LosAngeles Times The TasteLA by Night

Photo by Crystal Johnson- Multi Cultural Cooking Network

MCCN has been covering Los Angles Times Taste event for years and not one time had we ever attended the evening event portion…our mistake.  If you are looking for a party revolving around fine and innovative food then the The Taste Los Angeles is the event for you.  LA’s best restaurants were showing off with incredible fusions and traditional cultural cuisines.  On Saturday night there is definitely a block party atmosphere set on the Paramount lot completely with dj’s.   People were dressed to impressed and having a really good time.  Sunday night, the pace slows down but the flavors don’t.  Many attendees mentioned how they appreciate the being held during cooler temperatures.   Whether folks attends by day or night, they can enjoy culinary trip all set on Paramount’s Studio mock street scene.

Octopus tacos

Octopus Taco by Chichen Itza

Your tongue will travel around the world with a taste of Mexico,  Vietnam, Japan, American southern barbecue and more.  One of the impressive menu items was the Octopus Taco with Calamari ink served up by Chichen Itza.  Chaya served up King Crab with cauliflower and panna cotte. 9021Pho served a delicious curry chicken soup.

Five star dessert offerings came from the Ensaymayda Project,  B Sweet and Sprinkles.  Filipino Ensaymada is a soft, sweet bread smothered with a mixture of sugar and butter icing and generously topped with shredded cheese. What the Ensaymada Project offers in addition the classic ensaymada is a twist on cupcakes like Red Velvet.  The owner would describe it as,  moist brioche swirled with red goodness, slathered with a smooth frosting and finished off with red velvet cake crumbs creates a medley of textures. ”  See our interview with owner/culinary creator Charli Heredia-Reyes about the Green Tea Red Bean Ensaymada.  Then there is nothing more comfort food than bread pudding and B sweet brings fun and innovate spins to bread pudding with flavors such as Red Velvet, glazed donut and chocolate banana bread pudding.   B Sweet has a dessert bar, food trucks and bread pudding flavored ice creams sold in stores.  Sprinkles had many offering of their famous cupcakes.  MCCN staffers enjoyed the S’more cupcake with a chocolate cake topped with slightly roasted marshmallow.

The most interesting drink we had was the Veruca Salt which consisted of housemade celery drink, 209 Gin and a smoked sea salt lined rim of the glass imparting a unique twist to the flavor.

MCCN Goes Inside the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 2014

Happy diners enjoying mussels with a green curry coconut milk sauce and Wine at the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival

Honestly, the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival is one of the best events a foodie, a chef or restauranter could hope. .  Food beyond compare, great wine, and you are driven in a Lexus from festival venue to venue. Fun, Fun, Fun.

The Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival is the Cinderella belle of the ball of foodie events. Expect celebrity chefs and chefs from some of the very best restaurants.   Menu items included octupus paired with eggplant, wonton wrapper taco shells filled carne asada, and savory corn panna cotta topped with bacon and black truffle salad to name a few. 

Malibu Pier Restaurant Chef Jason Fullilove does the finishing touches to his California Sea Bass Crudo

Malibu Pier Restaurant Chef Jason Fullilove does the finishing touches to his California Sea Bass Crudo

We can’t forget the wine. Among the wineries there were Landmark Vineyard, Blackbird Vineyard and many more.  There seemed to be a lot of red wine and surprisingly a lot of Rosé.  Many wine snobs snub their nose to Rosé but is a great   summer drink.  If you were looking for a good cocktail Celebrity Cruise Lines provided their signature cocktails to sample.  

Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival is the all-star show and party of food.  

See Photo Gallery on Multiculturalcookingnetwork FB Page

Written by Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor

ABC Elixer Recipe

Beets are an incredible blood tonic and natural cleanser for the liver. This combo is rich in vitamins beta carotene, zinc, vitaminElixer C, and chromium, excellent for boosting carbohydrate metabolism.

Makes approx. 14 ounces

  • 1 green or golden apple cut into slices
  • 1/2 small uncooked beet
  • 5 celery stalks, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled
  • 1/2- to 1-inch piece ginger root, peeled

In a juicer, push through apple, beet, celery, lemon, and ginger. Stir the juice and pour into a glass. Serve at room temperature or chilled, as desired.


Italy: History of Biscotti and How to Make It


mscotti.com-The word “Biscotti” comes from bis and cotti, the Italian terms for twice-cooked or twice-baked. Biscotti is also the generic term for cookie in Italian. Traditionally an Italian classic, Biscotti have been baked for centuries. It was the perfect food for sailors who were at sea for months at a time. The biscuits were thoroughly baked to draw out moisture, becoming a cracker-like food that was resistant to mold. Biscotti were a favorite of Christopher Columbus who relied on them on his long sea voyage.


Biscotti are eaten and enjoyed in many ways! Italians favor them as “dipping cookies” either in a delicious cup of coffee or cappuccino, or in a special Italian wine known as Vin Santo. They are enjoyed as a breakfast biscuit, dunked in coffee, along side a dish of Gelato or Spumoni, and of course, Biscotti are savored as a subtly sweet crispy snack all by themselves!

Los Angeles Times The Taste – A Labor Day Weekend Must Do

If the Los Angeles Times Taste event is not on your radar then please tune in.  It is a great annual labor weekend to do list event featuring the finest restaurants in So Cal.  There are also many wineries represented, beers and lots of cocktails Cooking demoflowing.  There are cooking demonstrations too!

