events

Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival 2017

by Franklin on October 5, 2017

The 2017 Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival was such a great event. Live music, a meet and greet with Fabio Viviani, some sips of wine and awesome food tastings made the afternoon a fun time. The 3 day even has something special for each day, and I had the opportunity to try the last and final day of the tasting. It a was a perfect Sunday afternoon, and the crowds of people were enjoying everything the chefs had to offer.

The octopus and pork belly salad from Aveo Table and Bar was a good pairing. One of the most refreshing bites that day was the hamachi mango jalapeno sorbet by Florent Marneau of Marche Moderne. The fresh fish with the kick of the cold mango sorbet really cooled me off a bit. Chef Pablo at The Dock surprised us with his salmon caviar bite with cucumber. Ceviche at A+O Kitchen came in a pull apart tin and the insides were so delicious with their tortilla chips. I know a lot of my favorites were seafood inspired, but my favorite bit of the day was the spinach cavatelli from Andrea Ristorante of the Pelican Hill Resort. The cavatelli was cooked perfectly and the saltiness from the sausage was a perfect pairing.

The Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival is such a great even in the heart of Newport Beach. I am excited to see what they will have next year!

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The Taste 2017 – Burning Sun and Rain

by Franklin on September 9, 2017

When the LA Time’s The Taste rolls around, you know it’s Labor Day Weekend. I made it to the Field to Fork event and the food was superb. Despite the heat reaching nearly 100 degrees, I was able to find some shade and enjoy the different selections. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to the other events due to rain. Yeah, 100 degrees one day and rain on the next — I don’t do neither.

My favorites included the crème brûlée doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken. Restauration in Long Beach delivered an oxtail doughnut that was so savory and delicious. Other than doughnuts being the star, octopus really the theme for the chefs. From octopus ceviche to charred octopus, the selection was massive.

The heat got to my head and had to take rests in the shade with a nice cold Bai. Hopefully next year we won’t get this funky weather with 100+ degrees and rain back to back. It was a lot of fun, and hope to see what’s in store next Labor Day Weekend.

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LA Weekly’s Brunch at the Races was quite a treat. Brunch is my all time favorite — I love breakfast, and adding the lunch element heightens the experience. Having never really been into the horse racing scene, I can confidently say the only times I went to Santa Anita Park was for food events. Arriving to the back of the park, I got my coffee mug and was ready for some great eats.

Squid ink bread with lox and yogurt. #sundayfunday

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My first bite and one of the best bites of the event was Status Kuo’s squid ink bread with lox and yogurt. It was so flavorful and a nice play on the classic bagels and lox.

The waffles at the @ggetLA booth was insane!!! #sundayfunday

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Go Get ‘Em Tiger’s waffles with berries blew my mind. The waffle was so light and crispy. I have never had a waffle like this before. It did feel a bit more eggy than flour-y. It was so nice and delicious.

This donut and coffee cream from @superbafoodandbread was bomb. #sundayfunday

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The donut and coffee cream from Superba Food + Bread was something else! The shot of donut and coffee infused cream tasted was great.

This Hainan chicken was superb!! Thanks @senor_gionni

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Johnny Lee killed it with his Hainan chicken dish. The chicken was perfectly tender and moist and the rice was seasoned just right. The ginger and the sauce all mixed to make a perfect bite each time. Full of flavor indeed. Better than Savoy? I think so.

Poppy + Rose had my favorite dish of the event. I know its just a chicken sandwich, but each and every part was perfect. The biscuit was light and fluffy/flakey. The fried chicken was flavorful and juicy — and the pickle was perfect and balanced this whole thing out the best way possible.

Fluffy pancakes & donut muffins from @SweetButterLA with the best display #Brunch at the races #sundayfunday

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The buttermilk pancakes from Sweet Butter Kitchen was a surprise. I tried making pancakes a number of times, and mine never come out this soft and fluffy. Simple and delicious is the name of the game here, and went well with my cold brew from Jones Coffee Pasadena.

The event was quite nice, and seeing the horses at the end was special. It kind of reminded me of LA Weekly’s previous event, Pancake Breakfast. The outdoor venue was refreshing and of course, spacious. Brunch is served!

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Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival 2015

by Franklin on October 21, 2015

The Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival was honestly my first proper Orange County food festival. The inaugural event occurred last year, and the second event was even better. Held at the Newport Beach Civic Center, the space was perfect. All of the vendors did a great job in creating wonderful dishes. Some of my favorites are below.

Short ribs from @selannesteak #NBWFF #NEWBFEST

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The short ribs from Salenne Steak Tavern was wonderful. As a matter of fact, they pretty much stole the show with their different offerings.

