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May 11, 2013
Dispatches from BottleRock: Food lives up to Napa standards

bottlerock.jpg

And you thought the SactoMoFo mobile food festival had some cool eats.

In addition to the four days of bands here at Napa's BottleRock festival, the cuisine to feed the masses ranks as a star of the show.

And yes, we can actually use the term cuisine here.

True to its reputation as a land of fine wine and Michelin-starred restaurants, Napa's BottleRock is featuring a next-level experience for festival foods.

We're talking oysters on the half shell and grilled cheese on brioche. Moromoto's food booth includes Korean hot dogs, sushi and a pretty amazing Yuzu Red Bull Push-Up Pop as a frozen treat.

More than 40 food vendors in all are participating, including such Napa notables as Kitchen Door, Oenotri, Fish Story and La Toque.

Of course, these fine festival eats don't come cheap. First you have to convert cash into $5 food "chips," which are then redeemed at the vendors. That Korean hot dog from Morimoto costs two chips. A banh mi from Kitchen Door costs three chips. You don't have to do the math to figure those chips go fast.

Lines for food were all more or less manageable, and BottleRock ran fairly smooth on Friday, and capped with a rockin' set by The Black Keys. Despite all the wine and beer being consumed, the crowd self regulated and didn't harsh too many mellows.

We're hearing some gripes about the shuttle service running to the festival, but parking issues don't seem to be as apocalyptic as predicted by locals. Some downtown businesses are actually reporting slower than predicted sales.

Today's run, which includes sets by Jane's Addiction and Kings of Leon, will probably be the true test of BottleRock's infrastructure. Stay tuned for more dispatches from this land of food, wine and music.

-- Chris Macias

Photo: Yuzu Red Bull Push-Up Pop, ribs and other eats from Morimoto

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