The 2015 World Tea Expo was held in Long Beach, California for the second year in a row. The show itself will be covered in a separate post… but here, I'll provide a simple visual recap of the foods consumed outside the expo based upon my previous post, 2015 World Tea Expo Foodie Tour.
Aji Peruvian Cuisine
Aji was a wonderful initiation into the Long Beach scene. A nice sized local ethnic diner with a nice ambiance, great wine selection and a bunch of local beer on draught. None of that is what I would go for though. I had been curious if they had Horchata, a traditional latin american spiced milk drink… but they did not. Instead the waitress suggested a traditional Peruvian fruit drink which I instantly acquiesced to. Damn if it wasn't so good that I forgot to take a photo!
All the food at Aji was delicious, but it was the company which truly made the night. Nicole, Phil, Jason, Timmy, Rachel and I had a brilliant time chatting and letting loose a bit after the first day of the expo.
Aroma di Roma
Aroma di Roma is how we started day two of the expo. Who can resist such a wonderful breakfast! The service was a bit slow, but I don't believe they expected a sudden troupe of seven invading their space on a Thursday morn. I chose to go with a nice Machiavelli Machiatto, which was much more sweet than I imagine Machiavelli ever truly was. The service was a bit slow, but when the food came to us it was all wonderful!
Great conversation from all in attendance, and a good ribbing here and there made for a lively and relaxing morning.
Adobo Taco Grill
For dinner on the second night the group was split. Many at the expo had arranged to attend the North American Tea Championships award ceremony that evening and so it was just Phil from World Tea House and myself. Not a bad pairing at all if you ask me. We chose to hit a well regarded neighborhood taco place up in Lakewood for dinner and didn't regret one bite!
Friday morning required additional sustenance, but with no other breakfast place on the list this year, I folded back to my best breakfast from last year… at Blackbird Cafe!
Phile, Jason, Timothy and I had a wonderful breakfast, if slow and somewhat imperfect service.
Baja Fish Tacos
At the end of the day Friday the conundrum was whether to hit Los Angeles for some Korean BBQ (tasty noms) or to hit Open Sesame in Long Beach for some Mediterranean. With everyone famished from a long final day of expo, and an hour plus wait at Open Sesame for sufficient table space (for a group of nine), the group chose instead to hit a place across the street… Baja Fish Tacos.
I've been craving California's famous fish tacos for a long time, and this joint had decent, but I imagine not great tacos. The interior was a bit fast-food… is, but the quality was great.
The team from The Finest Brew's booth (one of the best in terms of tea quality this year) met us for dinner and one of the brothers was celebrating a birthday! So, naturally… I bought him a beer. He chose Modelo. I went with a Dos Equis. Everyone enjoyed their meals. Natasha's salad looked freaking fantastic! I enjoyed both of my fish tacos (one blackened, one not), and about half of my burrito (chicken)…
I got so distracted in conversation, I almost forgot to eat. I had a great time running through the basics of American Baseball to the Finest Brew family who are all Cricket fans. They now better understand the complexities and need for strategy in baseball… AND why so few runs are scored in the sport.
It was another completely wonderful year at the expo. With 2016 returning to Las Vegas, I am excited to post next Year's agenda and get everyone hyped for the absolutely fantastic eateries Vegas has, off the strip!