Nine Noteworthy Upcoming Los Angeles Food & Drink Events

Glimpses of Unmissable Upcoming Events

Let me take this first post in almost one month to deliver some pertinent upcoming event news. It’s now summer and thus, event season, here in sunny Southern California. Now that I’ve somewhat psychologically recovered from a huge picture-data dump from spilling a homemade cocktail all over my non-backed-up laptop, I’m finally ready to move into this crazy part of the year.

So here’s a rebirth of sorts; it’s an intentional start to the summer by tallying up the essential food events continuing into the fall (L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade is in September). One focuses on cocktails. One focuses on tacos. One focuses on ribs. Three are on the same day; thus, yes – I do wish that these were spread out, more. But practically all of them feature world-class chefs. So without further adieu, here’s where you need to be this summer:

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What To Look Forward to at L.A. Times’ The Taste

Paul Sanguinetti, Jaymee Mandeville, Marcos Tello, Brian Summers at last year’s Cocktail Confidential Competition

Today’s the day. That is, the last day to get your tickets to this weekend’s events at L.A. Times’ The Taste before they go up in price! Also, there are some events (tomorrow night’s limited-capacity opening night, Flavors of L.A. and the weekend pass) that are sold out, so don’t snooze on it; get your tickets now while you can.

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Highlights from Los Angeles Food & Wine Asian Night Market

Crowd Overview at Night Market

When you move apartments in the middle of Los Angeles Food & Wine weekend, you still make an effort to attend at least one session. It would be last Friday night’s Asian Night Market in my case, and the results were pretty fantastic. The main venue of the event was a nice, less commercialized change-up from the Nokia Live Plaza venue of years past. Instead, we got to bite and sip in the foreground of Frank Gehry’s beautiful Walt Disney Concert Hall, which did a lot to augment the classy feel of the series of tasting events (at least it did for the night I was able to attend).

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Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue in the Jimmy Kimmel Live! Back Lot

Serious Barbecue – Pork Shoulder, Beef Ribs

While I have had a lot of close calls, I recently came upon what I can honestly call “the best barbecue” I’ve had in my entire life. And I owe that honor to a summer-long residency by Adam Perry Lang, who currently lives (that’s what the Airstream is for), cooks and feeds serious barbecue seekers on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! backlot in Hollywood.

From now until September 5th, he’ll be serving up his pecan wood-smoked specialties every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for lunch. Everything in this awesome ‘cue is made from scratch (okay, perhaps not the meats), from the charcoal in the Texas burn pit to his 2-ton, custom pit smoker – and even the cutlery, which he literally carves himself.

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Four Los Angeles Food Events in June You Won’t Want to Miss

Picture credits: TOTNLA, @LA_Chefs

Now that it’s summer in Los Angeles, there’s a ton going on all over town. And when it comes to food events, it’s enough to make your head spin. But you want to play it smart with your time and funds, because no one’s got patience for fluff.

Fortunately, I’ve narrowed it down to the best four events you’ll want to attend this month. They’re all on the weekend, so you’ll have enough time to make your trek. Whether it’s raising money to combat childhood hunger, celebrating Fatherhood the best way possible, eating the best tacos in the city or carousing the famous Rose Bowl for the best bites in Los Angeles, June is shaping up to be an exciting time to be in L.A. Let’s get started. Continue reading

Noodle Bowl Fest Rings In Lunar New Year at Viceroy

Tsujita Tsukemen

Noodles are a perfect way to ring in the Lunar New Year. Representative in Asian cultures of long life, noodles are also one of the most comforting foods that I turn to – perfect in our “chilly” Los Angeles February. So when I heard that the first ever Noodle Bowl Fest would be held at The Viceroy, you could color me skeptical about the representations that would be served – until I actually looked at the participants.

They’re the noodle heavyweights of Arcadia, Thai Town and Little Osaka, but also the culinary heavyweights of Highland Park, Manhattan Beach, the food truck movement and Santa Monica. A $45 ticket (bought before January 31st, $55 after) will get you tastings of the following:

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Unearthing Heirloom LA, a Hidden Gem in Eagle Rock

Handcut Chitarra Pasta, fennel sausage, garden thyme, black preserved truffle, parmesan reggiano foam, cauliflower ash

It’d be a glaring omission to recall best Los Angeles meals of 2012 on Eater LA and not give my mentions a proper write-up, and so here is an account of my experience at the bespoke Salon at Heirloom LA.

