dishes:

Jar: Pot Roast & Horseradish Slider

Jar: Chocolate Mousse & Butterscotch Pudding

Jitlada: Grilled Pork & Curried Beef – HOT!

Babita: Braised Pork Tacos

Kogi: Vegetarian Taco

Let's Be Frank: Beef Dog w/ Grilled Onions & Pickles

Border Grill: Avocado & Grilled Corn Taco

Border Grill: Lime Refresher

Huckleberry: Gingerbread Cookie

Hungry Cat: Smoked Salmon Crostini

Loteria Grill: Beef Tongue Taco

LudoBites: Cold Chorizo Veloute w/ Cornichon Sorbet

Little Dom's: Fried Oyster Bite

Little Dom's: Citrus Sorbet w/ Raspberries

Good Girl Dinette: Curried Chicken Pot Pie

Mozza: Ricotta Crostone w/ Peperonata

Palate: Banh Mi w/ Pork Belly & Pig's Ear

Wurstkuche: Chicken & Turkey Mango Jalapeno Sausage
Wurstkuche: Rattlesnake & Rabbit Sausage w/ Jalapeno & Sweet Peppers

Nickel Diner: Maple Bacon Donut Bite

Nickel Diner: Nutella Donut Bite

Nickel Diner: Strawberry Shortcake Donut Bite

Tiara: Chocolate Cupcake

New Belgium: Ranger IPA

Pom: Pomegranate & Lime Cocktail

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