On Wednesday night The Monster participated in his first Dishcrawl (www.dishcrawl.com), an event patterned much like a pubcrawl swapping out alcohol for food at four local restaurants. In this case the Dishcrawl was a Santa Monica/Venice affair (The Monster’s hood) and hearing that all proceeds would go to worthwhile charitable causes The Monster was eager to participate. He’s surely glad he did.
A group of forty-five eager Dishcrawlers met up at Areal on Main Street and the fun and organized mayhem began. The Monster grabbed a drink at the bar and then met some of his fellow food enthusiasts. You had everything from college students to retirees, locals to Long Beachers, all excited to see where the night would take us. Because all you know going in is where and when to meet, not the evening’s full itinerary.
Areal had a large spread ready, tamarind buffalo jidori chicken wings with ranch and buttermilk blue cheese dipping sauce, bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese filling, sweet potato croquettes with coconut-chili dipping sauce, squash blossoms with ricotta cheese and truffle honey and mac n’ cheese with a panko crust and truffle oil. The Monster was too busy yapping/drinking to try all the food (or snap good food porn pics). Nonetheless the night was off to a fine start.
Next up, Enterprise Fish Company just down the street where Dishcrawl had secured a large space on the back patio. Hungry, The Monster went to town on garlic bread and pasta loaded with seafood while the chef came out and welcomed everyone, a nice touch. There was so much food that to-go containers floated about for people to take some home.
Onward to Sauce on Hampton. The Monster, long a fan, was grateful for the refreshing strawberry and peach lemonade already awaiting the Dishcrawlers on every table. We took over the larger of the two rooms and the chef/owner welcomed us with a fantastic pizzadilla (spinach flour tortilla topped with chimichurri, parmesan, mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, garlic and chili flakes). Next up, braised short ribs served over special mashed potatoes. And lastly, chicken schnitzel with green beans and roasted spaghetti squash. By this point The Monster was happily stuffed.
The last spot, Café Gratitude, had closed but fear not, the desserts from that venue had been brought to Sauce. The Monster saw key lime pie and had to try a bite even if his stomach was in revolt.
The night winding down, The Monster thanked Kenny Azama who put the wonderful evening together and slinked home ready for slumber.
Check out the website for more info on future Dishcrawl events and be sure to check them out.