Saturday, August 04, 2018

Plate by Plate 2018 (Los Angeles, CA)

Plate by Plate 2018 at City Market Social House
1145 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Sat 08/04/2018, 06:00p-10:00p

Plate by Plate Logo

Project by Project recently hosted its 16th annual Plate by Plate charity tasting benefit at the brand spanking new City Market Social House. If you're not familiar with the organization, Project by Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit centered on issues related to the Asian-American community. This year's theme was immigration (very timely given recent events), and proceeds from the event went toward OCA-GLA's Mentored Path to Citizenship Grant program, which assists people on their path to US citizenship. As always, Plate by Plate showcased the talents of some of LA's top restaurants as well as beverages from a number of purveyors, so without further ado...

Hint: Mouseover for bonus photos.

Andreas Roller Aguachile of Hokkaido Scallop, Yellowtail, and Octopus
Executive Chef Andreas Roller of Patina threw me off a bit with that new, manly beard of his, but definitely scored some presentation points with his Aguachile of Hokkaido Scallop, Yellowtail, and Octopus.

Casey Chiu Michelle Ko, Quan Phung
L: Casey Chiu was one of the first to get her hands on a KazuNori hand roll. Pro tip: KazuNori usually sports the longest line at Plate by Plate, so try to hit up their station early.
R: Old school PbP alumna-slash-Board Member Michelle Ko with hubby Quan Phung.

Beauty and the East Emily Lien, Avis Tao, Jason Tsai and Macchiato Team
Jason Tsai and Emily Lien's Macchiato won Best Drink honors with their trio of beverages: the intriguingly-hued and boozy Beauty and the East (Vodka, Butterfly Pea Flower Tea, Lychee, Mint), a fanciful Potted Plant Milk Tea, and a prototypical Cold Brew.

Nirendran Kathirithamby, Tuyet Nguyen, Liliana Chen Tiffany Tai
L: The power threesome: PbP National President Nirendran Kathirithamby, PbP LA Legal Counsel Tuyet Nguyen, and PbP Co-Founder Liliana Chen (a.k.a. the O.G).
R: PbP Events Teams Member Tiffany Tai channeling her inner ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Hakka Mochi Served Warm with Peanut and Sesame Powders Joy Team
Vivian Ku's new Joy in Highland Park is an offshoot of her wildly successful Pine & Crane in Silver Lake. Tonight the restaurant was doling out Hakka Mochi Served Warm with Peanut and Sesame Powders, as well as Pineapple Slushies.

Sara Gabriele, Chris Feldmeier, Adam Aro and Gabi James Team Gildas
The South Bay was in the house thanks to Gabi James. Chef Chris Feldmeier (ex-Moruno) was joined by owners Sara Gabriele and Adam Aro, and the team served up Gildas of various persuasions: regular, chorizo, and manchego.

Takashi Endo Michael Russell
L: Takashi Endo (SoCal Market Manager at Craft Imports) was on hand pouring Coedo's Marihana Session IPA and Shikkoku black lager.
R: The Pacific International Liquor/Silkroad station was manned by the always-tall Michael Russell, who had a pretty impressive array of sakes available. I like how they gave him a volunteer of comparable height this year.

Plate by Plate VIP Area
A sneak peek at the VIP area.

Winnie Fong, Nguyen Tran Crispy Tofu Balls with Spicy Sriracha Aioli
Starry Kitchen's Nguyen Tran cooked up his signature Crispy Tofu Balls with Spicy Sriracha Aioli and donned his signature banana suit. And apparently, PbP Manager of Public Outreach Winnie Fong couldn't resist the B.

Fruit Tomato Kimchi, Saikyo Miso Tofu Cream Courtney Kaplan, Charles Namba and Tsubaki Team
The Fruit Tomato Kimchi, Saikyo Miso Tofu Cream was the handiwork of Courtney Kaplan and Charles Namba from Echo Park darling Tsubaki.

Susan Hirasuna Giving Me the Hand Susan Hirasuna
Perennial Plate by Plate fixture Susan Hirasuna was all shy at first, but eventually capitulated.

