All-Star Chef Lineup at Pier del Sol Special Olympics Fundraiser on October 12, 2014

Santa Monica Pier – Credit: Phil Scoville on Flickr

The Special Olympics’ main fundraiser of the year is coming up in a week and a half, and as with every year, high wattage kitchen star power is showing up with world-class bites for the VIP brunch taking place on the historic and scenic Santa Monica Pier at Pacific Park.

Continue reading

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Raises Over $700,000 For Childhood Cancer Research

Alex’s Lemonade at Royce Quad

Food events come and go, but when the clout behind a particular function brings out some of the best chefs from inside and outside of Los Angeles, you’ll have a standout. Especially when the resulting total raised amounts to more than $700,00 towards childhood cancer research and patients’ lives and care.

Continue reading

Five Upcoming Food & Drink Events You Won’t Want to Miss

LudoBites 4.0 Greatest Hits: White Asparagus Veloute, Mozzarella Mousse, Candied Olives, Fennel, Salmon Roe

Now would be a great time to finally and formally introduce you to my “Upcoming Events” column over on the right (–>). It’s but a few months old, but a great way to short-handedly let you know about the best things that are coming up as far as goings on in Los Angeles. It also means less pre-event write-ups, since you can get the skinny right in that column. (You’re welcome.)

For now, though, I’ve anticipated a slew of food events in our beloved city – especially while everyone’s trying to get everything wrapped up before the holidays. I believe the following, however, warrant special attention. Be sure to make your reservations & buy your tickets. Here they are, in order of date:

1. Now: LudoBites 10.0 Reservation Window Now Open (until 10:59 AM Thursday, November 29, 2012)

Right now we’re in the middle of a 24-hour window that first opened at 11 AM PST. So until 10:59 AM tomorrow (Thursday, November 29), you’ll get to enter the lottery for a reservation on one of 14 days (weekdays, December 4-21) of LudoBites 10.0 at Gram & Papa’s in Downtown LA. No guarantees that any of you will actually GET a reservation, but all we can do is try, try, try, right? (No seriously – don’t submit that form twice. It will make Krissy very mad. Just once, guys.) Protip: To increase your chances of getting a reservation, be sure to be as available as possible, since you have to fill out your available days and time slots. Or maybe that was obvious.

And if you don’t know what LudoBites is, by now, I’m afraid I can’t help you…or can I?

Continue reading

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Draws Top Culinary Talent in Fight Against Childhood Cancer

Chicken Oysters by Michael Voltaggio

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, for my third year in attendance, remains one of my favorite food events. The original idea of Alex’s Lemonade arose out of a courageous four-year-old’s battle with neuroblastoma and her desire to donate the proceeds of her lemonade stand to doctors who have helped her. Childhood cancer strikes a chord personally, as my first born nephew was diagnosed with Acute lymphocytic leukemia at the age of 1 1/2. Thanks to treatment and some faith, he’s now entering his teen years as a survivor. Of course, more research needs to be done.

Continue reading

St. Vincent Meals On Wheels & Miss Lilly’s Trading Company Holiday Extravaganza at Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills | Photo courtesy of Donna Grayson on Flickr

I hope everyone’s having a great holiday season! I’m checking back in (with a New Year’s resolution to update regularly come the…you’ve guessed it…new year) since I’m super excited to be live-blogging tonight from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

St. Vincent’s famous food truck, Cart for a Cause, has launched a cookbook featuring 40 of Los Angeles’ acclaimed chefs. Four of them – Mark Gold (Eva Restaurant), Alex Becker (NOBU Los Angeles), Bebe Flynn (Miss Lilly’s Trading Company) and Michael Fiorelli (mar’sel at Terranea) – will be on-hand at the VIP reception at 5 PM today. For $25, you’ll get bites straight from the cookbook and get to take home your own signed copy (call 213.484.7128 to RSVP). You’ll be taking home some delicious recipes while knowing that 100% of the proceeds from your cookbook purchase benefits Meals on Wheels.

