Archive for October, 2011

FoodGPS 3rd Annual Beer Float Showdown Hosted at Eagle Rock Brewery, October 16, 2011

October 16, 2011 1 comment

Josh Lurie of FoodGPS hosted the third annual LA beer float showdown at Eagle Rock Brewery this afternoon.

I’m coming down from being a lil blasted from the event. Mostly because there were open taps from 11:30 to 1:00. I ran the gauntlet with Eagle Rock Brewey’s dark session lager, Solidarity, their hoppy Revolution, and their yeasty Manifesto wit bier. That was all before the beer float competition began!

The competitors were as reported by LAist (copy on competitors) and witnessed by me (photos and some side comments):

Oinkster/ Maximiliano & Eagle Rock Brewery -OFFICIAL WINNER!!!

Andre Guerrero and Jan Purdy of The Oinkster and Maximiliano, and Jeremy Raub, owner and brewmaster at the GABF gold medal-winning Eagle Rock Brewery.

Vanilla Bean Solidarity with Chocolate Bourbon Ice Cream garnished with cocoa nibs and pig candy. Chefs Andre Guerrero and Jan Purdy participate in Beer Float Showdown with Jeremy Raub of Eagle Rock Brewery.


The crowd favorite and winner of the competition was the host Jeremy Raub of Eagle Rock Brewery and the collaboration if his Vanilla Solidarity floating a chocolate bourbon ice cream with a candied bacon chaser.

Ilan Hall of The Gorbals, winner of Top Chef season two, and Jonathan Porter, the GABF gold medal-winning brewmaster of Tustin Brewing Company now doing his own thing at Smog City Brewing.

CJ Jacobson of The Yard, contestant on Top Chef season three, and Jace Milstead, Certified Cicerone and L.A. representative of the fourteen-time GABF gold medal-winning Firestone Walker Brewing Company.

CJ garnished the glass with caramel and crushed potato chips.  The ice cream was, well I forget, but here’s some video of him making it with liquid nitrogen for the beer chicks.


Laurent Quenioux of Vertical Wine Bistro and, contestant on Top Chef’s upcoming ninth season, and Julian Shrago (brewmaster) and Gabe Gordon (owner) of Beachwood BBQ & Brewing.


Thi Tran and Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen, and Dave Griffiths (owner & brewmaster) and Cyrena Nouzille (owner) of Ladyface Ale Companie.  My WINNER FOR BEST LEDERHOSEN


Another delicious treat was The Eagle Rock and Craftsman collaboration, UNITY. This is a saison style beer brewed with tamarind which makes the beer taste sour.

Try it out while it’s on tap!


Mariscos Mazateña in Tijuana

October 10, 2011 1 comment

Mad props to Bill Esparza of for sharing his knowledge of the streets of Tijuana and local proprietors with eater Angelenos this weekend after the Baja California Culinary Festival.

Mariscos Mazateña serves Sinaloan food. Not familiar with all the state names of Mexico, I only understood what he meant by using Wikipedia. Sinaloa is one of Mexico’s 31 states and is located opposite Baja California across the Sea of Cortez. The key thing to know about ordering authentic Sinaloan tacos is that they traditionally use harina (flour) tortillas though you have your choice of harina or maiz (corn).

I had a Marlin enchilado taco composed of smoked, shredded marlin and cheese – a very rich combination. The fillings are ample so you might get by with a single taco. The marlin is smoked and the oil from the cheese draws out a red liquid making an ooey-gooey, tantalizing filling amply snuggled in the flour tortilla.

I boldly followed this first devoured taco with a pulpo (octopus) taco, not realizing it too had cheese. There’s no skimping at Mariscos Mazateña and the sliced octopus tentacles alone could feed two people.

It was delicious deliciousness. I did not order the namesake taco, which is a fried shrimp and cheese combination, but you should as it’s their specialty.

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Argentine dining in Tijuana

October 10, 2011 1 comment

Erin and I ate at Cheripan on Saturday night. Erin travelled to Buenos Aires with her mom two years ago and came back with a favorable impression of their steaks.

If you’re in Tijuana and craving steak I recommend that you try Cheripan. It’s a late crowd (for Angelenos) as we sat down in a fairly empty restaurant at 9:30pm that was full at 10:30pm

We ordered two fancy empanadas: one beef and one mushrooms with blue cheese. I say fancy because the crust was flanker than traditional empanadas.

We ordered Entrana de Res an argentine cut of steak that is thin and tender. Exactly what we were looking for. This is where and when we enjoyed our Montr Xanic Cabernet Sauvignon.

Others in our group raved about the Tamarind Margaritas, but we missed those.

First Annual Baja California Culinary Festival (Tijuana)

October 10, 2011 1 comment

Travelling Angelo is spending the weekend in Tijuana.

The most important message I have is, “Don’t let your fear control you and prevent you from having experiences.”

I told co-workers I was going to Tijuana and three expressed concern for my safety. Why is that? On this trip I met an American woman in her 50s that has bee routinely visiting Tijuana and Ensenada for 30 years and, impressively to me, driving her own car across the border. If she can do this we all can.

The trip I’m on makes it easier for me to navigate and approach the city. I’m on a foodie excursion with a host of food bloggers, tweeters, and other periodistas ( e.g., dine editor from Los Angeles magazine and a food writer from L.A. Weekly.)

We’re down here to experience the First Annual Baja California Culinary Feast courtesy of Bill Esparza @StreetGourmetLA who has graciously shared his relationships with people in the industry to construct a fantastic weekend.

Our troupe of ~50 left Union Station in Los Angeles bound for Tijuana. We arrived and learned our reservations had been upgraded to the Grand Hotel Tijuana.

Surprisingly in addition to hosting food devotees, the Grand Hotel was also hosting devotees of Catholicism and the lobby was filled with Priests, choral processions, and friars. This did not deter my first request for a margarita.

The majority of this foodie nation chose to have dinner at Mision 19. However, I was quite pleased by the company of the eight travelers who chose to eat at La Querencia

At La Querencia, we were graced with meals from Miguel Angelo Guerro (executive chef of La Querencia) and chef Benito Molina who owns several restaurants in Ensenada. We also had two Los Angeles mixologists. Steve and Pablo. creating 5 cocktails to accompany the meal.

The cocktails were as follows:

• a fig based tequila cocktail

• a cucumber based margarita

• a watermelon based Michelada

• a digestif of reposada Tequilla, peach bitters, and orange perfume

We also had several red and white wines from Valle de Guadalupe. This is a wine region I’d had no knowledge of prior to this trip and now we’ll actively seek out in LA.

The winery I recall from the region is Monte Xanic. A woman familiar with the region recommended the label. I had a bottle of a Chenin for $20 and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for $40. If you are looking at wine lists you will probably find Monte Xanic listed.

If you’re staying at the Grand Hotel Tijuana I encourage you to try the brunch for Mexican flavors if machaca (shredded beef) and eggs, nopalines (cactus) and eggs, fresh tortillas fashioned into quesadillas, and a colorful selection of freshly cut fruit.

One stop on our foodie tour close to my heart was Cervecia Tijuana a local microbrewery. They brew an award winning dark lager named Morens. It is malt-centric and has a smooth mouth-feel.. Another dark lager, the Brava, is more carbonated and hoppier. We were able to speak with the brewer about their operation.

We were visiting Tijuana on a tour led by StreetGourmetLA. We had come for the first annual Baja California Culinary Festival. Chefs from Tijuana, Rosarito, and Ensenada cooked the entire weekend. One of the main events of the festival was a gathering of restaurants in a fair.

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