The Saban Free Clinic has been providing quality health & dental care, and social services to the LA community since 1967. Every year in July they host a food & wine festival Extravaganza for the Senses at the Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood to raise funds for the Clinic from ticket sales, and their silent auction.
Why this fab fest is not more known is beyond me. While this year’s attendance seemed a bit soft, our senses were no less enticed. Breaking it down, beginning with sight, this year saw a big improvement with attendees. This is not to say that the food presentation wasn’t a vision, but what stood out was the crowd. Last year I found there were a lot of older couples. Yet, this year ranged in both age, and from couples to attractive singles, and my guest found his eyes in constant roaming status.
Taste and smell couldn’t keep up with the many food, wine and beverage sponsors. Winners of the evening included Pace’s pizza, rivalling some of the best out of Rome. Though, I particularly loved their ricotta lasagna. Thank you Che (Pace’s Manager)! His personality alone would have you wanting to dine there asap. Jar Restaurant chef Suzanne Tracht's decadent dark chocolate pudding, made with premium Valrhona chocolate, was the most sought after dessert of the night, and no surprise they were cleaned out well before closing. I had two! Beverage highlights came from the non wineries. I was taken by complete surprise with the bevvy served up from Heaven Hill Distilleries. It smelled refreshing, and tasted as such. A strong cocktail mixed with their bourbon whiskey Evan Williams, and a most delicious pomegranate liqueur Pama (run out and buy this stuff). Who knew bourbon could taste so good? And, being served up by their fetching bartender Jarrett didn’t hurt either!
You wonder how could I be touched by a food fest? Dare I mention Bliss Spa offering their manicures, oxygen facials and massages. If you are in need of a deep tissue, look no further. Coco, their senior massage specialist has hands that will leave you feeling like Bill Cosby’s jello. Even though her treatments can be intense, Coco endeavours to have her clients feeling refreshed, and not sore the following day. As it should be!
Last but not least, hearing. From sampling reactions, to the sounds of lively conversation, at times, were most bemusing. I wasn't sure how to react when a random attendee began singing to me his YouTube version of some 80's song being played at the time. Let’s just say his version included a female body part, and leave it at that. Whoever the organizers hired as the DJ, he knew exactly how to work the crowd - catchy tunes, not distracting, and not too loud for the majority of the night. But, by around 9 pm, emerged somewhat of a dance club. After eating, drinking and socializing for three hours, you go into party mode, and ready to shake your booty to a great dance playlist. No better way to end an evening of intoxicating the senses.
Learn more at The Saban Free Clinic Website