The foie gras mousse #NBWFF #NEWBFEST

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Their foie gras mousse was stellar. Topped with a huckleberry compote, the cornets were bites of deliciousness.

A gang of Reese's Pieces #macarons #NBWFF #NEWBFEST

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And their Reese’s Pieces macarons were on point. It tasted just like Reece’s Pieces. It didn’t taste like peanut butter chocolate macarons, nor did it taste like Reese’s peanut butter cup macarons. They were just on point with the candy.

Best presentation of #NBWFF #NEWBFEST from Stonehill Tavern

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Another favorite was tuna tartare on nori chips from Stonehill Tavern. Their presentation stole the show.

First bite of #NBWFF #NEWBFEST

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My first bite was the perfectly braised octopus from Studio at Montage Laguna Beach.

The Clobster roll from @SlapfishSeafood

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Slapfish killed it with these “Clobster” rolls. The part crab, part lobster filling filled on a buttery bun was just delicious.

Rainbow cake bites ???? #NEWBFEST #NBWFF

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B Candy got the sweets covered for the event. This sprinkles covered cake with the rainbow goodness inside was ridiculous! They offered cookies, amazing cup cakes and mini ice cream cones. They could basically hold a sweets/dessert fest on their own altogether.

The

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LA Times The Taste 2015 – Dinner With a Twist

by Franklin on September 17, 2015


Dinner with a Twist was the Saturday night event, and it had a lot more memorable bites and dishes. The flavors were a bit more packed and delicate. The night started around sunset and as night time set in, the event was packed!

Grilled peaches with cheese. #TasteLA

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Love and Salt’s grilled peach was stellar. The addition of dandelion greens and duck salami was great.

First bite for the night is ceviche! #TasteLA

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Coni’seafood made a nice shrimp ceviche marinated in tamarind. The shrimp had a nice texture and flavor that was like no other.

The ricotta cavatelli with Chianina beef. #TasteLA

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The ricotta cavatelli with chianina beef was great. The sauce had a nice depth of flavor and was rich in flavor.

Tuna Crudo from Scarpetta. @ConantNYC your team is killin it!

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Scarpetta’s Tuna crudo with sea urchin sauce was a great bite. The addition of fried garlic and bonito gave it a nice delicate saltiness to the dish. The fish was very fresh and candy like.

The falafel taco from top chef @KatsujiTanabe #TasteLA

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The falafel taco from Top Chef’s Kasuji Tanabe was masterfully prepared. The falafel was crispy and full of deep flavors. I wasn’t a fan of the taco idea, but the taste was definitely there.

I just made sure the last thing I ate was the fresh made mozzarella from @pizzaprova #TasteLA

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Provo Pizza was my all time favorite of the night. It wasn’t because of the pizza, but the mozzarella ball they gave out. It was warm, silky smooth and eating it was just pure pleasure.

Other notable dishes came from a plethora of chefs. Kris Morningstar of Terrine made a great salade landaise with foie gras torchon, gizzards, and shallot vinaigrette. The Raymond 1886 came out with a great scallop dish. I would say 10e Restaurant’s lamb chops were the star of the night. Everything just tasted better at night. Maybe it was the lack of heat and sun. The event at the night events were a lot more packed and lines were quite long. The Taste was such a fun event and always look forward to it every year!

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LA Times The Taste 2015 – Field to Fork

by Franklin on September 17, 2015

The LA Times’ The Taste event always follows right after LA Food & Wine and also is during the Labor Day Weekend. This weekend is never good for my diet and is always filled with delicious food and a barbecue on Monday. Field to Fork was the Saturday daytime event. I made my way around and tasted all that the restaurants and chefs had to offer. Some of my favorites are below.

Matcha Donut with cognac apple filling. #TasteLA

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Hinoki and the Bird’s matcha donuts were quite nice. The hint of green tea matcha was subtle but noticeable, and the cognac apple filling was prominent and tasty.

Solid burgers from BOA Steakhouse

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Boa Steakhouse always makes a great burger at these events. The brie in the slider gave a nice creaminess and the fried onions, a nice texture.

These Brussels sprouts… #TasteLA

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The Ingo’s Tasty Diner Brussels sprouts were great. It proved that not all Brussels sprout dishes are the same. The goat cheese and Marcona almonds were a great match.

Vegan stuff..

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Freshology Anson Mills polenta pudding. It had vanilla bean and candied Fresno chile. The texture and flavor was like no other.

Cookin down.. See you again in a few hours! #TasteLA

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Of course, I like the end things with some ice cream. Amorino of Beverly Hills was serving their gelato (not in flower form). It was still good in and cold in the summer heat.

