I was really looking forward to Jonathon Gold's "Gold Standard" today. It was supposed to be 40 of the best tastes in LA and being held at the Petersen Auto Museum, so I paid $80 for a VIP ticket and arrived at the noon kick off time on an empty stomach. As soon as I got upstairs I knew something was wrong. It was 12:10 and the line stretched through several rooms of the museum. When inquiring as to what the problem was we were told they were waiting on a health inspector. So we waited...and waited some more. It was 12:30 and the line had continued to grow and not a single person had been let through the doors. Everyone was hungry and getting more frustrated by the minute. I was frankly ready to leave and request a refund but as I deliberated doing so they finally started letting people in. I had planned on going at noon, getting my money's worth and getting out before 1pm, when the general admission started pouring in, but apparently that wasn't going to happen.
Finally around 12:35 the line started to move and we entered the large tent that housed the gold standard on the top of the parking garage at the Petersen. Lines seemed to form instantly at some of the "slower" booths. Spots like Ludo Bites and Mozza seemed to be preparing rather ornate dishes that had several components and couldn't quite keep with the hungry foodies lining up to try their food. Other spots like Nickel Diner had their food in packaged and ready to go-donuts covered in a strawberry shortcut glaze or nutella.
One of the favorites of the day for me were Bistro LQ - a restaurant I have yet to try but one I plan on visiting this week. Another delightful dish was executed by Rustic Canyon who was sharing a table with Huckleberry: a burrata salad with greens-I would go to the restaurant just to have this dish again. It was definitely one of the few light dishes of the day and was refreshing and flavorful . Jar was also great with the braised mini sandwiches.
I finally got to try Kogi and only had to wait for a minute or two...I was rather disappointed by their vegan taco choice.
Overall it was an interesting event and I got to try a few new restaurants...but was it worth $85 and standing in line for 30 minutes? Probably not. Especially when $20 for dinner at most of these places would buy you a sizable dinner for 2, including nice service, room to breathe and a nice table upon which to eat your food-all things missing at today's event. The other disappointing factor was that the number of wines being poured highly out numbered the food options...it seemed more like a wine event, and frankly Jonathon Gold isn't a wine critic so I don't really know how that came into play. Better luck next year Gold.