At 6 PM, tonight, is the main holiday shopping event. You can expect lots of treats! Not only will Cart for a Cause be serving up food at the valet, every sponsor will have something special to offer every attendee. Plus, free Pisco Porton cocktails and glitter tattoos. The Guerlain lash bar will be open as will the Frederic Fekkai counter. Check below for what everyone’s got in store:

  • Free glitter tattoos
  • Feed with Fashion Social T-shirt from JUNK FOOD CLOTHING
  • Longer lashes at the GUERLAIN lash bar
  • A hair analysis at FREDERIC FEKKAI
  • The 30-second facelift at CELLCOSMET
  • Hand and arm massages from LA MER and JO MALONE
  • Mini facials at SK-II
  • A chance to enter and win a PENHALIGON’S fragrance gift basket, valued at $385.
  • Makeovers and artistry from ARMANI, BOBBI BROWN, CHANEL, CLARINS, ESTEE LAUDER, LANCOME, LAURA MERCIER, NARS and YSL
  • A special gift with your BOBBI BROWN, CELLCOSMET, CLARINS, DIOR, DOLCE & GABBANA, ESTEE LAUDER, FREDERIC FEKKAI, IOMA, LAURA MERCIER and SK-II purchases.*
  • A complimentary makeup sample when you meet with a CLE DE PEAU or SHISEIDO consultant*
  • Customization of your ESTEE LAUDER purchase by their engraver*
  • With your SISLEY purchase, get your future foretold by renowned psychic Dora Blacman*

*denotes one per purchase

Also, don’t forget to visit me in the Blogger’s Hub! I’ll be live-blogging and tweeting the event.

And, if you decide to do some holiday shopping (for others or yourself, natch), you’ll feel great that during the hours of 6 – 8 PM tonight, 5% will benefit Miss Lilly’s Trading Company, which goes towards feeding pets belonging to homebound seniors, while 5% more will go towards St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, which help feed the seniors themselves.

See you tonight!

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

VIP Reception: 5 – 6 PM

Holiday shopping event: 6 – 8 PM

On One in Saks Fifth Avenue East
9600 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
RSVP: 213.484.7128

Not Just Another Food Event: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade Takes Place November 6, 2011

Alex's Lemonade Stand

Every year, there are more and more food events to choose from, making it hard to know exactly which one to support. LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade, however, is pretty much la crème de la crème when it comes to the quality of participants – at least from my inaugural experience last year. This year, it looks like the case will be the same.

Let’s take a look and see why. Participants from LA include Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Vinny Dotolo & Jon Shook (Animal), Neal Fraser (Grace), Suzanne Goin (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern), Matt Molina (Osteria Mozza), Zoe Nathan (Huckelberry), Steve Samson & Zach Pollack (Sotto), Eric Alperin (The Varnish) and Jonathan Graham (Compartes).

And if those weren’t all enough reasons, there will also be stellar showings from other parts, such as April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig – NY), Neal Bodenheimer (CURE – New Orleans), Brian Huston & Paul Kahan (The Publican – Chicago), Johnathan Sundstrom (Lark – Seattle), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto – NY) and Lachlan Patterson (Frasca Food and Wine – Boulder, CO).

As far as tickets, they’re not a drop in the bucket, but they’re mostly tax-deductible. But there’s no better way to enjoy endless hand-crafted cocktails from top mixologists and dishes from your favorite chefs with the Gone With The Wind mansion as your backdrop. Meanwhile, you pay your taxes forward and further research on childhood cancer. Yay! While the regular general ticket price is normally $175, Thrillist LA is offering VIP tickets (normally $400) for $225 ($100 is tax-deductible). Given that you get a whole extra hour and admission into the VIP area as well as the pre-event mixology session, this ticket is your best bet.

See you in Culver City next weekend!

