The 1st Annual L.A. Vendy Awards were on Saturday, and Nina's Foods, from Nina Garcia, was named the winner, after serving pambazos and handmade, grilled quesadillas. The judges for the event were Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet LA; The Teenage Gluster Javier Cabral; Evan Kleiman of KCRW's Good Food and Angeli Caffe; and Animal chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, who picked Garcia's foods over four other vendors. “It was unanimous,” said judge Esparza. “It was a unanimous decision.” He went on to add that “Nina's really dominated with the flavor, and everybody really liked Big Mista's as a second choice… Trying to compare pig candy to a pambazo is not easy, but ultimately, hers was flawless.”
Often times, the first years of events like these are an overcrowded mess, but the organizers, who have been putting together the original New York version for the past five years, were able to keep things under control. Lines never got out of hand, and the crowds were always kept at a manageable level. As promised, no one left the premises hungry or thirsty.