Recently, I was invited to become a Yelp Elite member. Shortly after being inducted, I got notice of Yelp’s March party – Elemental at the J Lounge in Downtown LA. I decided that would make a nice break from moving and decided to take Husband along as my guest.
When we got there at 7pm for the Elite hour, there was already a line out the door waiting for entrance. Fortunately, Yelp had hired several food trucks to keep us occupied – Flying Pig Truck, Fresser’s and Buttermilk. I grabbed a pastrami sandwich bite and some ube (sweet purple potato) and red velvet pancake bites from the latter two trucks.
J Lounge is a swanky two-story space with an outdoor patio. Kitchen 12000 had set up the patio to look like an airport/airplane; girls dressed up as stewardesses wandered around and some passed out little boxes with short ribs, mashed potatoes and green beans. Kitchen 12000 also set up Pho King, Killer Kabob and Coffee Clinic booths around the area for food samples.
Husband and I grabbed a box of the short ribs early on and some Killer Kabob samples later on in the evening. The short ribs box was a little cold. My rib barely had any meat on it. Overall, it was okay but nothing great. The chicken kabob, served with rice and tzatziki sauce, were a bit more flavorful. Husband wasn’t keen on his beef one but he didn’t have it with the tzatziki. I tried it sans sauce and he was right; it was a little bland. Still, I thought this was better than the short rib box.
There was a photo booth set up where attendees could put on silly hats, glasses, etc and get their picture taken. While in line, I picked up some goodies from the Coffee Clinic people – an espresso brownie and a coffee flavored rice krispie treat. Both were really good. I’m not a coffee drinker but I do like coffee flavors in sweet things so this was awesome. I wanted more of the rice krispie treat… The bitterness cut back on what is normally an overly sweet dessert.
Since it was a little cold, Husband and I decided to explore the inside of the building. Waitresses from J Lounge were passing around goodies like bacon wrapped dates (YUM!) and other vendors were set up around the venue.
We visited the Dollhouse Bake Shoppe table. They were serving up samples of their adorable and deliciously moist bite-sized cupcakes, cookies and other dessert items.
There were a few palm readers/psychics around. There was also a swag table. Grabbed a bag and a couple of shot glasses with the Yelp logo on them for our collection.
We also got to play with the Miracle Fruit. After rolling around the fruit on our tongues for at least two minutes, we sampled lemons (tasted like lemonade) and apple cider vinegar (tasted like apple juice with a little bit of tanginess).
Still hungry, we visited the Flying Pig Truck. They were all out of their pork belly buns, sadly, but they still had some smoked chicken and spicy pork tacos left. I got one of each and have to say, these were pretty darn good. The spicy pork actually packed some heat!
Feeling satiated, Husband and I headed back in and explored the upstairs of J Lounge. A dance floor with a DJ had been set up and we found a couple more vendors as well as a hookah and cigar lounge. There was also an extensive bar taking up one of the long walls, bringing the total number of bars I saw to 3. One thing you can be sure of, you’ll always be able to get a drink somewhere in J Lounge…
Plush Puffs had samples of their flavored marshmallows on skewers and little fires going for toasting them. I adored the lemon flavored toasted marshmallow. They also do gigantic marshmallows! A perfect gift for the marshmallow lover in your life… Apparently, they also do catering, a great idea for a special occasion party or wedding reception dessert stand.
Out on the upstairs patio, there was a chocolatier that I absolutely fell in love with – L’artisan du Chocolat. French-trained, Whajung and Christian combine chocolate and various flavors like mango wasabi, Aztec chili, Korean garlic and anis honey to create exotic and delicious morsels of melty heaven. I sampled the bacon which was amazing, one of the best versions I’ve had so far, and the Korean garlic, a strange yet yummy combination.
For entertainment throughout the evening, Yelp had performers from Zen Arts LA out on the patio. Aerialists, belly dancers, burlesque and vaudeville performers and Capoeira demonstrations oohed and aahed the crowd.
Overall, this was a pretty fun event and totally made me want to attend more. Husband was quite adamant that he get to come with me.
Thank you, Yelp!
You can see more pictures on the Catty Critic facebook page.
Filed under: Los Angeles, Yelp events | Tagged: aerialists, belly dancing, burlesque, Buttermilk truck, capoeira, chocolate, coffee, cupcakes, Dollhouse Bake Shoppe, DTLA, Elemental, flying pig truck, fresser's, J Lounge, kabob, Kitchen 12000, L'artisan du Chocolate, Los Angeles, marshmallows, Miracle Fruit, pancakes, pastrami, pho, Plus Puffs, tacos, vaudeville, yelp, Zen Arts LA |