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Sunday, November 6, 2011

12 PM – 4 PM

Thrillist VIP Tickets: $225

Culver Studios
9336 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Highlights of Plate By Plate, 2011

Hamachi Mole Pressed Sushi, Aji Amarillo Aioli - Haru Kishi for Chaya

Tasting events come and go, but Plate By Plate is one of those events that I’ve made sure to frequent every year. The proceeds of Project By Project’s annual benefit go towards a particular partner chosen for that year like this event’s Asian Youth Center. It also doesn’t hurt that the selection of participants is top-notch in comparison to many other events that I’ve attended over time.

Hamachi, Uni Russian Salad, Yuzu Kosho - Laurent Quenioux

Its focus on benefiting Asian non-profits flavor the event with entertainment such as modern dance and singing performances. Club beats pulse between the performances, perforating every bite. The Vibiana, with its high ceilings, is concurrently flooded with pink and white lights. And wherever Plate By Plate is, it’s always the site of the most successfully-executed-yet-unspoken dress code of the year. The chefs are the ones most expected to wear jeans, here.

The good news is that they all seem really amped to be at Plate By Plate. The answer to that age-old (in blogosphere time, anyway) question of “Why Are There So Many Asian Food Bloggers?” – if one were to ask it – lies in this event. The vibe is positive and the camaraderie, despite the pounding soundtrack, is warm.

Gavin Mills and wife Jessica (Wood & Vine)

And then there were many of my L.A. favorites – all in one room. My profile on Laurent Quenioux at Vertical Bistro had just run in the Pasadena Sun (yay! I’m in print!), and he brought his delicious sweetbreads and hamachi to serve up to Plate By Plate participants. Gavin Mills, who helms my neighborhood favorite, Wood & Vine, was there to present a wonderful charcuterie spread. I’d be hard-pressed to name one other Hollywood eatery which makes their own pates and rillettes in-house, and Wood & Vine’s are really good.

Picca Peru was on-hand to serve their ultra comforting Chicken Cau Cau. The Royce of Pasadena’s The Langham Hotel, under David Feau, plated pieces of Wagyu “Au Poivre” with a baby pearl onion. It’s pretty hard to argue with wagyu, but there was a certain elegant savoryness to this particular version.

Wagyu "Au Poivre" - David Feau of The Royce

The surprise of the night was The Gorbals’ Beef Tongue with Romesco. It was certainly the most tender – despite being thick - slice of tongue I’ve had. While I’m not a squeamish or picky eater, I can’t say that tongue has ever been a favorite “cut” of mine. But I was pretty shocked at how much I enjoyed this rendition. The delicious romesco sauce, of course, was no detail – so bravo.

Of course, the beautiful Bricia Lopez was in attendance to represent La Guelaguetza. They served up their famous Tamales Oaxaqueños with chicken and mole.

It’s always a festive time at Plate By Plate. The food and drink (complete this year with a mixology demo by Julian Cox) are always prime and the company in full garb is always colorful. If you are keen on taking a break between bites and sips, there are also really impressive silent auction items with low starting bids on the block. It’s pretty much the sleeper event of the year.

See you next time.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Plate By Plate
at Vibiana
214 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Drink To Japan at Cube and Eagle Rock Brewery

Eagle Rock Brewery Growler - Credit to Guzzle & Nosh (http://guzzlenosh.com/)

We all know about the tragedy that continues to unfold in Japan. As Japan endures aftershocks and the rest of the world does everything in her power – but seemingly never enough – to help the Land of the Rising Sun, we can see that at least some of our going-out dollars go towards relief.

Fortunately, two of my favorite sources of wine and beer in town have kicked off benefits where 50% or even 100% of proceeds from sales will go to Japan.

Cube (Today – Tuesday, March 29th, 2011):

Cube will donate 100% of proceeds from sales of the following three red wines by the glass to the American Red Cross’ disaster relief programs in Japan:

  • 2006 Brigaldara Amarone ($18)
  • 2008 Nicodemi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($10)
  • 2009 Zuani Collio Bianco ($12)

All three wines will be distinguished on Cube’s wines by the glass (vini al bicchieri) list with a ‘+’.

