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Posted by on Mar 20, 2016 | 72 comments

Latin Food Fest in Los Angeles

The Latin Food Fest is one of my favorite food events in the Southern California area. After all, I am Puerto Rican.  Therefore, Latin flavors appeal to me in a big way.

For those of you who are not familiar with the event, on Saturday, I was part of the main attraction which is known as the Grande Tasting. Think about this tasting as a four hour long, all-you-can-eat journey through Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain.

In total, there were more than 50 local restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries, markets and food oriented companies offering tapa-sized dishes to hundreds of attendants.

I have attended this event for the past three years in San Diego.  Due to the event’s success, we now have our own party in Los Angeles.  This was my first year attending the event on my background (Grand Park in Downtown LA).

This post is my attempt to describe the flavors, aromas, textures and sounds of the festivals in about six hundred words (and tons of photos).

Grande Tasting

Tinga Tostada topped with cream and cotija cheese. This tinga was made by braising pork belly with ancho and guajillo chiles.

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Veggie Tostada with grilled zuchinni, corn, pasilla peppers, onions and chile the arbol topped with cream and cotija cheese.

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

The tostadas were offered by Mas Malo.

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Guacamole by Rosa Mexicano

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Churro bites by Camacho Brothers (catering and private chefs)

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Chicken liver mousse with pickled cucumbers and crostini by Barcito

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Shrimp and chips by West Coast Prime Meats

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Pinto beans meatball by Busch’s Cocina Latina

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Shrimp ceviche by Coni’s Seafood

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Spinach and cheese empanada from World Empanadas

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Ropa vieja (shredded beef) empanada from World Empanadas.  Of course, we put a generous amount of chimichurri over our empanadas.

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Chocolate frappe by Chocolate Ibarra

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Barbacoa tacos from Aqui es Texcoco

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Bread samples from La Brea Bakery.  It was a great surprise to find people from La Brea Bakery on the event since my husband works for the company.

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Torta ahogada by Chago.  A torta ahogada is a pork, chicken or bean sandwiched submerged (drowned or ahogado) in a chile sauce.  The dish is typical from the state of Jalisco and the sauce is very spicy (chile de arbol is used).  Sometimes (like in the festival), a milder tomato based sauce is used to drown the torta.  The other thing that characterizes the torta is the bread.  The one used for tortas ahogadas is called birote (it is salty, thick and crunchy).

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Salted caramel chocolate by E Luca

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Acai bowls by Ubatuba

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

I was happy to try food from Barbados and Trinidad.  I had a soup with yucca or cassava dumplings, doubles (sandwich made with fried flat bread and stuffed with curried chickpeas) and a malasada (Portuguese donut).

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

As always Fogo de Chao captivated the attendees by serving picanha, grilled chicken wrapped in bacon and mashed potatoes.

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Pork and avocado tostada by Briks South Park

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Mole poblano by Las Molenderas

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

We indulged in pork tacos, guacamole, horchata and spinach/pineapple agua from Northgate Market

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Cheese and Revueltas (pork, cheese and beans) pupusas by Saritas Pupuseria

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Mole poblano, aguas frescas and tacos from VIP Catering Company

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

VIP Lounge

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Chefs

Chefs Ricardo Zarate (Picca, Mo Chica, Paiche) and Jorge Rodriguez (Los Balcones)

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Chef Tati Polo

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Sponsors

All these fabulous food was possible because of the sponsors and exhibitors.

Here is a partial list of the sponsors present at the event.

Jarritos
Bush’s Best Cocina Latina
Camaronazo
Chocolate Ibarra
Northgate Market
Verizon
Chobani
Tepachito
Flatout
La Brea Bakery

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Ambience / Music

The event was enlivened by Mestizo LA.

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

Latin Food Fest, Grand Park, Los Angeles, California

¡Viva la comida latina!

Details

  • Find more information about the event: http://latinfoodfest.com/
  • The next event will take place in San Diego on August 12-15, 2016
  •  Subscribe to the event’s mailing list for to keep up to date with upcoming events.

 What are your thoughts on Latin food?

Pin it for later?

The Latin Food Fest is a four-day event, two-day ultimate tasting experience paired with culinary demonstrations, and the private chef’s dinner – so that each guest will have endless opportunities to indulge

____


72 Comments

  1. Totally my kind of event. I hope pretty soon the SF Bay Area gets its own version, just like when we started to have the Eat Real Festival following LA’s lead.
    Photo cache recently posted..Cat Show In San JoseMy Profile

    • I would like to attend an event on the Bay Area. The food scene there is good. Will like to try more of what the area chefs have to offer.

