PSA: Possible Socarrat Announcement

The L.A. Paella, Wine & Beer Festival features paellas and “paellas” aplenty. The 2018 event will be held in October at Pershing Square (Hey! An excuse to ride Metro while borracho!)

There’s a decent chance of finding socarrat at these gatherings. I went 2 years ago, and it was very nice. Admittedly, I was also a bit too inebriated to remember whose paella was best, but I do recall enough that it was worth the price of admission. I have zero financial interest in this event - this is purely a public service announcement.


I went last year. Socarrat was like unicorn… Almost nowhere to be found but mushy paellas aplenty. I won’t be going back. SAD!

Oh dang, G… I skipped 2017. That went downhill fast.

I went in for free too and even then I didn’t think it was worth it…

Well, when you’re cooking paella for the masses rather than just for a table for 2 or 4, you’re going to get paella cooked on giant pans, and there’s no time to allow for socarrat to form… Even paella from La Espanola in Harbor City was just OK…

Sadly, the only place that made paella with socarrat was Smoke.Oil.Salt… and was because of Chef Perfecto Rocher, who was a Spanish import.

I’ve been to festivals in Valencia with wonderfully large communal paellas, and all of them were finished WITH socarrat. You’re right that they do take their time cooking paellas in Spain, and less so elsewhere. Chefs generally tend to get impatient with paella here in the states.

In L.A., the La Espanola paella is still the one to beat (true, there’s generally no socarrat, but at least the sofrito flavor consistently infuses into the arroz, and it’s not a mushy mess).

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Did you see my post about my recent trip to Valencia?

I an not a chef - not by any means - but my in-home partner in crime is quite a good one and she loves making paella on the grill and I love eating it.
My observation is that a really, really great soccarrat is a REALLY, REALLY difficult thing to achieve - there are a lot of variables and it takes a whole lot of time and more importantly TIMING to get it “right.” She’s no Spaniard, but her paella is pretty terrific, though nailing a perfect soccarrat seems to happen no more than about 50%-60% of the time. And that’s with constant vigilance.


I wonder how the paella @ Bazaar will taste? Got this via email

In late July, we did the tasting menu at Bazaar after many many years of not going there. Maybe not the most profound meal, but we had a great time.

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No soccarat to be found at Jaleo LV fwiw

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Tell me about it. When asked, my server had the ballz to tell me that because orders were coming in too quickly so socarrat didn’t have a chance to form yet…uhh…then why did you guys serve them before they were done?! Such BS…

Wow. They said that to a customer?!

Ridiculous. I know.

That’s a very good summary of my one (and only) experience at The Bazaar. Very enjoyable, but it wasn’t transcendent. But it’s entirely possible that I also just don’t “get” molecular gastronomy.