The Staples Center was buzzing with excitement on Thursday evening with news that the Lakers had just acquired superstar free-agent, Dwight Howard, from the Orlando Magic. ESPN set up shop outside of Staples Center to ask fans of their opinion of the Lakers acquisition. For those who don’t follow sports, it’s basically the equivalent of the top 5 chefs in the world cooking in LA on a nightly basis, but price at a premium and near impossible reservations. But, I digress, the real reason L.A. Live was crowded on Thursday night was to celebrate the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival. This particular event was called ‘Festa Italiana‘, a celebration of Giada DeLaurentis. Folks lined up for miles to take a picture with the Food Network star and to be embraced by that larger-than-life smile.
The event itself was magical. The lights from the Staples Center, Nokia Theater and JW Marriott painted a picture of a true world-class event. Knork provided all the flatware which highlighted some of the most prestigious Italian dishes throughout L.A. and the country. Some of the restaurants that were showcased included: Sotto, Mozza, Stella Rossa, 800 degrees and Black Market plus much, much more. The dishes that stood out for us were the few that bred simplicity like the perfectly cooked dough from 800 degrees and the simple yet, incredible caprese from Mozza. Stella Rossa, located in Santa Monica, offered a similar dish but their burrata included sea salt, basil and wood grilled grapes. The event included over 200+ premium wines from around the world. A personal favorite of mine, Cielo from Malibu, was in attendance and brought some new reds that I have yet to taste but of course, did not disappoint. I wish I was able to sample more wine but with any festival, time management is crucial. If you don’t see much about desserts or pastries, it’s because there weren’t too many to choose from plus I am not a big fan of sweets. For those who have a sweet-tooth, I attached a picture of the Nutella, Banana Panini which had a steady line of people the entire night.
All in all, it was a great event and it really proves that the Los Angeles Food and Wine festival is here to stay. We are excited for the years ahead.