Slideshow: Our Favorite Bites from the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

Maple-Glazed Pork Belly from Littlefork
Maple-Glazed Pork Belly from Littlefork

Succulent, sweet, and fatty all at once, Jason Travi's maple-glazed pork belly was a hit. The simple Johnny cake polenta underneath helped to mellow out all the other strong flavors.

Wagyu Tartar Crostini from Paiche
Wagyu Tartar Crostini from Paiche

Ricardo Zarate is arguably LA's hottest chef, and his tartar crostini—made with thin chunks of Wagyu beef and laced with Parmesan cheese sauce—was a fine showing.

Gravlax with Wasabi Caviar
Gravlax with Wasabi Caviar

Lines varied depending on the chef, but servers continually plied the room with snacks to tide over the hungry diners. This Nordic spiced salmon arrived on a thin bagel, topped with a punchy wasabi caviar.

Poached Albacore from Cafe Pinot
Poached Albacore from Cafe Pinot

This simple poached albacore was clean and light, with just a touch of garlic and yuzu kosho to make the whole bowl pop.

Chicken Liver Toast from Mar'sel
Chicken Liver Toast from Mar'sel

Michael Fiorelli's chicken liver toast was creamy, salty and a little bit smoky, primarily thanks to a few bits of bacon. The pitted and pickled cherries on top helped cut through the fat, while the Stella Artois cider washed it all down.

Mini Pork Buns from Plan Check
Mini Pork Buns from Plan Check

No, these aren't Chinese pork buns, but Ernesto Uchimura's piggy little sandwiches did hit the overload button with a ground pork patty, braised pork belly, and the restaurant's signature "leather"—a semi-dehydrated strip of sriracha and ketchup mixed together. All on a crunchy garlic bun, of course.

Braised BBQ Pork Cheeks from Cannery Row Brewing
Braised BBQ Pork Cheeks from Cannery Row Brewing

These fantastic, thick cheeks come from Monterey Bay, by way of Chef Daniel Furey. Thick and meaty, with just enough juice to keep the whole thing tender, they were served over a roasted corn salad with a few cubes of watermelon.

2011 Sandy's Pinot Noir from Melville Winery
2011 Sandy's Pinot Noir from Melville Winery

This wine, from Melville Winery in the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County, was crisp and slightly floral.

Chef Todd Fisher Feeds The Crowd
Chef Todd Fisher Feeds The Crowd

Back to the pork (again)! Here's chef Todd Fisher, of United States of Bacon fame, hand-feeding his BBQ corned beef to a few lucky eaters.

Shaved Ice from Post Ranch Inn
Shaved Ice from Post Ranch Inn

The most inventive award has to go to Yulanda Santos, of Big Sur's Post Ranch Inn. Her shaved ice not only cooled the palate, but were served in their very own brown sugar sandbox!

Grilled Stone Fruit Salad from Hearty Restaurant
Grilled Stone Fruit Salad from Hearty Restaurant

The Hearty Boys from Chicago offered a decidedly meatless option, with beautifully grilled pears to balance an herbed chèvre cheese, nuts, and a few dabs of honey.

Marshmallow Infused Rum from Old Lightning
Marshmallow Infused Rum from Old Lightning

One of only a few cocktail vendors, Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix's upcoming Old Lightning Bar offered marshmallow-infused rums to the waiting hordes. With a little coconut shaved on top, these were a sweet, summery treat.

Flourless Chocolate Crunch Bar from Pedaler's Fork
Flourless Chocolate Crunch Bar from Pedaler's Fork

Dan Murray's flourless chocolate crunch bar signaled the end of the afternoon. With decadent soft chocolate on top of a snappy base, the thin bar was a perfect final bite.