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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Snack, Sip & Surf Event benefitting Mauli Ola at the Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach, CA

On Sunday, March 11, 2012, an afternoon of friendly competition ensued at the Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach, CA. Proceeds from this event went to Mauli Ola, benefitting children with Cystic Fibrosis. Since 2007, the Mauli Ola Foundation (MOF) introduced surfing as a natural treatment to people with genetic disorders with a focus on Cystic Fibrosis. MOF promotes education, awareness of genetic diseases, and research for genetic disorders. The funds support programs for keiki (children) and adults with life-threatening illnesses and disabilities through events such as the Snack, Sip & Surf Event. Visit their website for more information: Mahalo!

At 2pm, the aromatic scent of warm tortillas signaled the start of the first competition: Tacos. Three restaurants in Laguna Beach - La Sirena Grill, Olamendi’s, and The Basement Table - set their sights on the championship. La Sirena Grill was serving Braised Short Rib Tacos. Jeff Elias, their General Manager, had me when he said, “Braised Short Rib”. The short ribs were tender, juicy, and robust with the juices from the braising process. Topped off with a lettuce-cabbage slaw and pico de gallo sauce, it was perfectly executed! Everything worked great together – rich beef flavor, tanginess from the slaw, and sweet and spicy from the pico de gallo. Olamendi’s Pork Taco was the little squirt of the bunch. With only two slivers of pork, caramelized onions, and sauce, it was just okay. Adding a little bit more pork and maybe some fresh vegetables would have boosted them up a little bit more. The Basement Table had a Vegetarian Taco. It sounded good, but unfortunately, upon careful inspection, it contained my arch nemesis, the beta carotene root vegetable (carrots or sweet potatoes). I regretfully had to pass on this tasting, although I heard guests raving about it.

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