Gourmet Taste of Santa Monica
Santa Monica-I’m a regular visitor to the City of Santa Monica throughout the year. I travel from the Southbay in order to catch a foreign/Art house movie at Laemmele Theaters and have dinner afterwards. In the spring, I attend the very popular Santa Monica Festival in Clover Park. During the summer months, you can find me on the Santa Monica Pier for the annual Twilight Dance Series. My new end of summer routine is to attend the annual Taste of Santa Monica, on the West Parking Lot of the Santa Monica Pier.
The Taste of Santa Monica in its 7th years was beautifully framed between the Pacific Park on the west, and the Santa Monica Pier coastline and the Santa Monica Skyline. Actor Jamie Kaler of TBS’ My Boys-served as Master of Ceremonies on his birthday.
This is my second year attending the Taste of Santa Monica. I attended the event two years ago. There has been a tremendous growth in the popularity of the annual fundraiser for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. I’m sure that when the final numbers are revealed, it will show that this year’s event set a new attendance record. Believe it or not ladies and gentleman, boys and girls-I am a gourmet cuisine aficionado. Don’t let the taste buds fool you. I joined thousands of gourmet cuisine aficionados for the annual Taste of Santa Monica. It was humid, but pleasant with a nice ocean breeze. I usually average visiting about 10 of the 40 booths each year. The idea for Taste of Santa Monica is to visit each booth to sample the sumptuous cuisine and tantalizing desserts and get your booklet stamped. This is so that people get the most of their visit to the Taste of Santa Monica. This is a win-win situation for all involve. We the attendees can sample a plethora of cuisine from a variety of restaurants and talk to the staff from the restaurants about other items on their menu, determine the location of the restaurants as well as their hours. The owners of the restaurants get some direct face to face marketing exposure. The restaurants owners benefit more when people actually visit their establishment and recommend the place to other people.
New to the Taste of Santa Monica were the Inter-active Molecular Ice Cream Lab. Chefs from the Art Institute of California Los Angeles led the crowd in making some delightfully tasty ice cream. This booth as well as the Acadie Hand Crafted French Crepes and Locanda Del Lago/Caffe Bellagio were the most popular at the festival.
A great collection of wineries were featured in the wine garden serving Signature, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syree, Zinfandel, Syrah, Roseum, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Musical entertainment was provided by Route 66 Blues Band, Jean Shy, Kat Adams while people strolled around enjoying crepes, gelatos, skewers, fried shrimp, vegetable fried rice, shrimp scampi, green corn tamales, hot lobster bisque with puffy pastry, pastas, shrimp and seabass ceviche, tiramisu, and other sumptuous dishes.
Los Angeles has an incredible pool of talented musicians. I was really impress hearing vocalist Jean Shy belt out some blues from her latest CD The Blues Got Soul. I arrived at the Taste of Santa Monica as she was singing “Evil Gal Blues” and “Drowning In My Tears.” She was backed by a tight band featuring Cadillac Zack on guitar/vocals, Lee Coleman-drums, Andy Roy-guitar/sax, Rick Reed-bass and Alex Walker-guitar. They played some down and dirty blues with “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Two Trains Running” and “Unchain My Heart.” The Route 66 Blues Band latest CD is entitled You Can’t Take It With You. Vocalist Kat Adams was another gem of a discovery at the Taste of Santa Monica. She captivated the crowd with her ability to easily segue from singing jazz, R&B and other genres of music. She was accompanied by Roland on keyboards.
Several fortunate people walked away with some fabulous door prizes. The prizes consisted of Gourmet giveaway-gift certificates from all of the participating restaurants, Cirque Du Soleil Package-four VIP tickets to see their latest production of Mystere, Wine Package, and TBS package. A good time was had by all, young and old at this years fun-filled food festival.