As a "LA Transplant" by way of Massachusetts, I still have many places in this town that I have yet to fully explore, one of which is downtown. With the booming restaurants and trendy shops popping up I'm never short of amazed by the gems that are down there. This past weekend I was invited to check out the Artisanal LA event held at L.A. Mart. This event was a showcase of all the new food artisans that you didn't even know you loved. I was able to meet some truly inspiring people and taste some delicious new delicacies all under the roof of an awesome creative space.
Below are a few of my new faves. Check them out for yourself!
The first booth that caught my eye was "Blooms In The Air", which boasted a gorgeous display of handcrafted paper flowers. If you're like me and have a "black thumb", these blossoms will bring joy to your home all year long.
Our friends from Soft Peaks Confections were there with their infamous macarons.
I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. I've tried plenty of macarons in my day, some from
I was so excited to see my pal Dwayne from Magee's at the event! Magee's is a staple at the LA Farmers Market, churning up fresh nut butters on the spot including Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, and of course, the classic Peanut Butters.
The Donut Snob is quickly becoming LA's guilty pleasure. I mean who wouldn't want gourmet donuts delivered right to your door in the morning. Yeah, that can happen! With flavors like Salted Caramel, Razzy Lemon, and The Oinker (yes, that's a donut with maple glaze and bacon crumbles), who can say no?
I have to say that one of the highlights of the event for me was my conversation with Azure Antoinette, founder of The Aalchemik Collective. The messaging behind this poetic and prophetic brand is, "Never Ordinary. Always Brilliant." Promoting individuality and self awareness is their goal and the infectious confidence of Azure found its way into the veins of anyone who came up to her booth. If you ever need a pick me up, just listen to Azure and you’ll feel like a million bucks.
I was thrilled to have the chance to meet Eric of Velvet Rope Bake Shop! We have been following each other via social media for quite some time and it was awesome to finally meet the mastermind behind these delectable Cake Truffles. Do yourself a favor and try them ASAP!
For more information about these vendors and Artisanal LA visit http://www.artisanalla.com/
Check back soon to see what’s cookin’ from Kasey’s Kitchen.
I may be biased but I have to say, RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen is still one of my favorite spots in LA. You see, RockSugar was actually my first job in Los Angeles when I came out here for a summer back in 2008. The restaurant hadn't even opened yet and I was hired to be the "Reservationist", sounds fancy huh? During the opening weeks of the restaurant, we were slammed! We had A-List celebs coming in and out, an hour long wait-list, and even if you pulled the "Don't you know who I am?" card, you still weren't getting in!
So obviously when I moved back to the area I was excited to see how the restaurant was doing! With restaurant masterminds David Overton and Chef Mohan Ismail behind the wheel, clearly RockSugar was destined for success.
I was lucky enough to be invited into the stunning restaurant to try the menu out once again, this time as a critic rather than a nervous employee!
Every meal at Rock Sugar starts with a basket of Black Sesame Rice Cakes and their house made dip, it's almost like an Asian Salsa. As addictive as these are, I tried not to fill up, there was plenty more on its way!
Our server was kind enough to point out some of the most popular appetizers for us to start with. We opted for the Spicy Ahi Rolls with jicama, pickled carrots, and Thai basil. These were so fresh and tasty! Then, Chef Mohan surprised us with a few little tastebud teasers, Flash Fried Anchovies and Fried Pig's Ears. I know, I know, it sounds pretty insane but I have to tell you, those pig's ears were outstanding. I could totally snack on those all day!
We were also treated the Honoi Snapper. Now this is a dish that I wouldn’t normally order on my own however I am SO glad that we tried it! This was seriously a flavor explosion! The fish is lightly pan-fried and then served on a bed of rice noodles with cilantro, dill and peanuts. The real magic happens when you pour the Nuoc Cham sauce over the dish and give it a toss. This will blow your mind. I had to forcefully keep my chopsticks from going back to that dish numerous times.
Just before the food coma was about to set in we treated ourselves to the Caramelized Banana Custard Cake. This dessert is so original and delicious, no wonder it's their most popular. Brulee topping, nut brittle, and milk chocolate ice cream on the side. How can you go wrong?
This is just a small taste of my experience at RockSugar! Click here to see even more of the delicious dishes we tried!