Who Wasn’t at the 6th Annual East LA Meets Napa?

— by Caroline on Crack

Bill Esparza at East LA Meets Napa by Caroline on Crack

Street Gourmet LA Bill Esparza enjoying Baja vino at East LA Meets Napa.

The 6th Annual East LA Meets Napa , a benefit for Altamed that pairs the top Mexican eateries in Los Angeles with Latino-operated and/or owned Napa wineries, was enjoyed by sold-out crowds (1,400 peeps) last Friday at gorgeous Union Station downtown, raising $360,000 for the charity.

Thanks to rush-hour traffic, I arrived at the party an hour late but just in time to run into lots of old friends and a who’s who of food enthusiasts like Street Gourmet LA, Food GPS, EstarLA, Eating LA, Mattatouille, Hadley and Tatiana of Grubstreet LA and more. With Social Domain LA as my food fest companion, we made the rounds, but made sure to hit the popular tables first before they ran out.

Festival Highlights

The East LA Meets Napa festival was abuzz over Rivera‘s corn flan with black quinoa (I had two of these), the Macouset and Rose wines from Baja, Attila the Flan‘s flan**, Porto‘s passionfruit cream with mango jelly (swoon!)** and Loteria‘s scallops in crudo. Cook’s Tortos was nice enough to allow guests to pack little doggy bags of their pastries to take home.

Corn flan with black quinoa by Caroline on Crack

Rivera's popular corn flan with black quinoa.

Even though this was primarily a wine event there was a lone tequila sponsor, Tributo, pouring its Blanco, Reposado and Anejo to an eager group of folks thirsty for the hard stuff. I savored the reposado and anejo neat but spiked my agua fresco with the Blanco. Instant cocktail! I would have had more wine but some of us had plans to hit up 1886 in Pasadena after.

The live band kept things festive through the end of the party but I didn’t see as many people taking to the dance floor this year as much as last year. Must be too full this time to salsa. A traveling mariachi band serenaded the stuffed masses lounging around the water fountain.

I don’t know what it was but I enjoyed this year’s East LA Meets Napa more than last year. Perhaps it was running into my friends, or the fact that the food and wine lines were quick-moving. In any case, I’m looking forward to next year’s event should I luck out again and land on the media list. Heh.

Loteria's Jimmy Shaw by Caroline on Crack

Loteria's Jimmy Shaw.

Grubstreet's Tatiana by Caroline on Crack

Grubstreet LA's Tatiana standing in Porto's line while enjoying a bite.

EstarLA likes the agua fresca by Caroline on Crack

EstarLA loving the agua fresca.

Let Me Eat Cake's Nastassia by Caroline on Crack

Let Me Eat Cake's Nastassia in line for cake.

Slideshow of even more East LA Meets Napa photos after the jump.