This year's East LA Meets Napa & Beyond (above) combined old favorites with new touches, like a VIP pre-party in the newly renovated ticket concourse at Union Station. You lined up at the windows for wine, not train tickets.
For real Mexican wine, there was an assortment from Casa Madero, located at Parras, Coahuila, including the 2011 estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, which spent 18 months in French and American oak (above). Paralelo winery from Baja brought its red blend Ensamble, which is made in two styles.
On a warm evening outdoors in the courtyards of Union Station, the most welcome drink may have been this cool jackfruit agua fresca poured by Setá restaurant. Setá's chef/owner Hugo Molina paired it with Peruvian style ceviche, laced with cumin.
Restaurants came from around the city to participate in the event, a fund-raiser for AltaMed, which provides health services to people in need.
Rivera in downtown Los Angeles brought one of John Rivera Sedlar's innovations, a broccoli version of guacamole. Sedlar (above) explained that it's made by pureeing broccoli with serrano chiles, Mexican onions, garlic and cilantro.
Casa Oaxaca from Culver City startled tasters with a pot of grasshopper salsa to spoon over mushroom or squash flower empanadas. The alternative was sweet jamaica salsa to go with jamaica tacos (above).
There was so much food and wine that in three hours it was not possible to taste it all, or even much of it. Smart tasters went for dessert early, picking from a lavish assortment set out by Porto's Bakery (above) before it all disappeared. Artisan chocolates from Casa de Chocolates went fast too.
Sorry you missed it? Don't worry. It will happen again next July.