Alexander's Steakhouse Team Summer Albacore Poke, Yuzu Soy Dressing, Cucumber, Myoga, Hijiki, Nori Goma, Wasabi
Alexander's Steakhouse had a very non-steaky Summer Albacore Poke, Yuzu Soy Dressing, Cucumber, Myoga, Hijiki, Nori Goma, Wasabi going on, which was apropos for the hot weather we were having (don't mind the banana in the background). Anyone else bothered by the one missing fork?

Danielle Lew and Bartenders PbP Volunteer with Caffé Monster
L: Danielle Lew from Kikori Whiskey and her two tasty bartenders offered up two tasty cocktails this evening: The Balancing Act (Kikori, Yuzuri liqueur, Yakult, yuzu juice, simple syrup, egg white, garnished with a Japanese rice candy) and the Old Fashioned (Kikori, simple syrup, Angostura, cucumber & lime bitters, garnished with a Japanese cucumber & a shiso leaf).
R: No one I talked to at the event even knew that Monster Energy made a coffee drink called Caffé Monster, so I guess it's good for them to get their name out there.

Rappahannock River Oysters with Kimchi Mignonette and Awesome Sauce Nick Erven, Anthony Ko
Nick Erven without hair doesn't look like Nick Erven. That being said, he and GM Anthony Ko did a fine job repping the new Rappahannock Oyster Bar at ROW DTLA with their freshly-shucked Rappahannock River Oysters with Kimchi Mignonette and Awesome Sauce (a Vietnamese-style ceviche sauce). This was actually the first time I've seen an oyster bar type of setup at Plate by Plate, and hopefully not the last.

Nguyen Tran, Ori Menashe, William Truong, Charles Namba, Unknown Nguyen Tran, Ori Menashe, William Truong, Charles Namba, Unknown, Courtney Kaplan
PbP volunteer William Truong got assigned to the funnest station, evidently.

Nikki Reginaldo and Kato Team Smoked Duck and Leek Salad
Helmed by Nikki Reginaldo, the Kato station had a delightfully unconventional Smoked Duck and Leek Salad on offer, which is just what I'd expect from Jon Yao's team. And if that wasn't enough, I'm sort of digging that fist-to-the-chin pose.

Dungeness Crab, Tomato Seeds & Gelée, Seaweed Granité Eric Bost, Unknown, Christina Oh and Team
Eric Bost's restaurant has been in the works for some time now, and still doesn't have a name. What he did have, though, was his Dungeness Crab, Tomato Seeds & Gelée, Seaweed Granité, one of the more progressive plates of the night and the runner-up in Plate by Plate's Best Dish contest (they lost by one vote!).

Amy Ling, Paul Lee Linda Turner, Charles Turner
L: Here are Amy Ling and Paul Lee, whom we first encountered all the way back at 2012's Plate by Plate at the Vibiana.
R: Some more repeat customers: Konica Minolta Business Solutions' Charles Turner and wife Linda, who first came to Plate by Plate back in 2016.

Drake's Brewing Company Team Riboli Family Wine Estates Team
L: Drake's Brewing Company made their first appearance at Plate by Plate, and I actually think it was my first time having their beer as well.
R: Riboli Family Wine Estates either had a tall volunteer or some short reps.

Brandon Kida and Hinoki & the Bird Team Miso Donuts with Honey Caramel
Executive Chef Brandon Kida is doing an admirable job steering the ship at Hinoki & the Bird these days, and this was his first time participating at Plate by Plate. He decided to serve dessert in the form of Miso Donuts with Honey Caramel.

California Watermelon and Scallop Andrew Cooper
The California Watermelon and Scallop from Morgan's in the Desert at La Quinta Resort & Club (part of the Waldorf Astoria family) may not have won Best Dish, but Executive Chef Andrew Cooper wins Best Smile in my book. He'd also win my "Longest Distance Travelled to Attend Plate by Plate for the First Time" award, if I had one.

Patrick Lee, Michelle Chen Lisa Inouye
L: PbP veteran Patrick Lee has moved on to greener pastures and is now the National Director of Volunteer Management. Also pictured (with new hairstyle): Michelle Chen.
R: On the flip side, we have here newbie Lisa Inouye, PbP Events Team Member & CASES Team Member.

Michael Lee Salmon Sashimi
Manned by Regional Manager Michael Lee, KazuNori once again sported the lengthiest queue at Plate by Plate. On the menu: Toro/Yellowtail/Crab/Salmon/Scallop/Cucumber Hand Rolls, all made to order (hence the wait), as well as Salmon Sashimi.

