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Palate Food + Wine: Bring-Your-Own-Vinyl

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Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 12:24 PM
click to enlarge Chris Ramos at the turntable - PHOTO CREDIT: WINK
  • Photo credit: Wink
  • Chris Ramos at the turntable

With its own wine shop and an eighteen-dollar corkage fee, Glendale's Palate Food + Wine provides little incentive to BYOB, but has still found a way to create a house party atmosphere. The Sunday afternoon event BYOV (Bring Your Own Vinyl) invites attendees to come to the wine bar equipped with their own record collection, get behind the turntables, and spin. Patrons of last week's BYOV ordered two-dollar Tecates, goat tacos from the parking lot, and nodded their appreciation to some vintage, horn-heavy beats. Octavio Becerra, Palate's chef-owner proclaimed an admiration for "psychedelic Ethiopian Jazz." Over the din of a clap-track the restaurant's wine director, Steve Goldun, put it more simply: "We're into vinyl."

A self-proclaimed closet DJ, Becerra sees the event as a way to celebrate the "trilogy of food, wine and music", although trinity may be more like it. Making the sign of the cross over a bar meal of tacos and beer, Becerra gave a customer his mock benediction.

click to enlarge Goat taco fixings at Palate - PHOTO CREDIT: WINK
  • Photo credit: Wink
  • Goat taco fixings at Palate

The goat meat--confit with dried tangerine and chile de arbol for nine hours--was accompanied by a stone fruit pico de gallo and old school funk, by request of the chef. Cut Chemist and MadLib from nearby Stones Throw Records have been known to swing by, but so far that day Chris Ramos, a DJ turned English teacher and BYOV regular, had provided the tunes. At one point Becerra took over. "Love is love, baby!" he said, waltzing back behind the bar to uncork a bottle of rose.

BYOV's are informal gatherings: at the last event, wine glasses were carried into the parking lot where, block-party style, kitchen staff had turned on a car stereo. Becerra said that he's thrilled to "get people up there and have their own sets," and in the six months since the event's inauguration he has only turned one aspiring DJ away, explaining that the music was "a downer, the antithesis of what's going on here." BYOV, he contends, "Is an excuse for people to get drunk on a Sunday," adding that he's open to any genre. "It just has to be good."

Palate Food + Wine: 933 S. Brand Blvd. Glendale. (818) 662 9463. BYOV Sunday Sessions run from 12-5.

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