Folks battled the heat to enjoy the event by day and others attend the night time sessions.I have been attending the event for years and I strongly recommend it.  I admit I have only gone in the day but this year I am going to check out the night time scene.  The event takes place on the Paramount Lot with vendor along the made for Hollywood movie streets.

Los Angeles Times Members save $25.  

Click Here for Schedule and Ticket Pricing


by Crystal A. Johnson

MulticulturcookingNetwork, Editor

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

LA is not only home to rock stars but to some of the world’s most rockin’ food.  Sorry, this ain’t your grandmother’s kitchen.  The world’s most famous chefs like Giada DeLaurentiis, Rick Bayless,  Guy Fieri and  Curtis Stone to name a few are the likes you will find at this culinary shing-ding.  However, this really more about the opportunity for foodie’s to chow down on some of the best food in Los Angels and experience some of the best wines.  Expect to find dream come true menu items such as maple smoked pork belly, deconstructed clam chowder,   The event is spread along Grand Street including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and more. 

When: August 21-24th

Ticket Info & Daily Schedule:  http://www.lafw.com/tickets/ 

Look for us updates via instagram (@multiculturalcookingnetwork) and on our facebook page live from the event.


Written by Crystal A. Johnson 

Northridge, CA: Review of Musashi


Musashi is a Japanese restaurant chain in Los Angeles with several locations.  I joined some friends at the tail end of dinner.  I quickly ordered the Bluefin sushi selected by a friend as a good choice.

And a good choice it was while I was eating my dinner from the appetizer menu, the rest of the party’s dessert was served.

I sampled the Banana Flambe.  The vanilla ice cream looked and tasted home-made and that is a good thing. The bananas were perfect, not overcooked maintaining a bit of firmness in the texture. This was truly a flavorful Banana Flambe.


As for the tempura ice cream it was visually striking.  I appreciated the contrasting textures and flavor.  However, pure taste would dictate that the Banana Flambe as the dessert of the night.

Musashi has teppan yaki (food cooked and served in front of you) tables and traditional sit down tables.  There is also a sushi bar.

Where: 9046 Tampa Avenue, Northridge, CA 91324
Phone:(818) 701-7041
Hours: Saturday hours 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

Food Truck Review of Papa Juan’s Seafood Tacos

Photo by Sam Romero

Photo by Sam Romero

The ambiance of the Grubfest in Granada Hills had a sense of tranquility yet a subtle buzz filled the air. The people present seemed to be enjoying themselves in a laid-back sort-of-way with their plates on one hand, and a taco on another. In fact, I actually noticed that a few people had their mouths full of food and were too busy to talk as they were more focused on their plates than their friends.

As I gently approached this food truck, the aromas and smells of the searing food completely enveloped me. It’s as if I was being welcomed into an evening barbecue at the beach in Baja California Mexico. The smells of corn tortillas, the fried fish and the sizzling sound of the grill invited me to come closer and investigate deeper. An instantaneous smile took over me as I see myself nodding as well…

Ok! Enough about that!

First of all, let me start by saying that Papa Juan’s is not just another “taco food truck” from your friendly neighborhood corner in LA. At first, it can seem as though it actually is.  (Ha! They sure fooled me!)

But it only takes a few moments of observation to see the unique perspective on the dishes they actually serve. You see, there are only a few food trucks that serve seafood tacos in the area. And for a place that claims to have Baja inspired dishes, Papa Juan’s sure knows how to deliver. If you enjoy Mexican-style mariscos, you’re in for a real treat! From shrimp cocktails to fish tacos, to their own twist on the classic quesadilla (a fried shrimp quesadilla!), you’ll be transported to the Baja beach of flavors.

These guys have stepped it up a notch in the sense that they have achieved both the “classical” taste of tacos, while at the same time making it their own. For example, their battered fried fish tacos look like any other fish taco. Yet taste completely original. This is due to their recipe, which consists of (SECRET) and a little bit of (SECRET), which makes the (SECRET)taste like (SECRET), and that’s all there is to it.

Ok in reality, not even I know the “secret” to their dishes; they guard it with their life and swear by it. But they seem very passionate about what they do and they do pride themselves in a recipe passed down from previous generations.

One of the things I tried at Papa Juan’s was the Battered Fried Fish Taco. And, well, I hadn’t tasted the thing yet and I was already putting lime on the taco. I guess I was just accustomed to doing my Latino ritual. I felt guilty afterwards because let me tell you, it did not need lime! The fish actually tasted like it should, like fish. I remember smelling the exact same thing on my way there. The aroma was good I could almost taste it.

Next on the things I tried was the Fried Shrimp Quesadilla. It became an instant favorite on my list. Even though it was fried, it was really cheesy the way they made it (no pun intended), so cheesy that if you twist off a piece, a strand of cheese follows. An absolute classic, with a twist.

The other thing I tried was the Shrimp Tostada. It could’ve used a little less cucumber in my opinion, and I suppose the shrimp was a little tough due to the marinating process, but good flavor overall.

I also tried the Coctél de Camarón/ Shrimp Cocktail. The juice of the cocktail was flavorful and very similar to the tostada. After tasting it, I added Tapatío hot sauce and more lime. I actually expected celery, but maybe this recipe is different. And just like the tostada, it could’ve used less cucumber in my opinion. I’ve actually tasted a few varieties of shrimp cocktails of Mexico and I can say this was somewhat pretty close to the Mexican Coctél de Camarón that I am familiar with. Overall, my experience at Papa Juan’s was a pleasant one.

-Written by Manny Romero

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