Off the Menu: The Taste Comes to OC

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We just finished with a fabulous four days of the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, but already another event is coming our way.

The Los Angeles Times’ annual celebration of the southern California culinary scene, dubbed The Taste, is normally held in Los Angeles, but this weekend The Taste comes to The OC.

Taking place at The Met (across the street from Segerstrom Center) October 19-21, The Taste offers unlimited tastings from dozens of restaurants (many from Newport Beach such as Wing Lam of Wahoo’s and Brian Huskey of Tackle Box), sips of seasonal cocktails, and cooking demos featuring a diverse collection of chefs and dishes.

Wing Lam

Highlights include Wahoo’s Fish Taco founder Wing Lam and his wife Kelly Lam of The Whole Purpose doing a cooking demo together. If you’ve never seen them in action together, you’re missing a funny and delicious demo.

Among the many restaurants showcasing their cuisine: Bluegold, Chronic Tacos, Puesto, Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, Tabu Shabu, Toast Kitchen & Bakery, Tokyo Table, ADYA, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Cucina Enoteca, Habana, Ten Asian Bistro, Blackmarket Bakery, Clay Oven, Haven Gastropub, Leatherby’s Café Rouge, Pie-Not, and Tackle Box.

Tickets start at $85. Visit

Here’s the daily rundown, courtesy of The Taste:

Friday, Oct. 19, 6 to 9 p.m.

Classic flavors and cultural mash-ups will be the highlights of the opening event as chef Linda Johnsen (Filomena’s Italian Kitchen) shares her Italian roots through a demo of one of her signature dishes, while Santa Ana-raised chef Hop Phan (Dos Chinos) reveals the artistry behind his collaborative Vietnamese-Mexican cooking. Restaurants include Bluegold, Chronic Tacos, Coni’Seafood, Fill, Gunwhale Ales, LSXO, MFK by Aysee, Portola Coffee Roasters, Puesto, Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, Tabu Shabu, Toast Kitchen & Bakery and Tokyo Table.

Puesto taco

Saturday, Oct. 20, 6 to 9 p.m.

Chef Carlos Salgado (Taco María) will take the stage Saturday night to showcase his seasonal, Mexican-influenced cooking. Wing Lam (Wahoo’s Fish Taco) and Kelly Lam (The Whole Purpose) will treat the crowd to a joint demo, while Geeta Bansal (Clay Oven) will provide a glimpse into how traditional and modern techniques make the most flavorful Indian dishes. Restaurants include ADYA, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Cucina Enoteca, Georgia’s Restaurant, Habana, L.A. Brisket, Outpost Kitchen, Panxa Cocina, Roe Seafood, Supatras Thai, Ten Asian Bistro, The Cut and Water Grill.

Chef Brian Huskey of Tackle Box

Sunday, Oct. 21, 1 to 4 p.m.

The Taste festivities continue on Sunday afternoon with cooking demonstrations to be announced, signature dishes from the participating chefs and purveyors, and tasting-sized pours of wine, beer and cocktails. Restaurants include Blackmarket Bakery, Chunk-N-Chip, Clay Oven, Descanso Restaurant, Electric City Butcher, Haven Gastropub, Irenia, Leatherby’s Café Rouge, Pie-Not, Tackle Box and Westend.


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