DineLA Press Meeting
Well, for the first time as a blogger I was asked to participate in a press conference. Being that it was for DineLA week coming up I was more than obliged to participate. It was great finally getting to meet Bree from Triplecreme (by the way if you don't read her blog you really should...she's one of the better one's out there). The meeting was held at Grace restaurant on Beverly which by the way is one of the more coveted restaurants on the DineLA roster.
Before I begin let me say that I was just expecting to take it in and didn't think I should bring anything to write on so there are some scattered thoughts thanks to doing short hand on my blackberry frantically whilst eavesdropping on the interviews (yes, I was that shy about talking to any of the premier chefs).
At around 10 AM this morning the press and crowd made their way to their spots to hear what had to be said concerning the very first restaurant week (actually two weeks) that will grace our fine city. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was on hand to talk about how much he loves LA and is so enthused to see that steps are being made to display that LA has incredible people and culture and that our food reflects this. He talked of how happy he was that with this venture we'd show the world that LA is one of the powerhouses when it comes to cuisine. There was talk that LA tourism has been up and that our dining has been helping our overall image.
Neal Fraser, owner and chef of Grace, was up next to talk about his hand in making the whole DineLA experience happen and about his desire to give Angeleno's who have not or maybe just don't know about some of the finer dining a chance to partake in one or more spots. He mentioned something that got me to thinking. He talked about how big the Korean population is (it's the largest outside of Seoul!) and how it'd be nice to see some big time Korean spots on the list maybe next year.
The Mayor being presented with his very own DineLA chef smock by The Two Hot Tamales, Neal Fraser and Mark Liberman
The chefs pose with the Mayor who's enjoying a bite
Some other points that were made throughout random interviews were:
*More restaurants will be involved but at the moment it was hard to get more restaurants to participate as they had to weigh in on their own financial outlook
*Substantial discounts were the driving factor but this is also what scared some chefs away
*It's all about getting the word (hey, I'm doing my part!)
And of course we were treated with some amazing little bites at the reception afterwards. You'll have to forgive me as I have no idea what exactly I was eating only that it was pretty darn killer.
I can assume that this was tuna tartar...in fact I'd bet money on it. I had 3 spoons if that gives you an idea.
Another winner was the lamb shank that was going around and may I just say it was "like buttah". Also of note were the chocolate cookies...sorry no donuts were passed out.
If you haven't made your reservation for DineLA, you really should as this is an event that should not be missed under any circumstances. In fact, you owe it to yourself to bring a date to at least one cause it's a chance to show her that you've got some class and culture ;)