What kind of food and wine event makes you say, “Camels, zebras and buffalo, oh my!” upon pulling up to its venue? Los Angeles magazine’s The Food Event, that’s what kind. No, these animals weren’t on the menu but were residents on Saddlerock Ranch, home to Malibu Family Wines, where the eating and drinking festival was held.
This was my first time at The Food Event, which I thought was ambitiously named but pretty much lived up to it. The venue — nestled in the Malibu hills among vineyards — was beautiful, even on that gray and rainy day, and the food and drink were excellent. It wasn’t too crowded, either, which made the experience much more enjoyable (the weather may have had something to do with it).
Here were my favorite tastes and moments from that day.
Sweetsalt Food Shop‘s duck confit slider with lavender butter. Yes, yes and yes.
Eva Restaurant offered a light and frothy mushroom soup, with truffles available for those with thick wallets. I went truffle-less.
Public Kitchen & Bar’s (formerly Dakota at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel) braised veal cheeks with fingerling potatoes and watermelon radishes was delicious, and I don’t even like veal. The meat was ridiculously tender, and the radishes gave the dish a nice tangy touch.
Café Habana‘s roasted corn covered in cheese and other goodness was also delicious, though it was sweeter than I expected.
My favorite drinks from the day were this dark brew from Craftsman Brewing Company in Pasadena, the chardonnay from Saddlerock and the Semler cabernet sauvignon (both of those wines are produced by Malibu Family Wines).
Bulgarini Gelato and Magnolia Bakery‘s banana pudding were dessert highlights. Bulgarini’s pistachio and almond flavors were my favorites, though the yogurt with olive oil drizzled on top was interesting. Magnolia’s banana pudding was tops, though — it was almost trifle-like, with vanilla wafers mixed in.
And here are the animals!
Note: I attended this event using a complimentary ticket.