There's a new online magazine in town and it goes by the name of dtownLA.com and last July, I was invited to attend their launch party, which was co-sponsored by Yelp LA. dtownLA.com caters to downtown residents and they bring a fashionable element to restaurant coverage and downtown activities. Their focus is on high fashion as well as swanky night spots and generally capturing the essence of downtown LA's lively spirit. As for Yelp, it was founded in 2004 to help people connect with and talk about great local businesses Currently, more than 21 million people have visited Yelp and Yelpers have written over 6 million local reviews.
At the launch party that was aptly called The Taste of dtownLA, over 800 people were in attendance and it was a palate pleasing event that featured a food tasting from downtown restaurants that included Magnolia, Provecho, Maria's Italian Kitchen and more. Since I'm not much of a drinker, my main focus was on the food, but for those who had a Bacchus bent, they could sip on POM cocktails featuring Rain Organics Vodka as well as an Italian beer from Peroni Nastro Azzurro. I do admit; however, to falling in love with the Coke in the aluminum bottles, which are never sold in public, but instead, used only for special events.
In regards to the food, given that this party was held in the 7,000 square foot historic Brunswick studio, there was only enough room for 9 restaurants to be in attendance; however, they represented themselves well. The nice thing about attending a tasting event like this is that sometimes you'll be introduced to an unfamiliar restaurant. Such was the case with Gram and Papas. Their table was my first stop and had my absolute favorite food of the evening. Simply, their mini chicken salad pretzel bread sandwich was amazing. I could have eaten at least 2 or 3 more, but I didn't want to be greedy.
Next door to Gram and Papas was Takami Sushi and Robata and their offering was a tuna tartare on a won top chip which was a cool yet crispy bite of tuna goodness.
Our next stop was at Magnolia's table and being a cheesehead, I appreciated every spoonful of their baked macaroni and cheese.
Provecho has actually been on my radar for awhile and their octopus and fish ceviche was so good that I'm even more interested in dining there in the near future. Their tuna tartare and mini red velvet cupcakes also hit the spot.
When it came to desserts, Urth Caffe definitely took the cake and then some. Teenage Gluster and Food Blogz, my companions for this event, shamelessly shared 5 or 6 between us with the Tiramisu coming out on top.
The remaining restaurants included The Daily Grill, Maria's Italian Kitchen;
and Rock 'n Fish.
Overall, this was a nice event. It was fun mixing and mingling with the Downtown LA crowd and as more restaurants make their way downtown, the Taste of dtown could be an annual event that can only get bigger and better.
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