I've been anticipating this years Pier Del Sol in Santa Monica after a wonderful time I had last year. Get ready, unbuckle your belts, because I'm sure you will gain 10 pounds just by looking at these photos.
Here's a little bio about Special Olympics from their website:
"The mission of Special Olympics Southern California is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Our vision is to provide sports and training programs for any individual with intellectual disabilities who chooses to participate, thereby improving their lives and the lives of everyone they touch."
Being as big of a foodie as I am, I was super stoked to see all the participating restaurants that will be there. Providence for one, shucked way over 100 oysters to serve the crowd. This year, I was hoping they would do the same. Why? Because it was the best oysters I've ever had.
Unfortunately, I was so excited that I didn't catch the names of the oysters... all 3 times I stopped by! But the clams, were extraordinary. I've never had such clean tasting clams with the most memorable snappy texture. It just pops in your mouth. The sauces that they were serving were impeccable as well. You would think cocktail sauce, horseradish, and mignonette sauce is the most simple things to serve with oysters. Like duh, how can you mess that up? Well... A LOT of places do. And once you've tried their sauces, especially their mignonette, then you will understand the excited booty dance that I was doing.
Hache LA were serving a nice refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail. Fresh strawberries with basil lemonade. Such a delightful cooler to ease of the terrible hot-humid weather that was hitting the pier. I was DRENCHED in sweat every time I stepped into the sun.
Bar Pintxo served one of the best breakfast Paella I've had. I haven't had much either, but the saffron was so aromatic and distinct. There was a bit of socarrat in every bite which drove me bonkers! So delicious! With the creamy soft poached egg was to d-i-e for.
Speaking of delicious poached eggs, it seems like everyone was getting their egg game right.
Getting serious now.
Fishing with Dynamite served one of the best shrimp and grits I've ever had! John just came back from New Orleans a few months ago, and said this topped what he's had there. By the way, I'm not trying to sound obsessed... but the poached egg was STELLAR. The whites literally mushed off... like soft super soft custard.. glued to the ooey gooey yolk... there was nothing more heavenly.
Take a break and grab some fresh s'mores from Spago! My brothers girlfriend, Angela, is the Sous pastry chef that created this with her team for this lovely event. Though this was specially made for this event, I just want to say that their raspberry marshmallow was the best mother f'ing marsh s'mores muusshh I've had! It totally reminded me of the holidays, and y'all know how crazy I am about the holidays right now! BEAST! Think of raspberry covered chocolates. H-ea-v-e-n.
Via Alloro served a duck beat salad and a delicious creamy mushroom truffle soup. Their mushroom soup is something that I was looking forward to this year as well. Though the soup was cold... the mushrooms had a delicious aroma throughout. The truffles, however, did nothing for the soup. I was a bit underwhelmed this year. The duck beat salad was simple, refreshing, and balanced if you eat the dish together. The duck was slightly salty.
This was AMAZING. Hamasaku did this sweet tofu wasanbon that was out of this world! I should've had more of this. It was their version of panna cotta, and I definitely enjoyed this a lot more. It was really thoughtful and well executed. Something so simple done right, gochisousama!
LA Prime did not disappoint with this New York cut steak. A beauty served with watercress, perfect mash and meat gravy. Is that sexy or what? I had 2 plates. (restaurant is located in Westin Bonaventure Hotel).
Mistral was here last year and here again this year serving the same dish. I'm NOT complaining. This was their red wine braised short ribs, doused with a horseradish cream, on a garlic crouton. This was slayed! The horseradish cream was the perfect compliment to cut the richness of the beef. Need I say more? Just one bite folks!
Ok we are almost there. Are you getting hungry yet?
Comforting pesto penne from Terroni! I love, and pretty much am, obsessed with pasta at the moment. I loved the velvet olive oil that you can taste in the whole dish. So silky in the best way ever! I'm definitely going to pop my head in this restaurant in the near future!
Daily Grill was serving up some blackened Ahi tuna. I was a bit skeptical by the simplicity of this dish. But the flavors? PACKED! This was SO delicious, and had gems hidden! There were artichokes, DELICIOUS artichokes. I think this dish was the underdog from the event. Who knew a simple salad like this could be so freaking decadent! I have to visit the Daily Grill AS WELL.
The Tripel created a simple refreshing ceviche served over taro chips. Great dish for this humidity. I never thought of using taro chips for ceviche... genius. Is it lower calories? A girl can only dream....
Really? Angelini Osteria served prosciutto with persimmons. WHY. DOES. IT. TASTE. SO. GOOD. TOGETHER?! Persimmons is seasonal. So how am I going to eat this again? Why do this to me? WHY must you?! I hate simple dishes. Everyone tries to always overdo simple things that stands on it's own. Cantaloupe has nothing on this persimmon. Bravo!
Honary Chef goes to Alain Giraud, chef and owner of Maison Giraud. Serving up some pretty looking food that day. Their salad nicoise was simple and fresh. Again, another refreshing dish to cleanse this heat. And scoot over to grab a mini pain au chocolat, one of my favorite classic french pastries. Where's the coffee?!
Uhhh... yeah you gotta make your sundae from Dandy Don's. Don't forget your nuts and maraschino cherry.
Strand House made this pretty awesome creation. What you see is a blueberry crumb cake, creme fraiche whip you see there, blueberry compote, and a cardamom injector. How fun is that?
Uhhh... yeah this happened to. PINKS was serving up their whole links. No minis. No saving grace. You take the calories, and you run. You can feel bad later, but at this moment, I devour and I will slay.
It's now Tuesday, and I've been working out insanely from eating as much as I did. The hot humid weather didn't make me feel all that attractive either... but now, I feel a lot better. I am super stoked to come back again next year.
Now you tell me. $150 to help charity and to get all this food, is it worth it to you?