I say bespoke because the act of stumbling into Heirloom was shockingly not via their famously flavor-packed, personal sized lasagna cupcakes found at farmer’s markets around town, but instead by luck of an invitation to a private dinner showcasing Bridlewood Wines in that said tasting room. Fortunately, they’ll be opening it up to the public a few days during the week, and I imagine the Eagle Rock community will meet that unveiling with elation. So bring on 2013, then.
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What Carmageddon? Head To L.A. Street Food Fest on Saturday, July 16

Carmageddon - Credit to ml_kap on Flickr

We’ve been notified about this weekend for months, folks. And here it is: The 405 Freeway, on the stretch between the 10 and 101, will be closed Friday night (on-ramps begin closing at 7 PM, lanes at 10 PM) through Monday morning at 5 AM. What does that mean? Stay home if you can! Or find some alternative route (it’s hit the fan: even JetBlue is offering $4 flights from Long Beach to Burbank).

Or, you can make the most of it and, like me, Metro it on over to the other side of the 405. Pasadena, that is. I plan on taking the Red Line to the Gold Line since L.A. Street Food Fest will be providing shuttles from Memorial Park Station on the Gold Line to the Rose Bowl every 30 minutes. Plan on making it a Staycation? LASFF has also secured a special rate at the nearby Courtyard Marriott.

There are plenty of reasons to trek it on over to the Rose Bowl. Try these bites:

  • Chef Christian Page / Tione’s Quality Meats
    Sonoma Lamb Shoulder w/ Mediterranean Salsa
  • Chef Dan Moody / Relate
    Banana Bread Pudding a la Pecan Pie
  • Chef Ricardo Zarate / Mo-Chica + Picca
    Assorted Causas & Anticucho
  • Chef Javier Plascencia / Mision 19
    Grilled Oysters w/ Chicharron Short Rib,
    Serrano Chili, Ponzu Butter, Lemongrass Foam
  • Starry Kitchen
    Mystery Balls
  • Mariscos de Jalisco
    Tacos Dorado de Camaron
  • Sabina Bandera
    Uni Tostadas
  • Samosa from Naan Stop Truck
  • Naan Stop
    Samosas
  • Antojitos Carmen
    Alambre Taco + Mini Pambaso + Mini Squash Blossom Quesadilla
  • Guelaguetza
    Mole Tamales
  • Guisados
    Sopes
  • Ramen JINYA + Robata JINYA
    Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Luxe Lounge Mixologist
    Julian Cox

And if that’s not enough, head on over to Bill of Street Gourmet LA’s post on the LASFF, whereby he details the vendors he brought up from Mexico to specially attend this event with their delicious bites. Also try on the entire vendor list for size if you really want to know who’s going to be there. This event has surely moved on from a representation of the nouveau food truck oversaturation we’ve seen in these parts. Get ready for some O.G. tastes!

Steak Tartar by Ricardo Zarate

If you want to live it up and try on the Luxe Lounge for size, mixologist Julian Cox and his specialty cocktails would be the perfect reason to push you over the edge. It’s $15 more and now, only the afternoon tickets are available so be sure to jump on it ASAP. But wait, I’ve got a link for $10 off (courtesy of the famed Test Kitchen) tickets. Just look below.

And in case you were worried about the lack of culinary (and political) star power at the event, never fear: Michael Voltaggio, Mayor Villaraigosa, Jonathan Gold, Lesley Bargar Suter, Walter Manzke and Marcela Velladoid will be on-hand to judge the bites at the fest. It’ll be exciting to see just who wins in their respective categories.

So, I will see you there – with multiple bites in-hand. Don’t forget: It’s presale only and there are only a few hours left to buy so don’t sleep on this one.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

2 – 5 PM
6 – 9 PM

Presale only:
Discounted Tickets ($10 off) through Test Kitchen
Regular Presale

LASFF at The Rose Bowl
360 N. Arroyo Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106

Taste of the Eastside: May 15, 2011

Credit to Flickr 7500 on Flickr

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile here on the blog. Thanks for being patient while I took the time for a much-needed hiatus while I rested and regrouped my going out and blogging mojo. I’m going to continue to bring you some quality reviews and heads-up on worthy up-coming events on an on-again, regular basis – so let’s get this ball rolling again, shall we?

