Last Saturday was the third time I attended Vintage Hollywood’s Annual Wine & Food Tasting Event. It’s always a special night, in that the fundraiser is held on the grounds of a Los Angeles mansion.
As the two hundred guests were arriving at the sold-out evening, the sun was setting through the branches of gorgeous trees, adding elegance to the ambience at the Westside LA location. I was excited by the diversity of the tasting bites and wines offered by the restaurants and vintners. From the oysters of Oyster Gourmet and Blue Plate Oysterette to the caramel fleur de sel toffee of Valerie Confections via the Mediterranean sandwich of Tavern, the panini of Bar Toscana, the steak tartare of Bouchon, the foie gras chicken liver mousse of Waterloo & City (that everybody was raving about, including me), the braised pork leg from Jar, the scallops and rabbit rillettes of On Sunset, the burrata from Mozza, the grilled cheese sandwich from The Foundry on Melrose, the tuna wonton tacos of Zengo, the La Quierca proscuito from Akasha and the shrimp ceviche from La Sandia, I had quite enough for the evening (though I was able to sneak into my stomach a banana foster from Florentino Ice Cream). Apologies to Whist restaurant at the Viceroy and Simple Things Sandwich & Pie Shop, but I simply had no more room, even for a coffee from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Saturday night I attended the 2010 edition of Vintage Hollywood, an organization formed in 2002 to raise funds to support charitable organizations that work to promote the health and well-being of Southern California’s diverse community. This year the proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
More than three hundred guests attended Vintage Hollywood 2009, a charity event, held at a private estate in Bel-Air, California, last Saturday. Thanks to the hard work of Linda Daly and other members of the organization, many Los Angeles restaurants and wineries from across California as well as from Oregon, New Zealand and Argentina came together in a gorgeous garden. In addition, a silent auction took place.
But the highlight of the evening was the appearance of Jay Leno, who was in charge of the live auction. And trust me, it was an auction like no other. Leno’s celebrated humor was behind each of his words. I just wish there would have been more items to keep the show running. A private tour of the comedian’s “Garage,” guided by Leno himself, went for $29,500 for four lucky bidders. More than $200,000 was raised at this year’s event. Jay’s generosity brought even more support than expected.