  2. I’m so envious of all those food fests you attend, since we don’t have any in Greece. I found out though that the first Athens burger fest will take place in May and I’m aiming to attend but time will tell as I will be returning from vacations the last day of the event!
    Anna recently posted..Sunday in the City (and my new beige boots)My Profile

    • Wow! A burger festival would be great. I have never attended one. We have a big Greek festival in our area during summer. I attend every year since the food is awesome (home cooked). Where are yo going on vacation?

  3. A wonderful post and I enjoyed all those great photos. Years ago I had a friend from Southern California, who missed authentic Mexican food so much his mother used to send him regular care packages. Thanks for visiting and have a great week!
    DeniseinVA recently posted..THE CHAMELEONMy Profile

    • I have a friend who used to do the same. She went to college in Puerto Rico (but was raised is Southern California). Her friends used to send her all kinds of salsas and seasoning. She eventually came back to California.

  4. Looks like you had a great day of tasting.

    • Yes, it was a delicious day ;0)

  5. Hello, Wow! My favorite kind of festival. I would not leave there hungry! Everthing looks delicious! Have a happy day and week ahead!

    • I was stuffed after two hours. I sat down to watch the chef demonstrations to digest the food a bit ;0)

  6. Oh my, Ruth, I would love to go to this festival one day! We have a “Taste of Denver” festival here every summer, but it is mixed cuisine from restaurants from all over the city of Denver. I’d like to try an all Latin food only festival and try things I’ve never eaten before. It all looked so delicious!

    • Hmm, I imagine there is a big Latin presence in Denver (and Colorado). I am pretty sure there are enough businesses to organize an event. Hope you guys have one soon.

    • Believe me, I feel like drooling when I revisit the photos and remember the flavors.

  7. Everything looks delicious! I’m sure it was fabulous. Now I’m home sick! 😀
    Karen recently posted..A-Z Theme RevealMy Profile

    • I forgot you are originally from the area. You have to be here for one of these events!

  8. OMG, soooooo much yummy looking food! I feel like after the food fest was over, I would’ve had to head straight home and go to take a nap from food coma haha.

    • I walked a bit around the park and then, head straight home. My husband wanted to go somewhere but I felt like going home.

    • Thanks a lot! Glad to see you enjoyed the event recap!

    • You have to check next time you visit since there seems to be a food festivals every weekend. I can’t believe you only had the opportunity to eat fast food. A friend of mine came to LA and the only tacos she had were from Chipotle.

  9. It’s pretty obvious from your blog posts that you are a foodie. And know how to enjoy life! Yum.

    • I like to think I am a foodie but then, when I take a look at the Instagram feed of some foodies, I see that I still have to try a lot of food. I working on becoming a better foodie ;0)

    • That sounds like a good combination! I love Latin flavors too! The thing is that they are quite varied (even though some people may not realize that). That mean that you can spend a like trying different things.

  10. Everything looks yummy. I’ll have to tell my daughter and son-in-law about this. They are real foodies, plus my son-in-law is Latino (part Puerto Rican). I’m sure they would enjoy it.

    • Yes, you have to tell them since the San Diego festival is coming in several months.

    • There was a lot of variety. There was a lot of Mexican food but we also had Peruvian, Brazilian, Salvadoran and from Trinidad (and I am sure I am missing other places).

    • I know! For some reason or another, you are out in the country when the event takes places. it would be fun to meet.

    • That would be great since you would not have to wait so long.

  11. Wow this is certainly a Grande Tasting. It all looks absolutely delicious, and a fabulous way to taste local food.

    • It is the perfect way to discover new restaurants, businesses and brands.

  12. I love festivals and food festivals are the best! Looks delicious – and fun!

    • Have to agree with you Jill. Food festivals are the best.

  13. Wow those pork tacos would be my favourite. Where I live in North Queensland we don’t have an adventurous taco culture so I am always envious when you post photos!
    budget jan recently posted..Southern Sicily UnpluggedMy Profile

    • I know you have told me that before. A taco stand would be a great business where you live.

    • I have learned to be patient since there is plenty of food around. When I started to go to festivals, everything was different. I felt like gulping all the food around.

  14. Ahhhhh I’m salivating now!! This looks like my idea of foodie heaven, especially since I love food from these regions and all the flavors! I love events like this! I attended a food event like that in LA once where trendy restaurants set up booths and offered tiny plates of their food to sample and it was so much fun. I’m drooling over the thought of those barbacoa tacos (I miss tacos sooooo much!!) and empanadas with chimmichurri sauce!
    Anna | slightly astray recently posted..Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant: the best of Beijing culinary historyMy Profile

    • Food festivals in Southern California are great. I would love to attend festivals in other parts of the country and even in other parts of the world. And you are right, it is tons of fun.

