Gallery: 16 Great Bites from the Los Angeles Food & Wine Grand Tasting

Braised short rib
Braised short rib

Bill Starbuck's braised short was sweet and tender, served with pungent garlic spinach and a heartbreakingly rich, comforting brioche Parmesan bread pudding.

Pupusa with chili
Pupusa with chili

Casey Thompson of Fort Worth's Brownstone fried up fresh pupusas, which she topped with thick pork jowl chili, a bright herb salad, and habanero sauce.

Alaskan king crab and mussels
Alaskan king crab and mussels

Easily one of the best bites of the day. Chris Pandel from Chicago's The Bristol, offered up this beautiful plate of Alaskan king crab, marinated mussels, cauliflower, preserved lemon, and brown butter miso. Bright and clean, but with a soulful umami undercurrent.

Smoked squab shabu shabu
Smoked squab shabu shabu

Michael Mina's shooter of smoked squab shabu shabu in a squab consommé with citrus ginger and foie gras fat took some explaining. "Take a sip, and get used to the flavor," suggested the servers. "Then knock it back and get ready for a fifteen second roller coaster of flavor." And so it was.

Salame Toscano
Salame Toscano

It's salami! In a cone! From charcuterie whiz Jared Van Camp of Chicago's Old Town Social.

Diver scallop anticucho
Diver scallop anticucho

From Ricardo Zarate of Los Angeles' Picca and Mo Chica this diver scallop was perfectly seared, with a fresh, clean herbal finish.

Cauliflower panna cotta
Cauliflower panna cotta

One of the day's longest lines formed around Tyler Florence's table where he was dishing up austere looking, complexly flavored bowls of sweet, velvety cauliflower panna cotta topped simply with fried brussels sprout leaves and hamachi.

Skirt steak
Skirt steak

There was another long wait at the Todd English table, but patience was rewarded with a serious meat and three. Perfectly seared skirt steak atop grilled corn raita; roasted red and golden beets; and best of all, toothsome, rich beet risotto topped with bleu cheese.

Grilled mussels
Grilled mussels

L.A. local Mark Peel offered grilled mussels with grilled andouille, topped with a red pepper and saffron rouille.

Pumpkin bisque
Pumpkin bisque

Chicago's Graham Elliot played with Thanksgiving flavors in his creamy, earthy pumpkin bisque, dressed with fromage blanc, nutty sage crumble, cinnamon marshmallows, and deliciously tart pickled cranberries.

Short rib debris po' boy
Short rib debris po' boy

Rick Tramonto knows short ribs. Here, he gave truffled short rib debris the po boy treatment, topping it with shredded romaine, pickled onions, and truffle aioli.

Meatball
Meatball

David Lefevre of Manhattan Beach's new MB Post made one flavorful meatball, a blend of pork and veal, with a maple glaze and a side of white miso puree.

Pork tenderloin
Pork tenderloin

Representing his Solvang, CA, restaurant Root 246, Bradley Odgen dished out Duroc pork tenderloin with corn pudding, gremolata of bacon and corn, and blackberry cipollini.

Roasted suckling pig
Roasted suckling pig

Local Joe Miller of Joe's Restaurant served up sandwiches of roasted suckling pig, topped with pickled fennel, maple bacon mustard, and a sweet Portuguese pepper vinaigrette.

Peanut butter and belly
Peanut butter and belly

Kenny Callaghan of New York's Blue Smoke topped succulent braised pork belly with a not-too-sweet Asian peanut sauce and a little jalapeno jelly.

Fried chicken ball
Fried chicken ball

From Michel Richard—a crisp fried chicken ball with Dijon mustard sauce. Enough said.

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20111016-175357-bill-starbuck-primary.jpg