We’ve got a debuting, community-driven food event on our hands on Sunday at Barnsdall Art Park, featuring eateries that mostly populate, well, the east side of town. Seems as though it’s skewed towards Silver Lake and Eagle Rock in particular, but it can only mean an even wider selection on their sophomore effort, right?

At Taste of the Eastside, you’ll sample tastes from Intelligentsia, Eagle Rock Brewery, Silver Lake Wine, Xoia, Malo, Little Dom’s, Pazzo Gelato, Gingergrass and Reservoir – just to name a few. Sustain LA will be on-site to keep the event recyclable and compostable. Proceeds from ticket sales will be divided up and donated towards the Barnsdall park, SEE-LA, Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Also taking place at the event will be three separate book signings brought by Skylight Books (only one of my favorite book stores), including “From Seed to Skillet” by Jimmy Williams & Susan Heeger, “The Sriracha Cookbook” by Randy Clemens and “Los Angeles’s Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the City of Angels” by Lina Lecaro. Bring the family for Barnsdall Art Sunday’s art workshop from 2-4 PM. If you like to roll in style, VIPs will enjoy a special cocktail tasting by Talmadge Lowe from 1-3 PM. Five percent of proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to Children’s Hospital LA.

Tickets are $25 and include 15 taste coupons. VIP will run you $65 but also get you 5 more (with 20 total) taste coupons and an additional, exclusive hour to the vendors before the event – as well as the cocktail tasting with Talmadge. You can purchase them at The Green Bean in and on Eagle Rock or via Brown Paper Tickets online.

Looks like a promising, inaugural event – especially if you’re local and looking to support your community at large. See you there!

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

(VIP: 12 PM) 1 – 5 PM

Tickets

Barnsdall Art Park
4800 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Loaded Bar Serves Up Frysmith With a Side of Rock

Loaded Bar

I love a delicious, complex cocktail as much as the next guy but sometimes you just want something that’s a little more simple. Rugged. Or even rough.

Poor Picture of Frysmith Kimchi Fries ($7, or $8.50 for "Loaded" version with pork belly)

Thankfully, I live in Hollywood so I have plenty of selection to suit my needs and desires of the moment. And yeah, I was craving something a lot less maintenance than a $14 hand-crafted cocktail plus an easy snack that would satisfy my belly. So I decided to check out Frysmith’s new cover band, Loaded Rock Bar on Hollywood Blvd, which serves up their menu without the gas ‘n go truck and with the stationary bar seating, lone flatscreen and nostalgic-to-the-80’s, rocker-esque soundtrack.

I’ll admit: The key is visiting on Call Whiskey Wednesdays, whereby all call whiskey is $3 per shot (If you prefer Jager, go on Mondays; tequila and Tecates, go on Thursdays). And so Makers it was, for me, which accompanied an order of Loaded Kimchi Fries with pork belly.

Beautiful. The fries were of a perfect crisp and the kimchi was more respectable than I’d honestly give a rock bar credit for. It would be hard to say if they’d be even better if cooked on the original truck. Thank you, Loaded, for proving me wrong. It’s apparent that the place provides its customers with a solid bar-going experience without the BS. They also have a cheap food menu besides the Frysmith menu, which I have yet to try, but which also comes with little risk ($5 for a burger on Hollywood Blvd? Wow!). But if you’re not hungry, count on Loaded for the whiskeys and bourbons – including even Death’s Door White Whiskey, Woodford Reserve and Basil Hayden ($7 ea). Or Macallan 12 for $8, if you were thinking something sweeter. Highland Park 12 and even Balvenie 12 are even $8 per pour.

Thinking about fitting in? A $5 PBR 24-oz pounder should be right up your alley. If you want to play middle-of-the-aisle, they also have $4 bottled Red Stripe. Are you a daytime drinker? All drinks are 2 for $1 more from 11 AM – 7 PM. Whoa.

Not bad for a rock bar with fake Marshall Loaded amps lining the back wall.

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Loaded
6377 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
323.464.5623