  15. That looks like a great time. All of the food looks yummy. I hope that the Bay Area will get something like that soon.
    Patrick Weseman recently posted..Embarcadero Walk IIMy Profile

    • You are the second person who would like to see something like this in the Bay Area. I think it is a phenomenal idea. The Latin food is great there too.

  16. What a great looking event. I’m wiping the drool off of my keyboard. This has made me seriously hungry. I love spicy food, so I’d be happy here. I wouldn’t want the mild 🙂 I need my breakfast now! Thanks for hosting this week. #TPThursday
    Nancie recently posted..Seoul: Van Gogh Without the OilMy Profile

    • I like spicy food too (well, not burning hot but I can handle some heat). Sorry about making you hungry ;0)

  17. Food festivals are my kind of thing, but strangely enough I am never aware about them at home. I live in Los Angeles and I see you writing about all there culinary events and I keep asking myself: ‘how in the world does Ruth know about all these?’ I am always chasing the food fairs when I travel.

    • Anda, I am subscribed to several newsletters. For example, I am subscribed to LA Weekly, TimeOut Los Angeles and Los Angeles Magazine. All of them plan food events. Groupon and Living Social are other great places to find food festivals.

  18. Oh my goodness, Ruth, this looks absolutely amazing! That food! I would have loved to have been there. Thanks for describing it so brilliantly – I almost feel I was there with you. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Thanks Clare! I love summarize these events with tons of photos. It is the best way to describe what happened and the quality of the food.

  19. My goodness, all that food looks so delicious! What a fantastic event! Thanks for taking us through it all…I feel full just looking at all those dishes. Thank you for linking to #citytripping

    • Oh no! You should grab something to eat. Thanks for stopping by.

    • You have to give me more details about the San Diego events. I only know about few of them. I am also looking into attending some events in Baja.

  20. Delicious! I am salivating here. I love all the colours of the foods and drinks. In Australia we need to learn a lot more about Mexican food.
    Kathy Marris recently posted..2 Days in BangkokMy Profile

    • I am not sure why Mexican food is not more popular in Australia. I know it would be a hit there (the real thing). I believe it would be a great business opportunity for somebody who wants to break the ice.

  21. Delicious! you are so lucky to have good Latin food near you. It’s a bit hit or miss here in London. I love anything with shrimp but would give the chicken liver mousse a miss. Great photos – I’m now hungry although I’ve just had lunch.
    Shobha recently posted..Visiting The Temple of Horus in Edfu on an Egyptian FerrariMy Profile

    • I have to reveal a secret. I didn’t try the chicken liver mousse. I took the picture and my husband ate it. I have had not so good experiences with chicken liver mousse in the past.

  22. OMG. OMG. OMG. I’m crushed that the next festival will be two weeks after I fly back to Europe this summer! AH! This looks insanely delicious and incredible – and I’ve never heard of this event before! Looks like I’ll be planning some food time during my next USA trip in 2017! Thanks for sharing this one on Travel Tuesday!
    Christy Swagerty (whatupswags) recently posted..#SwagsJumps and So Can YouMy Profile

    • Well, maybe there are going to be other food festivals when you are in the States. It would be cool to attend one before going back to Europe.

    • Ja, ja! Seems like a lot of people read this blog while starving. But people say they get hungry reading posts like this even after they have eaten.

    • I am sorry! But, I guess you are a food fan too!

  23. A wonderful post! So many great photos!

  24. You are a woman after my own heart: You’re a foodie! One of the great things about food festivals is that there’s something for everyone, even someone like me who avoids certain foods. It’s always fun to expand your taste buds. 🙂
    Linda Bibb recently posted..A Mystical Place Called BedugulMy Profile

    • You are right, there are dishes that suit different tastes or dietary restrictions. And the good thing is that Latin flavors go well with a lot of different ingredients.

  25. Hi Ruth!
    I haven’t come to your blog in a long time… sorry! 🙂
    I see you keep finding the best food festivals. Oh my… ! I wouldn’t know where to start. I’m a huge fan of empanadas, and as a Spanish I cannot remove my eyes from that ham… and those chocolates are… mmm!
    Wonderful!
    Laia from Dream Travel Girl (formerly Colibrist)
    Laia recently posted..Northern Thailand by motorbike (3): challenging my limitsMy Profile

    • Hey Laia! Thanks for stopping by. I see that you keep traveling. Good for you. I have to stop by your blog and check your latest adventures.

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