Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Where to Eat: Taste Saturdays @ In The Mix LA


The Eats + Merriment: A prix fixe, midday brunch, with endless libations, a celebrity chef and a DJ on the 1s and 2s 

The Location: Beverly Hills

The Vibes: Upscale, renaissance, East Coast-meets-Hollywood

Good for:
A lively yet leisurely weekend brunch, with either small or large groups

When-To-Go: Select Saturdays; time varies

The $ Factor: $50 - $75 depending on how far in advance you purchase a ticket

The Names behind the scenes: For this inaugural brunch: Chef JR, DJ Karma Camille, In The Mix LA, Kitchen Cray

The 4-1-1: The “Taste Saturdays” brunch series hails from the same producers who host Sangria Sundays at the Sofitel and The Sound Edition at Ebanos Crossing

I’ll Be Back…: To have a completely different brunching experience, since the DJs, Chefs and restaurants change each time!

For its inaugural "Taste Saturdays" brunch series, In The Mix LA teamed up with Kitchen Cray to take over Philippe Chow in Beverly Hills, the last Saturday in January, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., bringing approximately 180 guests a four-course prix fixe brunch with endless mimosas and Bellinis.

DJ Karma Camille kept the dapperly dressed crowd in a lighthearted mood, smoothly mixing R&B hits from the ‘70s, '80s and ‘90s (think The Emotions, Chaka Khan and a good dose of Michael Jackson) with today’s R&B and hip-hop singles (i.e., Usher’s “I Don’t Mind,” Nicki Minaj’s “Only” and Beyonce’s “7/11”).

Bartenders kept the Bellinis and mimosas flowing in the lounge, where guests mingled and socialized before and after sitting down for their brunch reservations… 

And Chef JR—who you may recognize from Season 13 of the Fox reality TV cooking competition Hell’s Kitchen—kept guests full and satisfied, with his five star, four-course, Southern brunch. 

On this Saturday in particular, three seatings were available—11:30 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. While the invite mentioned that each seating was an hour-and-a-half hour long, I was told guests actually could dine as long as they pleased—they weren't asked to leave. And, many guests stayed, clearly enjoying the food and the ambiance. This meant that some guests for the later seatings had to wait to be seated, but no one seemed to mind too much, especially with the free flowing cocktails and upbeat music.

I was invited to stop by for the last seating. I ran into a few familiar faces (shout out to Tyrin Ford of Ethno Multimedia Group) and also met new friends as well. I enjoyed the cocktails and liked the scene, but most importantly, I fell in love with Chef JR’s food. When I say that man can cook, he can cook. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like cooking for 150+ starving patrons in a limited amount of time, but each course came out as if it had been the only order in the kitchen: aesthetically eye-catching and definitely delicious.

Here’s a look at what was on the menu at the inaugural “Taste Saturdays”: 

First Course—BBQ Crispy Chicken Devils: 

Two smooth, refreshingly cool hard-boiled eggs were stuffed with a creamy, buttery yellow egg yolk mixture that had the slightest hint of BBQ. Thin, shreds of BBQ chicken topped everything off.

Second Course—Red Velvet Waffles with Bacon Fried Chicken: 

The first detail that caught my was how crispy the golden chicken skin was—even with syrup drizzled on it—and when pulled back, how tender the chicken was. How the skin managed to stay so golden and crispy is beyond me, but it was the epitome of what fried chicken should be. A large red velvet waffle, strawberry slices and smoky bacon were also included. The portions were generous, especially considering that another main course was on its way. 

Third Course—Shrimp and Fried Cheesy Grits with a Cream Sauce: 

By the time this third course came out, I can’t lie—I was pretty full. There had been just been so much food! However, I wasn’t going to let that stop me, especially when there were shrimps and cheesy grits involved. The grits weren’t your typical grits. Instead, they were shaped into a circular patty, lightly fried, firm and subtly crispy on the outside. Four large shrimps were beautifully balanced on top of the grits and a cheesy cream sauce covered it all.

The Steak and Eggs with Red Skin Hash was also offered for the Third Course. Where I sat, mostly everyone had the Shrimp and Grits, but I did talk with two ladies nearby who got the steak and said it was good, especially the accompanying hash.

Dessert—Banana Fritters with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: 

A scoop of chilled vanilla ice cream accompanied a warm, oval shaped banana fritter that was crunchy and sugary on the outside, and moist and light on the inside. I could have eaten four more of these!

“Taste Sundays” is yet another classy affair under the In The Mix LA brand, which launched last Summer 2014, focusing on producing quality events centered around the arts, music or food, and sometimes all three, simultaneously. The brunches will be held monthly, and possibly even twice a month, featuring different DJs, chefs and locations.

Check back on the In The Mix LA website for future updates, and see you at a brunch soon!

For more information:

1 comment:

  1. OMG you just made me so hungry! I am drooling over all of this food omg!! The red velvet pancakes man...oh and them deviled eggs. Brunch is my weakness!

    BLMGirl love xoxo