Tom Osborn is a record industry vet currently working at ANTI/Epitaph.
What was the food highlight of your year?
As much as I pride myself in eating in every blown-out strip mall and dive in LA, I really have to say finally eating at the much lauded Providence was for me this past. I really, and honestly, wanted to hate it… as it kind of stands in the way of my belief that you don’t have to throw down a huge chunk of change to eat a transformative meal. Well, frankly, I was devastated as it was beyond my dreams. The food there is theater and I couldn’t have imagined a better show. I was beyond floored and it made me instantly regret that I’m not fantastically rich. If you are going to splurge, this is your best splurge in Los Angeles. I did have some really great standouts this year that really do deserve shout-outs, but after holding out so long to eat here, it really deserved the mention of the food highlight of the year.
What was the music highlight of your year?
This was a year of great music highlights, as there have been some really stunning records that have come out. We live in a really amazing time for music, as the ease of access to wonderful music is at an all-time high. Much less, the fact that we have more control of what we want to hear, when we want to hear it. I feel more enveloped in great music then I ever have.
Strangely, the live highlight happened at SXSW of all places. On the last night of the convention, the Milk Carton Kids played with Devendra Banhart and Iron & Wine at the Central Presbyterian Church and it was just a perfect night. With a convention that has been so over saturated with corporate branding, too many bands, too many people, too much traffic… to close off the convention with three perfect sets was just sublime. I also have to mention working with Mavis Staples this year. Nobody on the planet performs with the love and conviction that she does, regardless of her age. She truly is a treasure, and not to be missed.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
While in NYC for work, I was able to eat at Sorella off Allen and Delancey with friends before a show at the Webster. It was a group of folks that all didn’t know each other, and getting a chance to have an absolutely stunning meal and talk about music for hours was just about as blissful as life gets. For the record, the broccoli fritto, the short rib agnolotti…and the lamb ragu were just unreal.
I count myself of great fortune to continue to work in music. I am still such a fan, and not being a musician myself, it still continues to be a bit of a magic show for me. I am marveled at the innovative qualities that still seem to reveal themselves. I think it is why I am equally wondered by the innovations in food. I love when I can marry the two.
Food like music is so entrenched in our daily lives; we begin to really take it for granted. But there are those great moments that stop us in our tracks and cause reflection on the moment at hand. The high that creates is so special, and so great, it becomes a quest to find the next.
Lastly, god damn it I miss Foie Gras!