Other notable dishes were Quenelle’s graham cracker Thai tea ice cream. I also liked the fried olives prepared by The Gadarene Swine. Another notable dish was East Borough’s Vietnamese fish sauce wings — it had a salty spicy and fishy taste that was a bit off and addicting at the same time. Everything was very tasty and well prepared. The heat wasn’t unbearable and the food/drinks kept flowing. For me, the overflow of ice cream was all I needed to keep me cool.

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5th Annual LA Food & Wine – Lexus Live on Grand

by Franklin on September 9, 2015

The 5th Annual LA Food & Wine Lexus Live on Grand was the highlight of the weekend. Last year, Questlove graced the main stage with his DJ skills. This year, he brought along his band, The Roots with him and put on an awesome concert. The food was definitely happening this night. Good food, wine, and music was the recipe for a great party atmosphere of gastronomic proportions.

Hudson Valley Farms foie gras. Best of tonight's #lafw #lafoodwine

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By far, my favorite of the night, and I think everyone’s night was the Hudson Valley Farms foie gras. Each bite was fatty and smooth, and the tartness from the blueberry and sweetness from the white chocolate was so perfect.

Went for this twice! Doesn't look "pretty" but so flavorful. #lafw #lafoodwine

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Another favorite that I think was underrated was the Guajillo chile crusted baby back ribs. They were wrapped in a roll and dipped in nuoc mam cham which gave it a nice tart and saltiness that was so delicious.

The cowboy sushi was too nice! Having #lafw withdrawals already #lafoodwine

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The most interesting bite would be the cowboy sushi. The raw beef on top of the rice served nigiri style was stellar.

This whole pig bbq display #lafw #lafoodwine

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This whole pig picnic from Barrel & Ashes was a true display of deliciousness.

Other great bites came from Union’s Bruce Kalman. He made a roasted beet tortellini sauced with lemon, poppy seed, and wild fennel. The citrus marinated hamachi with purple potato from chef Patrice Martineau of Montage was unforgettable. Another foie dish was the seared foie gras and pig ear crisp from Hot’s Kitchen. After all of the great dishes, I enjoyed The Roots kill it on stage. The guy with the beat machine was great too. After the concert, I grabbed one more Hudson Valley Farms foie gras and an ice cream for the road. It was such a great night!!!

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The Lexus Grand Avenue Night Market hosted by Tyler Florence was a success! With 30 chefs whipping up their special dishes and an overflow of wine and cocktails, the night went on with the tunes of a mediocre DJ. I like to believe the DJ was just “opening” for The Roots the next night.

#lafoodwine First bite of the night is porkbelly!!

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My first bite, which was the pork belly above set the mood of the night. A lot of chefs were doing pork belly, and for a good reason. It was delicious! Topped with a zesty sauce and atop a nice crunchy slaw, the dish was a great start.

Hotdog at #lafoodwine?? Banh Mi style.. 'Twas pretty good.

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Another stellar dish was the banh mi hot dog. It had all the great flavors of a banh mi sandwich, with the humbleness of a hotdog. Great combination, and very gutsy to serve hot dogs at LA Food & Wine!

Yuhhhhh… #lafw #lafoodwine #badass

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Another porky dish I liked was Badmaash’s rice and pork dish. The spiced mango pork belly went perfectly with the Bacon Biryani. Pork and rice is indeed my weakness.

Other great dishes included arroz caldo from Eggslut’s/Rice Bar’ Calvin Dunn. Chef Tin Vuong of Little Sister had a great dish of a vermicelli noodle salad with tender lemongrass beef and spices galore. Other favorites included:
– Hamasaku’s Jewelry Box Chirashi bowl
– Superba’s nitrogen candy
– Seoul Sausage’s Chinese Spiced Lamb Belly
– Patina’s Chef Paul Lee’s Dungeness Crab Cone (pictured below)

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

by Franklin on December 24, 2013

Greetings fans of Dine Delish!

Thank you for all the support and for reading by blog, tweets, Instagrams, etc.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. I don’t know what 2014 has in store for me, but I am excited nonetheless. I pray for more delicious food, which will lead to more blog posts! Please enjoy this time with friends, family, and loved ones. Hug your children, parents, and loved ones, eat together, and just enjoy each other’s company.

Merry Christmas!!

-Franklin Park

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OC Weekly’s Summer Fest

by Franklin on May 28, 2013

OC Weekly proudly invites you to the 2013 Summer Fest, presented by the Surfrider Foundation & Finlandia Vodka, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 from 11am to 5pm at Newport Dunes! This event joins together live musical performances, local retailers, contests, games, prizes, outdoor activities, and a day full of fun!

I am totally gana be there, getting my food on! Get your tickets here!

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