Last year the event raised more than $38,000, Levee said. This year's total would reach $40,000, she said.
For $25, patrons benefited this local nonprofit and received wristbands that gave them access to any of the 23 participating eateries.
Restaurants donate their time and food for the event but many of them do not need much convincing to take part, said Levee.
"You just ask them because it's an opportunity to give back to the community while the community gets to taste their food," she said. "It's great for marketing."
Some places, such as Damon's Steak House, offered special items for the special occasion. The south-seas-themed restaurant let people into its bar area and handed out Kahlua pork sandwiches with sides of sweet-potato fries, which is not a regular menu item, said owner Patrick Campbell.
"It's a good opportunity for people to come into our restaurant and have a taste of our atmosphere," he said.
Other places, such as Porto's Bakery and Café, offered their more recognizable items. It had a spread of pastries, smoothies and potato balls.
"This is the must-stop place … because every year they always have the best food and best portion sizes," said Josh Deaktor, 16, a sophomore at Hoover High School.
Josh also played a set with his school's studio jazz band — one of the three jazz bands offering tunes to complement Brand's finest pickings.
The event was not a competition to see who offered the best samples, and every passerby had his or her own plan of attack. One Pasadena couple chose to spread out between known and unknown destinations by carefully mapping out their route down the street.
"We've got this planned, man," said Dick Hallack, 66.
While the Hallacks' plan was to hit their favored spots together, some other people had the tandem-method down. Mike Velazques, board member for Glendale Healthy Kids, waited in line for an Olive Garden plate while his wife was nearby getting sushi.
"There's something at the end of this line and we're going to eat it," he said.
ANTHONY KIM covers education. He may be reached at (818) 637-3238 or by e-mail at anthony.h.kimlatimes.com.