UPDATE: Cube has just added 2 pastas to the Red Cross – Japan benefit menu: Maltagliati with Oxtail Ragu and Red Cow Parmesan, Gnocchi with Lamb Sausage Bolognese and Red Cow Parmasan. They both are dressed in red sauces in keeping with their “RED for RED” Japan relief theme. So enjoy either (or both?) of these delicious pastas and wash it down with a RED for RED wine while knowing those dollars will help with disaster relief.

Eagle Rock Brewery(Today at 4 PM – Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 6 PM):

Raise a pint of Solidarity for Japan in Eagle Rock Brewery’s own taproom. They’ll be donating 50% of proceeds from every pint of the dark mild ale sold to UNICEF’s efforts to help the children in Japan who have been impacted by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

So get out there and make every liquid dollar count towards Japan earthquake and tsunami relief. You might as well support local biz and enjoy some solid wines and beers while you’re at it.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Cube benefit: Today – Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cube
615 N. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.939.1148

Eagle Rock Brewery benefit: Today at 4 PM – Sunday, March 27, 2011

Taproom Hours
Wed – Sat: 4-10 PM
Sun: 12 – 6 PM

Eagle Rock Brewery
3056 Roswell Street
Los Angeles, CA 90065
323.257.7866

Eat My Blog Bake Sale: Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nastassia (of Manila Machine & LetMeEatCake.com) & Friends at Eat My Blog 2 (June, 2010)

I love traveling, but of course one of the biggest downsides is missing great events back home while you’re gone. The 3rd Eat My Blog Bake Sale is one of those occasions! Not only is there an epic array of goodies to take home – brought to you by the most talented baking bloggers in town – but you benefit a great cause in the process. All proceeds go to L.A. Regional Food Bank!

You don’t have to take my word for it. Check out this terrific menu, with the gluten-free and vegan items denoted for your dietary convenience. Got a feline or canine friend? They get to enjoy some treats, too!

And remember, even though the event goes until 4 PM, personal experience says to get there as early as you can for the best selection. Bloggers will be standing by to fill your customized boxes with your hand-picked, hand-baked goodies at Tender Greens.

Be there Saturday!!

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Saturday, December 4, 2010

10 AM – 4 PM

Eat My Blog Website

Tender Greens
8759 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Giveaway: Tickets To A Fiery Fiesta With Drink Eat Travel

Wednesday, October 27 at LAFD Museum

What better way to support community than attend an event which benefits the Los Angeles Fire Department? Fortunately, the lovely folks over at DrinkEatTravel.com will be holding a fun event this Wednesday at the LA Fire Department Museum – and it so happens that it’s nearby the station which services my jurisdiction. Chipotle tacos will be served as will brews from Firestone Walker. Proceeds from your $12 admission benefit the Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum.

The evening will also include a raffle with prizes from Luxor Hotel and Casino, Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, Hugo’s Restaurant, Improv Hollywood and more. Guests will also enjoy an after-dinner cup o’ joe from Don Francisco, a chocolate tasting from The Chocolate Traveler, snacks from Popchips. DJ JJAquino will be spinning the tunes.

See if you’d like to try your hand at scoring a couple of tickets to this benefit and so you can enjoy free chipotle and beer on Wednesday? Go ahead and leave a comment below and RT this if you have Twitter (leave your Twitter handle in the URL box, e.g. “http://twitter.com/estarla”):

RT: @estarla I want to win 2 tickets to @DrinkEatTravel’s Fiery Fiesta http://estar.la/e/8v

Contest is closed tomorrow at 5 PM, which is when I will select the winner and tweet as well as email him/her! Be sure to check your email.

Not so confident in your luck? You can buy tickets, too, and get $2 off with code SPICY. Either way – I’ll see you there!

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

7 – 11 PM
Food served at 7:30 PM

Tickets
Use code SPICY for $2 off

Los Angeles Fire Department Museum
1355 N. Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

@drinkeattravel