Part 1: 5th Annual Taste of Venice’s VIP Reception

The Taste of Venice (formerly known as the Taste of Abbot Kinney) returned November 3, 2013 to the Electric Lodge (a solar-powered and ecologically minded performing arts center in Venice). The event supported the local charity, Inside Out Community Arts. Founded in 1996, Inside Out Community Arts has been providing at-risk and underserved children in Los Angeles with after school programs. Over 300 middle and high school youths a year are empowered with the tools, confidence, and inspiration to make a positive difference in their communities and the world from the inside-out.

The afternoon VIP reception, from 3:00pm-4:30pm, featured awesome DJ music (lots of ‘80’s tunes) and we started making our way through. Customized bicycles were part of the silent auction, great for beach city riding.

Our first stop was Joia AllNatural Soda. Bob Safford along with Carleton Johnson, Steven Walker, and Dan Oskey launched Joia in the Twin Cities in June 2011. Looking for unique non-alcoholic beverages, Bob started making his own, inspired by culinary cocktail trend of introducing complex flavors to everyday foods like confections, salty snack, and ice cream – why not soda? Our favorites out of the selection were the Blackberry, Pomegranate & Ginger with its refreshing, fresh, explosive berry flavor and the Pineapple, Coconut & Nutmeg which actually transported me home to Hawaii - my favorite shave ice flavors with a hint of nutmeg. These are great sodas on their own and I can only image how great these would be as cocktail mixers. Break out the vodka, gin, and rum for some more fun! Joia will be showcasing their sodas at Unique LA at the California Mart on December 7-8, 2013. Also, find them at a store near you. 

Mahalo and hope to see you next year!

OC Food Diva