What You'll Be Eating at The Essentials, L.A. Weekly's Annual Food Event

POT's baby octopus as last year's The Essentials.
POT's baby octopus as last year's The Essentials.
Anne Fishbein

Quick question: What are you doing on the third Saturday in February? If your answer is anything other than "The Essentials, of course," you might want to reconsider. On Saturday, Feb. 20. L.A. Weekly will be hosting our eighth annual world-class food and wine event, The Essentials, an evening shindig featuring 60 of the finest restaurants in the city — from high-end brasseries to world-class street food vendors — as chronicled in our upcoming 99 Essential Restaurants issue (out Feb. 18).

From 6 to 10 p.m. at California Market Center in DTLA, you'll be treated to a stellar lineup of restaurants and wineries unlike anything else you'll find under one roof.

Tickets for general admission are still available. The $65 price tag covers unlimited food tastings, as well as wine and cocktail samples (this is a 21+ event). Ticket prices increase by $5 on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 11:59 p.m. More info on The Essentials is available here.

Now here's a sneak peek of some of the dishes in store (dishes subject to change):

  • Pine & Crane's spicy wontons
  • Le Comptoir's winter squash velouté
  • Kiriko's smoked salmon sashimi with mango
  • Aqui Es Texcoco's barbacoa tacos and lamb broth
  • Dune's falafel sandwich
  • Hungry Cat's scallop and clam ceviche
  • Jitlada's spicy BBQ red pork noodles
  • Sqirl's cured sturgeon with kumquat and anise hyss
  • Bludso's barbecue smoked brisket
  • Luv2Eat Thai Bistro's crab curry with kanomjean
  • Cacao Mexicatessen's bacon slab taco
  • Philippe's French dip sandwich
  • Coni'Seafood's ceviche marinero
  • Chengdu Taste's Sichuan beef noodle soup
  • Wexler's Deli's egg with lox and everything spice 
  • Chichén Itzá's tacos de cochinita
  • La Casita Mexicana's chicken with green mole and roasted poblanos
  • Spago's duck leg confit with tangerine pureé
  • Park's BBQ's beef short ribs
  • Szechuan Impressions' "countryside tofu"
  • POT's "Beep Beep: dynamite bowl"
  • Kogi BBQ's short rib taco
  • A.O.C.'s albacore salad with lemongrass sambal
  • Cassia's crab and oyster pan roast
  • Beverly Soon Tofu's soon tofu with pickled cucumbers and kimchi
  • Connie and Ted's raw oyster bar
  • Crossroads' mini tortelloni with almond ricotta
  • Guelaguetza's mole negro
  • El Huarache Azteca's huaraches, sopes and quesadillas
  • République's grass-fed beef tartare
  • Rustic Canyon's green peas with white chocolate and macadamia nuts

Plus, pours of wine from these importers and producers:

  • Giovanni Almondo
  • AM/FM
  • Clos Figueras
  • Beaujolais Dupeuble
  • European Cellars
  • Félsina
  • Schloss Gobelsburg
  • Gulfi
  • Hunt & Harvest
  • Domaine Roland Lavantureux 
  • Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
  • Kóan
  • Lieu Dit
  • Macon-Villages
  • Maritime Wine Trading Co.
  • Olé
  • il Palagio
  • Poço Do Lobo
  • Revel Wine
  • Rieflé
  • Saint Jean du Barroux
  • Bertani
  • Shacksbury
  • La Tercera
  • Domaine Gilles Troullier
  • The Vienna Wine Company
  • Loring Wine Company
  • La Rioja Alta
Kiriko chef/owner Ken Namba at 2015's The Essentials
Kiriko chef/owner Ken Namba at 2015's The Essentials
Anne Fishbein
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Related Location

California Market Center

110 E. 9th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015


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