“Incognito” is one of those Incognito-2015rare memorable events combining mystery, art, speculation and camaraderie. At what other event can one place their “bet” and hit the jackpot? This was the eleventh year of the popular Santa Monica Museum of Art benefit which took place on May 2.

Each of the over 700 10×10 pieces is offered for the same price, $375 regardless of who the artist is. This is where the speculation comes in. You could be purchasing a piece by an unknown artist or a famous artist. You never know until after you make the purchase and are allowed to see the signature on the back of the piece.

Photos courtesey of LA Art Party

The food for the event was provided by Mud Hen Tavern. Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger have joined forces to delight the tastebuds. “We love staying connected with the art world, both independent galleries and museums,” explained Alger, “it keeps us in touch with the creative world and reflects the way food and art have inspired each other for centuries.”

When they said cheddar churros, I was hesitant. Wow was I wrong! Crispy, savory and light as a feather. Surprise being the theme of the night, the food was unique and surprising in the use of taste and texture. Simply put, it was delicious.

Incognito-MudHen-TavernThere was something for everyone from tender steak skewers to the best vegan burger I have ever tasted. And during the VIP reception, there was gravlax that melted in your mouth like butter. Heaven! And for all my fellow east coast immigrants, this is the only place I have had a pickle that reminds me of the ones we used to pull out of the pickle barrel. A trip to the Mud Hen Tavern is called for, even if for no reason than the pickles. But trust me, there are plenty of reasons.

There was wine and cocktails flowing freely for the guests, and there were refreshing selections from ‘pressed juicers’ for a non-alcoholic pick me up.

It was bittersweet because SMMoA will be moving after a 17-year residency. The new location is not yet known, although SMMoA Executive Director has made known that there will be temporary offices in Century City. The museum does not maintain a permanent collection, which makes it unique. Until a new permanent location is decided upon, SMMoA will conduct pop-up exhibits.

Stay tuned for more information. We are all keeping our fingers crossed and looking forward to 12th “Incognito.”