Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

EVENT: Michelin Launch Party

I'm just going to say to start out, that if I had known the perks of writing about food, I would have pursued it long ago. Instead I spent my fledgling career years working in and writing about the music business. In the music business, the publicists know that the music fans are all dying to be there anyway, they see no need to make you feel special. Getting the free ticket is all you can expect, and I once had to practically smack a dude just to get a plus one.

But when there's food involved, customer service is all a part of the package. They don't just give you a free book, they wine and dine you as well. I decided to go to the Michelin Guide launch party last night at Les Deux because I figured it would be the only time I'd see the inside of the place. I'm about ten years too old and twenty-eight times too un-famewhory to set foot in the vicinity on a regular night.

I know from the comments on Eater LA that some people were underwhelmed by the party. I'm not an accomplished foodie yet, so maybe someday I'll be as jaded, but like I said, I started out in the music industry where you're lucky just to get invited. The idea of free drinks, food, and nice publicists is so foreign to my experience that I was quite thrilled. No, it wasn't a rager--it was subdued as parties go. The food did not earn any Michelin stars, and yeah, it was dark. But I had a good time and I enjoyed the limited length. I liked my little slider and my chocoberry and I really liked my champagne.

First, Les Deux is pretty nice when it's not packed with Lindsey Lohans and Lauren Conrads and their entourages. The inside is a little ... brothel-like, but the patio is lovely, with a tree and lots of couches and a fountain. I thought it was kind of weird how when I walked in, there wasn't a whole bunch of paparazzi swarming me. Don't they know who I am?!



Anyway, there was a nice presentation and a march of the waiters to hand out guides to everyone. Eater LA reports that some greedy Guses were snatching two or three, which explains why they ran about before my husband and I got one. Luckily for all of you book-hoggers, we ended up getting one in our fabulous giftbags so I don't have to come find you and mug you for a guide.

Also much appreciated was the free champagne, the sliders, and the chocolate covered strawberries. A nice man told me of dungeness crab mac'n'cheese, but it never found me. Not appreciated was the lack of utensilage at the cheese table. Try cutting hard cheese with an espresso spoon while simultaneously balancing a champagne flute and a chocolate strawberry. Not the easiest task. There was an interesting display of Mrs. Beasley's cupcakes, but the mountainous frosting was too daunting for me to put one in my mouth.

I always swear before these events that I am going to be really gregarious and mingle and meet all kinds of people, but then when I'm there in the moment, the shyness kicks in and I fail. But ... baby steps. I hung out with fellow food mogul Jonah from la.foodblogging and by doing that I got to meet Eddie Lin from Deep End Dining, who is a food hero to me. He eats lutefisk and eyeballs so I don't have to.

After we had ravaged the food and beverages, it was time to go, and we were presented with cute Michelin gift bags by cute people in chef's outfits. That's another plus in my book. I rarely got free stuff at the music events I went to. And when I did, it was CD singles and stickers and shirts. A bag of snacks? Yes, thank you very much, I will take that. As we were in the car, I began reading off the recommendations for "late dinner" and as I got to Pizzeria Mozza, we also happened to be right next to it. And there was a parking spot. It was a sign.

We concluded our night with antipasti for me, pizza for the husband and it turns out we were in good company. Apparently Josiah Citrin (Melisse - two stars) and Michael Cimarusti (Providence - one star) were celebrating their good fortune right along with us.

I'm happy to have the guide, I like the many organizational lists at the beginning, which are exactly the type of resource I like to have.

And now for something probably most pertinent for my readers: the list of "Where to Eat for Under $25." It is ... perplexing. There are good places on it, but none of them are really the kind of places you would think of immediately. Places on the under $25 that I have personally eaten: Hide Sushi, Ita-Cho, Lares, La Serenata de Garibaldi, M Cafe de Chaya, Real Food Daily, and Taiko.

All good, but none are places that would immediately spring to mind when thinking of the best cheap food in LA. Other places on the under $25 list: Alcove, Banzai Sushi, Baran, Boss Sushi, Chabuya, Cholada, The Clay Pit, Danube, Empress Pavilion, Il Capriccio, Javan, Kaizuka, Kiriko, La Serenata Gourmet, Monte Alban, Nanbankan, Native Foods, Nizam of India, Nyala Ethiopian, Park's Barbeque, Saladang Song, Shaherzad, Sushi & Kushi Imai, Sushi House Unico, Sushi Sushi, Vivoli Cafe, Yang Chow, Yujean Kang's.

And now I feel like I can put Michelin to bed for a while - until next year! When I will start obsessing again. Michelin people, I am volunteering my services right now for "inspector." E-mail me!


I have yet to get perks...other than the occasional reader coming up to me at the market and saying hi. :) I think market reporting is less sexy.

No pictures?

said by Tableau Vivante at 1:51 PM Delete

But you are famous! Maybe you can get free fruit and vegetables. ;)

I didn't get pictures, alas. I was supposed to grab my camera on the way out and I forgot at the last minute. :(

There are a few pictures on Eater, and some are up on WireImage already.

said by KT at 2:11 PM Delete

Sadness on the lack of pictures! But thanks for the links to others.

I'm the kind of famous that gets you lots of free advice :).

said by Tableau Vivante at 3:59 PM Delete

This sounds so exciting! How long do you think it'll be before I start getting invited to thrifty interior decorating parties? Wait, I guess we wouldn't spend the money to throw a party. I picked the wrong thing to write about.

Now I'm embarrassed about posting a recipe on my site!

said by jessica at 6:30 PM Delete

I don't know ... I bet designers know how to throw down. What do you think they do over in the PDC after hours?

I loved your recipe. I think J. would absolutely love it.

said by KT at 8:41 PM Delete

I have eaten at Saladang Song. I highly recommend it but I'm not sure it is truly under $25 when you include drinks.
Your Auntie

said by Karen at 11:23 AM Delete

Creative Commons license The content on Gastronomy 101 may be reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.