Tuesday, July 24, 2012

LA Street Food Fest Part 2 Sweet! : Lili's Review

Part 2 of this event will strictly be based on desserts, sweets and all the things that can make us happy and sick at the same time! There was a whole section of the Rose bowl that was dedicated to ice cream, donuts and an arrangement of baked goods.



Ashley and I were very keen on this idea of a churro ice cream sandwich, it was different and it came highly recommended to us by some strangers we sat next to in between food tastings. The business called themselves The Churro Borough and they don't have a truck or a restaurant but they just travel from place to place (with a cart? maybe?) selling circular disk-like churros that hold either horchata or mexican spiced chocolate ice cream. After waiting around for them to fry up a new batch of churros, I received a hot fresh and teeny sandwich encrusted with cinnamon, sugar and so much love. Being that I am a big fanatic of horchata, I was disappointed in how little the ice cream resembled the rice drink. It was just solid, cold cream with no vanilla or even cinnamon flavor. All the ice cream portion did was provide a contrast of temperature from the hot churros that instantly melted it and got all over my hands. However, I was so enamored by the flavor and homemade qualities of the churro disks that the flavorless ice cream was of little consequence to me. I had to eat it within two bites to prevent my horchata ice cream from going back to its natural state as a liquid.

That special little cocoon dessert pictured next to the churro sandwiches were called Chinese honey candy from Dragons Whisker Candy. The man making this candy was more than happy to give us a demonstration of how he took little globs of honey and rolled them in cornstarch. He then stretched out the honey and it became strings! It wasn't sticky it was literally like loose hems that you pull out of your jeans. It tasted like powdery honey (go figure) and after making the edible string, he wrapped it around a peanut butter brittle candy. There wasn't much to the peanut candy rather than it tasting like peanut butter but it went well with the powdered honey. The chef was more than insistent that we take a handful of them and gave us samples of the string honey by itself. All together it wasn't overly sweet and I felt like I was eating a deliciously crunchy caterpillar cocoon. That sounds terribly gross but I swear it was worth trying and very innovative.

Would you try something that had salted plum as an ingredient? It wasn't really on my list of "must try foods" and I never warmed up to the idea of salt on any of my fruits. Now read closely when I say the salted plum and lychee panna cotta from Starry Kitchen was one of the best desserts I have ever eaten. Ever. The consistency was like a tapioca pudding but thinner almost mimicking a thick soup. It had fresh chunks of sweet lychee that gave the panna cotta texture. I'm really not sure what the orange top layer is but I'm going to assume it was the salted plum and to be honest, I never tasted anything salty. The whole thing was beautiful and delicate and set my tongue ablaze with creamy fruity sweetness. I'm quite amazed I didn't go back to their tent and just use my arm arm to sweep all their panna cotta samples into my purse. I convinced myself I would come back in the evening and take one to go home. I made the terrible mistake of underestimating how many samples they made, how many people were there and how that equation would leave me never getting a second chance to delight over that dessert. Unfortunately, they did not win any of the People's Choice Awards at this event and in my opinion they were robbed.

Before we even saw a menu for Nonna's Kitchenette, we walked towards the crowd of people who were patiently waiting for their sample of their maple glazed French toast crostini. In the picture you can clearly see some pancetta sprinkled on this dessert and even though they offered me a vegetarian version, it was really no effort to just scrape it off with my fork. The little baguette slice French toast was covered with homemade vanilla bean whipped cream and garnished with a really fresh and sweet raspberry. When I bit into the french toast it was soaked with maple syrup, but not in a "wow my food is drowning" way, it was juicy like biting into a well prepared steak. The top of the bread was a golden brown and it kept its durable texture without getting soggy from the syrup. I was really overwhelmed with how comforting and how divine this dish tasted. With the classy presentation, flavor and friendly faces the cooks gave us, it inspired me to try making French toast from baguettes and also try more things off their food truck in the near future.

No comments: