Jonathan Gold's 2nd Annual Speakeasy Cocktail Party

by Maya Burkenroad · October 12, 2010

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The foodies came out in droves for Jonathan Gold's Second Annual Union Station Speakeasy Cocktail Party benefiting Zócalo Public Square. Described as the Party of the year, by CarolineOnCrack, she tweeted, "It'll be like Blogger Prom except with a higher entry fee, wayyy more cocktails and probably less bloggers." We aren't sure how prom-like it was, but everyone was certainly dressed in the latest, err rather insert-time-frame-here digs that kept with the speakeasy theme of the party. Accessories spotted on attendees in fine form included wigs, fedoras, suspenders and a top hat? (Yeah we were confused on that one too....)

Jonathan Gold favorites such as Rustic Canyon served up dishes like black mission figs, roasted chestnuts, burrata, saba and toast, and "delicious" and "divine" were common post dining summaries.

Susan Feniger's Street, Comme Ça, Grace Restaurant, Jar, Lazy Ox Canteen, Rivera, First & Hope and Providence kept guests satiated and coming back for more with items like Burmese melon salad, duck rillettes, braised pork and the like. Chefs and staff scrambled to refill plates, and after tasting the food, it is easy to see why.

What's better than an open food menu you ask? Well, if you must know, an open bar. Skyler Reeves, Operations Manager for Cedd Moses' 213 kept things running smoothly as Cana Rum Bar, Cole's, Las Perlas, Seven Grand and The Varnish served guests their drinks, shaken not stirred. The fan favorite was Cana Rum Bar's, "Cruzan Rum Ace of Spades," a cacao-tinged daiquiri made with Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum. Yum, spicy. The hard working bartenders made sure to refuel with Eternal water.

KCRW's Garth Trinidad spun tunes for party-goers, and a few even made it onto the dance floor to break it down, but most stood nearby waiting for someone to start the party. Some started it, and although we aren't sure it ever came to fruition, they sure tried.

Las Perlas lines were long per usual (have you ever ordered a drink at the downtown outpost? There's normally time to knit a small scarf waiting for your cocktail, but it's because of the work put in, and the results are soooooo worth it). A little tequila did well to loosen the crowd up. On hand mingling with guests was Chef Ludo Lefebvre of LudoBites, whose replacement date for the night was chosen via Twitter by his wife who was too sick to attend, #whatisthisworldcomingto. Do stay tuned, Ludobites 6.0 reservations are set to open TODAY at 5pm. Beware, this chef and his restaurant are extremely popular, the last time they opened reservations for Ludobites 5.0, the software system SHUT DOWN.

The tastemaker himself (literally), Jonathan Gold, appeared midway through the evening to make a speech about the evening and to honor Zocalo founder Gregory Rodriguez, and dedicated staff, Dolce Vasquez, Swati Pandi and Laura Villalpando. Everyone chuckled as Gold told the crowd that Zócalo offered more free events in Los Angeles than there were CSI spin-offs. Gold swiftly disappeared into the crowd after his speech. With his disappearing skills it's no wonder he is the only food critic to have ever won the Pulitzer Prize...

All in all, we think the event was a success and based on the turnout, Zócalo was able to raise money to keep doing what they do.