LA Times ‘The Taste’ Returns — Swankier Than Ever

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Hey, remember that opening scene from Saving Private Ryan? Of course you do. Don’t act like you don’t. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you remember the scene. It’s that iconic sequence of death and artillery as Spielberg re-creates the D-Day Landing in Normandy. Bombs go off, body parts go flying, and we’re more or less stuck in an assault on the senses that’s so gripping and real that we can’t help but just go somewhere quiet and pass out.

Well, imagine swapping out the soldiers with croissants and the bombs with French toast, and then you might be able to understand what it was like to attend the LA Times ‘The Taste’ preview event earlier this evening. If you’re still confused about what the heck I’m talking about, let me explain: this Labor Day weekend, The Los Angeles Times is once again hosting a food celebration of Southern California cuisine titled “The Taste,” and in an effort to stoke the fires of curiosity, the newspaper invited various food writers and similarly lauded members of society to sample some of the goods that will be on display. One might call this a taste of the Taste (you can steal that for next year, Los Angeles Times).

Anyway, a major event at this food festival will be a Sunday Brunch co-hosted by Thomas Keller (yes, THE Thomas Keller), and so what better way to tease The Taste than by bandying about some of the brunch items we might encounter during said event?

Pictures of the [super delicious] carb-fest after the jump…

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So much for healthy eating. My low carb diet immediately dropped to the ground Million Dollar Baby style as I encountered these delectable bacon cinnamon buns, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times’ very own Noelle Carter.

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This was one solid cinnamon bun. And the closer I got to the gooey middle, the better it tasted. It was sort of like the pastry version of that 2003 cinematic masterpiece The Core: “The only way out is in.” And yes, I will be referencing as many Hilary Swank movies as necessary to illustrate my points.

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Beautiful pastries from Bouchon Bakery. Those almond brioche squares (I think that’s what they were) were amazing. And the croissants — I mean… enough already. This spread definitely had me saying P.S. I LOVE YOU.

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Here comes Brentwood’s Farmshop to throw down its croissant game too. Boys Don’t Cry, but I may have shed a tear.

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The nimble hands of Jimmy Shaw, the master behind one of my favorite restaurants in LA, Lotería Grill. He’s making a fusion French toast with a classic Mexican bread (seen in the foreground).

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And here is the French toast in all its closeup glory. Delicious. Perhaps my favorite thing of the night. Is it too late to say PS I Love You again?

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The Lotería Grill also served up some super tasty chilaquiles. So good I’ll wind up with Insomnia thinking about it later tonight in bed.

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I wasn’t expecting this post to go in this direction, but I’m along for the ride.

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More pastries from Farmshop. Talk about a REAPING.

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Stoli was on hand to provide Bloody Marys, including this punchy jalapeño version. Too many of these, and I would’ve wound up face down in a gutter like The Black Dahlia… although, I don’t think that’s how she died. You get what I’m saying.

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Chicken and waffles from the Muddy Leek! Man, so many wonderful things — it practically feels like New Year’s Eve!

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So it’s true: carbs DO exist in Beverly Hills, 90210. [although, techincally, we were downtown].

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Me sneaking out with a few pastries and a whole lot of CONVICTION.

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Listen, we artists need to eat. Food fuels our words. Just ask all those FREEDOM WRITERS.

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And finally, some good rules to live by — whether you’re a seasoned pro or just THE NEXT KARATE KID.

Aaaaand goodnight.

Find out more information about The Taste — including tickets, events, and locations — here.