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 of about six hundred words (and tons of photos).
Table of Contents
Latin Food Fest: Grande Tasting
Tinga Tostada topped with cream and cotija cheese. This tinga was made by braising pork belly with ancho and guajillo chiles.
Veggie Tostada with grilled zucchini, corn, pasilla peppers, onions and chile the arbol topped with cream and cotija cheese.
The tostadas were offered by Mas Malo.
Guacamole by Rosa Mexicano
Churro bites by Camacho Brothers (catering and private chefs)
Chicken liver mousse with pickled cucumbers and crostini by Barcito
Shrimp and chips by West Coast Prime Meats
Pinto beans meatball by Busch’s Cocina Latina
Shrimp ceviche by Coni’s Seafood
Spinach and cheese empanada from World Empanadas
Ropa vieja (shredded beef) empanada from World Empanadas. Of course, we put a generous amount of chimichurri over our empanadas.
Chocolate frappe by Chocolate Ibarra
Barbacoa tacos from Aqui es Texcoco
Bread samples from La Brea Bakery. It was a great surprise to find people from La Brea Bakery in the event since my husband works for the company.
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).
Salted caramel chocolate by E Luca
Acai bowls by Ubatuba
I was happy to try food from Barbados and Trinidad. I had a soup with yucca or cassava dumplings, doubles (a sandwich made with fried flatbread and stuffed with curried chickpeas) and a malasada (Portuguese donut).
As always Fogo de Chao captivated the attendees by serving picanha, grilled chicken wrapped in bacon and mashed potatoes.
Pork and avocado tostada by Briks South Park
Mole poblano by Las Molenderas
We indulged in pork tacos, guacamole, horchata and spinach/pineapple agua from Northgate Market
Cheese and Revueltas (pork, cheese, and beans) pupusas by Saritas Pupuseria
Mole poblano, aguas frescas and tacos from VIP Catering Company
Chefs Ricardo Zarate (Picca, Mo Chica, Paiche) and Jorge Rodriguez (Los Balcones)
Chef Tati Polo
All these fabulous food was possible because of the sponsors and exhibitors.
Here is a partial list of the sponsors present at the event.
Bush’s Best Cocina Latina
La Brea Bakery
Ambience / Music
The event was enlivened by Mestizo LA.
¡Viva la comida latina!
- Find more information about the event: http://latinfoodfest.com/
- Subscribe to the event’s mailing list to keep up to date with upcoming events.
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What are your thoughts on Latin food? Have you been to the Latin Food Fest in Los Angeles or San Diego?