08.31.2013 – “Do you like to eat good food?”, Publisher, Lawrence Davis asked me this morning. Of course I do- who doesn’t? That response brought me to The Taste- an annual food fest presented by the LA Times; the event extends throughout the whole weekend in various sessions and I am attending the first evening segment of the occasion.
I arrive at Paramount Studios and there is no doubt that something huge is happening here – street parking is completely occupied for a solid half-mile down the street and a bustling line of people waiting to get in wraps around the studio. Everything seems to be ‘buzzing’ - I can feel the excitement and energy in the air. This night is something truly special.
I enter the Paramount Studios property, which is obviously designed for TV and films because the whole scene feels magical: red brick roads, palm trees, golden lights, imitation green lawns, and little white buildings all make me feel like I am on set for a movie about my dreams. This enchanting ambiance feels so surreal. I am completely taken by how charming Paramount Studios is…it feels like I’ve escaped to some sort of glamorous fairy tale.
The studios are full of excited guests tonight and every pathway is lined with booths and kiosks, hosted by various food and beverage brands. I am so surprised by the diversity of options here- they are serving everything from fast food to gourmet. There are some of the biggest and most popular brands here such as Chipotle, and there are an equal number of more LA-exclusive and hideaway-type restaurants, which make the whole event a very valuable experience.
I begin my night with a drink- but where to start? For all guests of the event, food and beverage servings are unlimited- you can have whatever you want, and as much as you want. Drink options include various top-shelf whiskeys, imported wines, several champagnes, special-recipe cocktails, and many more. The most unforgettable, however, is the Zing “red velvet” vodka. I am usually not a big fan of clear liquors but this vodka is unlike anything that I have ever tasted before. Zing Vodka lacks the typical alcoholic bite, but isn’t too sugary either. I compare it to sinking your teeth into a rich, frosted cupcake, but you’ll have to try it yourself to understand.
Other unforgettable taste-experiences include The Coffee Bean’s cocktails (made from their famous coffees and teas) and Sushi Roku’s exceptional hand rolls served with their sake! This is my first time attending The Taste but I’ve already decided that it won’t be my last. Many LA-natives attend the event each year, religiously and it isn’t hard to tell who the experienced ‘tasters’ are- some guests had trays strapped around their necks so that they could maximize their eating potential! (By the way, brilliant strategy.)
All in all, I am not surprised that The Taste has taken the city by storm: an incredible weekend of endless high-quality food and drinks at the beautiful and uncanny Paramount Studios- jam-packed with food-lovers from all over Southern California. The event grows more and more popular every year, stealing the LA spotlight and leaving its impression on the city- making The Taste a true Hollywood star.