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The First Bite of DineLA

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It was standing room only at the wildly succesful launch of DineLA yesterday at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. More than 100 of Los Angeles' finest chefs filled the rooms of The Bazaar, chef Jose Andres restaurant in the brand spanking new hotel. The building is dazzling with blinding white walls and lots of shiny shiny chrome; the interior design accented is by unusual and exotic pieces.

It was like a high school reunion as chefs greeted eachother and buzzed with excitement as they recognized other distinguished chefs. Attendance was at least ten times that of last year's launch. Once everyone made their way into the conference room, Mayor Villaragosa, Mark Lieberman (LA Inc), Tom Mullen, Evan Kleinman and Jose Andres addressed the crowd, expressing their passion for food, pride in Los Angeles, and high hopes for the event.

The reception hosted by the Bazaar was culinary theater at its best. The highlight had to be "Dragon's Breath", which was sugared popcorn "cooked" in liquid nitrogen so that when you popped it in your mouth you could blow smoke out of your nose.

Participating restaurants are listed at Stay tuned for more coverage, LAist is making our reservations now!