2017 marked the 38th year of the Planned Parenthood Los Angeles [PPLA] Food Fare, and it was certainly one for the books. The environment was extravagant, featuring spectacular lighting with a global flare and floral arrangements exceeding what you would expect at a wedding. That, and some incredible food and drink, paved the way to a hugely successful food festival.
Record setting attendance had the event selling out to more than 2,000 guests, who were all comfortably accommodated in the massive Santa Monica Barker Hangar. More importantly, the event raised more than $1M for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, another record.
Culinary highlights included the focaccia from Savore, which featured goats milk ricotta, pea puree, and an explosion of fresh vegetables and herbs including pea tendrils and shoots, shaved purple radish and asparagus, purple and green kale, and a mint, parsley and chive herb salad. Quite a mouthful, but tasting as beautiful as it looked.
Among sweets at the PPLA Food Fare was Mozza’s butterscotch pudding. In spite of it’s light, airy texture it was equally as rich and deep in flavor with an ever so delicate rosemary cookie on top that gave the dessert what could only be called another level of brightness. Add that to Salt and Straw’s simply unbelievable compilation of flavors, such as honey lavender and sea salt with caramel ribbons.
And while it’s called the PPLA Food Fare, the drink aspect is ever present to say the least. Take, for example, the handcrafted aperitif, Jardesca which features an artisinal blend of three white wines and a double distilled Eu de Vie infused with 10 botanicals. Also pouring was Elixir G, an all-natural concentrated ginger syrup that’s as good, if not better, than most ginger beer brands in any cocktail. Tonight in particular featured margaritas and Moscow mules, which were simply pristine.
The amazing food and drink purveyors are too many to list, but additional vendors included Clementine, where Chef/Owner Annie Miler was recognized as Chef of the Year, Rao’s, Doma Kitchen, Castle’s Catering, Kali, Sweet and Savory, Miro, Pettycash, Casalinda, Rosti, Pink’s, Boneyard Bistro, Chichen Itza, Craft, Sweet E’s, and Border Grill.
Be on the look out for next year’s PPLA Food Fare. Buy tickets early—If it’s anything like this year, this event will sell out.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.