Concern Foundation Block Party Recap

The Concern Foundation held their 36th Annual Block Party at Paramount Studios last Saturday. I had received an email from my friend, the Hungry Hippo who wondered if I was doing anything Saturday night. I blindly agreed to this “tons of food” thing without knowing it was for charity.

Concern Foundation raises money for cancer research.

Riding the Ferris Wheel

Once I got to the Paramount Studios lot, I was agog at the circus theme and the thousands of people. I love the circus! And look at all that food. It reminded me quite a lot of Taste of the Nation. There were only a few restaurants that were at both events  so lucky for me, I got to try a lot of new things.

Eva Restaurant- Gazpacho

The very first thing I ate was gazpacho from Eva Restaurant. I’ve been meaning to check out this restaurant and it was a nice introduction.

polenta from Savore Catering

I also enjoyed the mushroom polenta from Savore Catering. Anything covered with that much pecorino has to be a winner.

Mini Pastrami Sandwiches from Factor's Famous Deli

I’ve seen the sign for Factor’s Famous Deli for years. The logo reminds me of a not-very-good “Jewish Deli” (*coughjerrysfamousdelicough*). However, these mini sammies were good. Even better with a nice squirt of grainy brown mustard and pickles on the side.

Deep fried goodness from Mr. Cecil's Ribs

I had already gotten some meat from Fogo de Chao but was lured over to get some ribs from Mr. Cecil’s. They also awarded me with two of these deep fried goodies. I’m fairly certain they are pork belly chunks. Ah.

Mushroom Rice Ball from Dominick's

Dominick’s brought out their famous mushroom rice balls. I’ve yet to make it over there or Little Dom’s. One day.

dumplings from Joss

Chinese food in Beverly Hills? You betcha! We nabbed these dumplings from Joss. I liked the veggie one of pure chopped leek and spinach. The sauce on the shrimp dumpling wasn’t overly spicy but Cantonese folks (and I heard them speaking Cantonese) aren’t into spicy foods.


I’ve been meaning to check out the Delphine at the new W in Hollywood. We were treated to braised lamb and polenta.

Club Culinaire

Gazpacho from Melisse

I missed Club Culinaire’s Picnic de Chefs last month and was happy to see the group at this event. I sampled the gazpacho from Melisse. With the silken tofu, it was almost more like a pudding. I’m going to Melisse at the end of the month and yet again, gazpacho seems to be my gateway drug.

Veggie Lasagna from Il Cielo

molten lava chocolate cake from Il Cielo

I did sample a few more things but I’m going to end with my favorites of the night. Most of the group went NUTS over the molten lava cake from Il Cielo. Unfortunately, mine wasn’t very molten-y or lava-y. But it was chocolate-y and I liked that. It probably would have been decadent if it was scorchingly volcano-y hot.

However, I was the only passionate supporter of their lasagna. Yes, it was veggie. Yes, I loved it. I’m making reservations soon.

The rest of the night was spent walking around the gambling tables. There were also spa representatives from the Sofitel Hotel. I got a nice Minty manicure.

We also rode the ferris wheel, merry-go-round, got down on the dance floor, tried all 10 open bars and took pictures at the photo booth. I instructed a bartender how to make a Madras but mostly stuck with vodka tonics. I did try some of the martinis offered by one of their liquor sponsors, Krystal Stockholm. This was a bit funny to me since I almost went out with the guy who was trying to import the brand a few years ago. He insisted it was going to be the next big vodka. I saw it a few times at Trader Joe’s but not very recently. It is somewhat comparable to Belvedere, one of the vodkas I usually request.

What a fantastic unexpected  Saturday night.

For more pictures, check out my Flickr set.