Yeekai Lim and Cognoscenti Team Elton Keung and Labobatory Team
L: Yeekai Lim's Cognoscenti Coffee won runner-up in the Best Drink category with their Affogato (Brazil Yellow Diamond Espresso poured over Straus Creamery Ice Cream).
R: Labobatory founder Elton Keung was serving up some Taro Mezcal alcoholic boba. Their shirts also proved that Starry Kitchen doesn't have a lock on ball-themed slogans.

Lisa Xu, Lilian Hwang Kent Chen, Zuma Khan
L: PbP Director of Marketing Lisa Xu with PbP Manager of Event Production Lilian Hwang.
R: More steering committee members: PbP Manager of Team Development Kent Chen (in a suit that looks slightly too large) with PbP Marketing Team Member Zuma Khan.

Falafel, Pickled Peppers, Sumac Onions, Labne Tim Hollingsworth and Otium Team
Otium was actually supposed to attend last year, but ended up having to pull out unfortunately. It was great to see them at Plate by Plate for the first time, and Chef Timothy Hollingsworth presented a dish of Falafel, Pickled Peppers, Sumac Onions, Labne (and if you've been to the restaurant, you'll know that he makes a mean falafel).

Malyssa Bernas, Barbara Batiste and B Sweet/Big Boi Team Chicken Adobo and Steamed Rice with Atchara
Chef Barbara Batiste and Assistant Malyssa Bernas from B Sweet Dessert Bar/Big Boi had a savory/sweet thing happening with their duo of Chicken Adobo and Steamed Rice with Atchara and Pan de Sal Bread Pudding with Ube Drizzle.

Smoked New Zealand King Salmon and Sorrel Broth Michael Hung, Jeffrey Kirshenbaum, Grace Yoo, Natalie Diaz
Some big news to come out of Plate by Plate: Michael Hung is back in as Chef at Faith & Flower (which I'm glad to see). He was joined by GM Jeff Kirshenbaum (from Alimento and Manhattan House), Catering and Events Director Grace Yoo, and Events Manager Natalie Diaz, and they served up bright plates of Smoked New Zealand King Salmon and Sorrel Broth.

Sapphire Blue Metallic Macan GTS Cindy Lee, Peter Yun, Tony Lu
L: Porsche Downtown LA was a major sponsor of the event and brought in this schmancy Sapphire Blue Metallic Macan GTS.
R: I went inside to check out the vehicle, and for some reason people immediately began taking photos of me.

Robert Morita Honest Tea Team
L: Shochu is one of the more overlooked distilled spirits, so it was nice to see it promoted by Nankai Shochu's Robert Morita for the first time at Plate by Plate.
R: Honest Tea gets props for having the most straightforward shirts of the evening.

Abby Gavino, Michael Hung Shrimp Tostaditas with Almond Satay
Michael Hung was pulling double duty. In addition to working the F&F station, he was also repping Chilola's, a Filipino concept he's been working on with partner Abby Gavino (am I the only one getting a prom pose vibe from the pic?). This evening they had Shrimp Tostaditas with Almond Satay paired with Cassava Cake with Dulce de Leche and Toasted Coconut.

Plate by Plate GA Area
The main event space at City Market Social House.

Chicken Pot Stickers served with a Spicy Aioli Jimmy Lee and Ms Chi Cafe Team
Another surprising bit of news for me was that Chef Shirley Chung (of Top Chef fame) was teaming up with none other than Stephane Bombet for the upcoming Ms Chi Cafe, to be located in the former home of Hanjip in Culver City. Her husband Jimmy Lee was actually behind the station, doling out Chicken Pot Stickers served with a Spicy Aioli. They also teased Madam Chi, a more formal restaurant to be located in the Arts District.

Marcel Vigneron and Wolf Team Wolf Bite (Chicken Liver Cicchetti, Black Truffle, Red Onion Marmalade, Five Spice, Nasturtium)
Last year's Best Dish winner, Marcel Vigneron's Wolf, pulled out all the stops with their Wolf Bite (Chicken Liver Cicchetti, Black Truffle, Red Onion Marmalade, Five Spice, Nasturtium); I don't think I've ever seen this much truffle at the event. I'm not sure what's going on with the other guy in the photo--looks like he just got a mouthful of nasturtium or something.

