Sunday, August 2, 2009

Project by Project, Plate by Plate

California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Project by Project
P.O. Box 7093
General Post Office
New York, NY 10116

Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program (API SBP)

231 E. 3rd St. #G106
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Last Saturday, Project by Project held their annual benefit Plate by Plate, this year to benefit the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program. More details about the partnership between these two groups can be found here. The event was a smashing success, packed with people, good food and interesting drink. Several things about the event struck me as special, one of them being the prominence of these API SBP Success Stories front and center.

API SBP helped Ladda Panvong and Polawat Khunthikuki get their Thai clothing store Muzer off the ground.

Sy Tiaprasith was assisted in developing and opening his own auto repair shop on Beverly Blvd, Sy's Auto Repair.

The API SBP aided Diep Tran in crafting a business plan and eventually opening her restaurant, Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park.

Sushi Chef Matsuda was assisted in setting up an outreach program to non-Japanese people to elevate enrollment in his sushi school, the Sushi Chef Institute.

All these success stories are not only heart warming, but speak volumes about the strength and knowledge behind the API SBP. They do good work for members of their community. Good work with measurable results. I was impressed.

I was also impressed with the caliber of the event. Delicious food, drink, entertainment and crowds dressed to kill packed the rooms all night long. Walking in the door just past 7, I was greeted immediately by these lovely little cupcakes.

Tea Infused cupcakes from Layers. Below is Crimson Berry.

Crimson Berry -- Four berry (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry) cupcake colored crimson red infused with Crimson Berry Iced Tea. Filled with four berry compote, topped with raspberry/strawberry frosting and fresh berries

Above is Sassafrass: Sassafras -- Sassafras Chai Tea infused cupcake (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, and black tea) filled with wild yam mousse frosted with Vanilla Swiss meringue butter cream and topped with freshly grated cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.

The first actual thing I put in my mouth was from Michel Cordon Bleu, Inc. The Finest Smoked Fish.
I don't know what they called this, but it was like a smoked salmon and creme fraiche mille feuille...basically layers of puff pastry with smoked salmon, caviar and creme fraiche. D went back for a couple of these.

Vanille Patisserie in San Marino was on site with various mousse type treats.

Above is Concerto, with Pistachio & Chocolate mousses.

Katsuya manned a booth, and the line was loooooooong. I was interested to see what everyone was waiting so patiently for because I don't think their food is all that amazing, and there were a lot of tables without lines. And it did look pretty tempting.

Thinly sliced Berkshire pork...

shabu shabu. Snapping pics and a press bracelet did not get me a taste without waiting in line.

This event was rather boozy, with all kinds of lovely beverages available at many different tables all over the event. MoMo Nigori Sake was on hand.

MoMo was offering straight sake shots and sake cosmopolitans. Both were light and lovely, although the unfiltered sake was very milky. Milkier than the standard Sayuri unfiltered that I often drink. I am not a good judge of the quality of their sake, as I know next to nothing about sake.

Moonshadows was represented.

In small clear cups, the layered all together the ingredients above. Truffled Cauliflower Panna Cotta, Lobster Gelee and Butter Poached Lobster, American Sturgeon Caviar.

While it tasted pretty good, the person behind the table said the restaurant just brought in whatever was left from the week's service and put it all together. I don't necessarily want to hear this when eating seafood. But OK.


Japon Bistro from Pasadena offered something very nice.

A simple and spicy salmon ceviche. These went as fast as they could fill up the cups.

I loved the creative table display at Mendocino Farms. Giant heirloom tomatoes in wire baskets holding up a chalkboard-like table full (I never actually saw it full, there was always a short line) of sandwich plates.

On each plate were two small sandwiches. One was a tiny bahn mi from Korubota pork belly. D had never has bahn mi, but has heard me rave about it forever. He loved.

The bread was beautifully soft on the inside with a nice crunchy resistance to the tooth on the 0utside.

Mendocino Farms also offered heirloom tomato and arugula BLTs with thickly sliced bacon and housemade mayo.

Courvoisier in the house. I am sure as the evening wore on, that table became a little lighter.

Wabi-Sabi Restaurant from Chino serving up fried oysters.

I could not get an appetizing shot from the dark corner, but these were delicious.

The infamous Scoops and Golden State partnership was serving up beer floats!

Lychee Ice Cream and sour beer, this was light, creamy, fizzy and sweet. The ice cream and beer partnership were very well balanced with neither flavor nor texture overpowering the other.

And scooping for Scoops was my friend Matt from

Debbie Lee from the Food Network's The Next Food Network Star was one of several celebrities on hand.

Once we were full, we took drinks and headed upstairs to the beautiful bamboo garden to peruse the silent auction.

Yours truly put a bid in the silent auction for 4 one hour tennis sessions with Pro Ken Huang and a one month pass to Equinox. I assume my bid was not high enough because I haven't received a phone call. I am waiting.

There were several $50 gift certificates available to Corkbar, and when I say several I mean maybe 6?

Four tickets to the Dodgers v. Padres September 6th.

And some gorgeous photos of Marilyn, one on the balcony at her Hollywood apartment.

Eponymous Marilyn on the beach.

And I cannot remember if this was from the same shoot above nor not...hard to tell from the pics. But I can never resist a gander at some Marilyn Monroe, bidding on these started at $1.5k.

A view from above. The crowd was thick and very fashionable. I tasted, drank, eyeballed, shot and made my imminent escape around 8 pm-ish. I also saw and chatted with Josh from FoodGPS and Neil from Food Marathon.

A successful event and a worthy cause. Many thanks to Abby of Pleasure Palate for brokering the invite.


SinoSoul said...

yay for free food! free booze! free linkback via Eater LA! yay Liz!


this event was a lot of fun! i blogged about it too....

Kristine G said...

fun! those little MoMo sakes are just adorable.

Anonymous said...

That mille feuille from Michel Cordon Bleu looks pretty similar to Swedish smörgåstårta (sandwich-cake).