Andrew Chiu Johnny Au Yeung, Kristy Jetsupphasala
L: Andrew Chiu and Andrew Wong's Peking Tavern has sort of become the unofficial ambassador for baijiu cocktails in LA.
R: Karl Strauss Brewing Company made an appearance for the first time at Plate by Plate, their station helmed by Johnny Au Yeung and Kristy Jetsupphasala.

Vickie Chan, Jason Su Marilyn Tran, Andrew Le
L: Former PbP LA President Vickie Chan with her soon-to-be husband Jason Su (the only person I saw in here wearing a tux).
R: Marilyn Tran and Andrew Le: another couple and another couple of PbP alums.

Chicharron Biscuit Sandwich Melissa Wenke, Ivan Marquez and Broken Spanish Team
Melissa Wenke and Pastry Chef Ivan Marquez were behind the Broken Spanish station and managed to win Best Dish honors with their Chicharron Biscuit Sandwich. I have to give the team props for really working it, as apparently they were walking the floor and handing out their dish to guests, trolling for votes. Note also the aprons, donated by local firm BlueCut.

Craig Towe and Sotto Team Squid Ink Fusilli, Shrimp and Seppia Ragu, Chili, Basil
Sotto remains one of my fav Italian joints in town, and Chef de Cuisine Craig Towe was serving up cozy bowls of Squid Ink Fusilli, Shrimp and Seppia Ragu, Chili, Basil.

Amy Lew, Paul Dateh Jennifer Quan and Husband
L: I swear I see Amy Lew at pretty much every Asian-y event out there. She's pictured above with Paul Dateh.
R: Here's Jennifer Quan, one of the winners of my ticket giveaway, with her hubby--see, people really do win these things.

Seared Pork Belly with Watermelon Relish Danielle and Restauration Team
Restauration was the sole representative from the LBC, and just might be the best resto in that City. Chef Phil Pretty couldn't make it, but his girlfriend Danielle could, and prepared a Seared Pork Belly with Watermelon Relish.

Matt Bostick, Tina Greene B&K Old Fashioned
Matt Bostick and Tina Greene had one of the more ambitious beverage setups, promoting Bostick's new pre-batched cocktail company B&K Classic Cocktails. Their B&K Old Fashioned was pretty damn legit.

Metropole Team Crispy Duck Meatball Slider with Duck Fat House Chips
Metropole at Hotel Indigo had one of the heartier dishes of the night with its Crispy Duck Meatball Slider with Duck Fat House Chips.

The DJ Michelle Li, Martin Kwok
L: The girl on the right was the DJ. No idea who the other is.
R: PbP Director of Outreach Michelle Li with mouth-agape PbP Manager of Publicity & Promotions Martin Kwok.

Nigiri Sushi Jesse Duron, Yoya Takahasi and Umi by Hamasaku Team
Umi by Hamasaku's Jesse Duron and Yoya Takahashi have been longtime Plate by Plate supporters. Tonight they had a whole lotta Nigiri Sushi, but it ran out quick.

Christina Raptis, Ori Menashe and Bavel Team Lamb Tartare with Fried Laffa
Another busy station was Bavel's (unsurprisingly). Their Lamb Tartare with Fried Laffa proved to be extremely popular with guests, and according to Chef Ori Menashe, people were coming back for seconds and even thirds.

Paul Lee, Amy Ling, Lynn Liou, Hoyt Yang Couple in Front of Flower Wall
Two Girls in Front of Flower Wall Four Girls in Front of Flower Wall
I was skeptical at first, but the flower wall was turned out to be more popular than I'd anticipated.

Shushu Cai, Joyce Chuk Matthew Young
L: Shushu Cai and Joyce Chuk paired Ballast Point's Sour Wench and Aloha Sculpin beers with an accompaniment of side eye.
R: Head Bartender Matthew Young from 18 Social at Hotel Indigo had the enticingly titled Would You Like Cilantro and Onions? cocktail with Montelebos Mezcal, Chareau Aloe Liqueur, Jalapeno Infused Dry Vermouth and Cilantro & Pearl Onions.

Tram Tran Patrick Lee and Science 37 Team
L: Manager of CASES Summer Project Team & PbP Events Team Member Tram Tran sort of blends in with the wall.
R: PbP National Director of Volunteer Management Patrick Lee did a fine job pressuring his coworkers at Science 37 to attend.

Hubert's Lemonade Team Zen Vuong
L: The Hubert's Lemonade team seemed almost too happy.
R: Zen Vuong couldn't quite hack it as a PbP Steering Committee member, but was back as a volunteer at the Lagunitas station.

Kelly Kwan, Stefanie Cheng Michelle Li, John Wirfs, Tuyet Nguyen
L: PbP Manager of Information Technology Kelly Kwan and PbP Operations Team Member Stefanie Cheng both chose floral-themed dresses.
R: PbP Director of Outreach Michelle Li, PbP alumnus John Wirfs, and PbP LA Legal Counsel Tuyet Nguyen pose in front of the flower-angel wings-Instagram decal thingy.

Hard Frescos Team Kawaba Beer Team
L: This was my first time encountering Hard Frescos, which combines two of my favorite things to drink: aguas frescas and alcohol.
R: Kawaba Beer brought their Snow Weizen and Sunrise Ale, which I believe are the only two beers they market currently.

Sapporo Team Boomtown Brewery Team
L: I don't think Sapporo's been at Plate by Plate since 2010, which sort of surprised me.
R: Boomtown Brewery was a newcomer that I was glad to see attend. They were pouring their Mic Czech Pils, Ingenue Belgian White, and Limelight IPA.

Plate by Plate VIP Area
Time to step inside VIP...

Chips and Salsa (Peach Sangrita, Mezcal) Imperial Kaluga Caviar (Smoked Tomato, Tuna)
Corn Agnolotti (Australian Black Winter Truffles) Kimchi Fried Rice
VIP guests were treated to sit-down mini-tasting menus. At the first VIP station, Walter and Margarita Manzke served a five-course mash-up of the couple's three restaurants: Republique, Petty Cash, Sari Sari Store. Their colorful menu included Chips and Salsa (Peach Sangrita, Mezcal), Imperial Kaluga Caviar (Smoked Tomato, Tuna), Corn Agnolotti (Australian Black Winter Truffles), Kimchi Fried Rice, and Halo Halo for dessert.

Passed Hors d'oeuvre Phil Collins and Sake Dojo Team
L: Meanwhile, Wolfgang Puck Catering was serving passed hors d'oeuvre throughout the evening.
R: VIP bar duties were handled by Don Tahara's new Sake Dojo in Little Tokyo. Bar Manager Phil Collins had a trio of cocktails on offer: the Little Tokyo (Akashi Ume, One Ten Purple Sake), the Kyoto Negroni (Iwai Mars Whisky, Asahi Amber Beer Syrup), and Blood From a Stone (Kinobi Gin, Fruit, Tonic).

Marinated Tuna Panzanella (Heirloom Beans, Crushed Tomato, Herbed Bread Crumbs) Beet and Mascarpone Triangoli (Brown Butter, Sage, Poppy Seeds)
Roasted Beef Short Rib (Red Wine Jus, Gremolata, Cauliflower Purée) Fior Di Latte Gelato (Candied Pine Nuts, Pine Syrup)
Not to be outdone, Rossoblu's Steve Samson helmed his own VIP station and served an ambitious four-course tasting menu comprising: Marinated Tuna Panzanella (Heirloom Beans, Crushed Tomato, Herbed Bread Crumbs), Beet and Mascarpone Triangoli (Brown Butter, Sage, Poppy Seeds), Roasted Beef Short Rib (Red Wine Jus, Gremolata, Cauliflower Purée), and Fior Di Latte Gelato (Candied Pine Nuts, Pine Syrup). Very nice.

Finally, guests were provided with voting tickets, one for Best Dish and one for Best Drink, and were able to vote via ballot boxes at each station. Here are the final results:
1st Place Broken Spanish Macchiato
2nd Place Chef Eric Bost
(restaurant coming soon)
Cognoscenti Coffee
3rd Place Chefs Walter & Margarita Manzke
(Republique/Petty Cash/Sari Sari Store)
Peking Tavern


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin has a crush on Chef Andrew Cooper. I suppose I really shouldn't be surprised.

Monday, September 10, 2018 6:08:00 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

What a great post & looks like a fantastic event. Thanks Kevin!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 9:56:00 AM  

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