It was a thankfully mild Sunday in Chinatown, and Grand Central Plaza was filled with red tents under which chefs, cooks, brewers, bartenders and vendors doled out Sriracha-themed exclusives to enthusiasts of the celebrated, local Rooster sauce. Whether the food and drink were evocative of or complementary to the red jalapeno chili sauce, there was no shortage of flavor to be found on that block between Broadway and Hill.
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
Something special is coming up on Sunday – it’s so special it’s “to die for,” and luckily there are a few tickets left, so grab them quick. Yet again, there’s something brewing down in Long Beach – but for this 11th installment of Dionicess, you can forget it being holiday themed, and instead Walking Dead themed. Zombie themed. What-have-you.
To match, the series has been temporarily renamed as “Die”-nisis and will be serving food to accommodate their vision, including food and beer inspired by corpses, skeletons, brains and all of the above. Though they say it’s a 5-course dinner, if you’re familiar at all with their events, you know there will be some extras.
Beer cocktails. Beer floats. Sour beers. All-you-can-drink beer. Beer crawl set to music. Crappy-for-happy beer trades. Prickly pear beers from all over town. Los Angeles is comin’ up beer. And in its 4th year, not only is LA Beer Week bigger and better than ever, it’s also more unified. The camaraderie around the LA beer community is unmistakable – so get ready to drink some tasty brews while learning a lot and meeting some cool people along the way.
After perusing the 10-day schedule, I’ve come up with a few events I’d personally want to attend. With the LA beer scene at the strongest it has ever been, there’s bound to be some (or a lot of) conflicts during this extravaganza, but all we can do is do our best, right? While you’re at it, you might as well check off the four quandrants of this LA Beer Week Bucket List. Then, bring your four stickers to the LA Beer Week Festival on September 30th and get a free bottle of the official beer of the week, Unity, from Eagle Rock Brewery – a play on a traditional Berliner Weiss, yet jazzed up with a touch of rye as well as red and green prickly pear. You’ll also get to enter a drawing for tickets to the BAM Fest on October 6th in Santa Monica.
(If you don’t complete the bucket list, never fear – it’ll be on draft at select retailers throughout Los Angeles and Orange county as well as at the LA Beer Week Festival itself.)
Without further ado, here are my Top Ten of LA Beer Week:
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 Crossâ€™ disaster relief programs in Japan:
- 2006 Brigaldara Amarone ($18)
- 2008 Nicodemi Montepulciano dâ€™Abruzzo ($10)
- 2009 Zuani Collio Bianco ($12)
All three wines will be distinguished on Cubeâ€™s wines by the glass (vini al bicchieri) list with a â€˜+â€™.
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 4Â PM – Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 6 PM):
Raise a pint of Solidarity for Japan in Eagle Rock Brewery’s own taproom.Â 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 liquidÂ 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.
Cube benefit: Today – Tuesday, March 29, 2011
615 N. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Eagle Rock Brewery benefit: Today at 4 PM – Sunday, March 27, 2011
Wed â€“ Sat: 4-10 PM
Sun: 12 – 6 PM
Eagle Rock Brewery
3056 Roswell Street
Los Angeles, CA 90065
I see you dumping that Rooster Sauce in your Pho. On your rice. On your eggs. On your mangoes. Whatever and wherever.
If you ever run out of uses for or just plain love thatÂ clear-bottled,Â green-capped Vietnamese hot stuff called Sriracha, I expect to see you tonight at Blue Palms Brewhouse between 7:30 and 11:30 PM. Randy Clemens’ new cookbook release party will be OTH (off-the-hook) and featuring not only materializations of his fabulous recipes, but a Sriracha beer made by Eagle Rock Brewery!
Check the menu below:
- Kicked-Up Party Nuts
- Sriracha JalapeÃ±o Poppers
- Sriracha and Crab Rangoon Wontons
- Sriracha Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese
- Fire Roasted Corn Chowder
- Vietnamese-style Grilled Short Ribs
- Ultimate Sriracha Burger
Josh over at Food GPS also has a great Q&A with Randy so be sure to check that out for the DL on how the love for Sriracha and the subsequent cookbook came to be.
No cover and only 21 and over, please (full bar will also be available). You can also purchase the cookbook itself at the event.
This should be a blast with a ton of spices that will tantilize the senses, so don’t miss out. See you tonight!
It’s a beautiful thing when you can find a beer – or, what’s more, an entire beer culture – right in our own backyard. And the latter became increasingly evident as L.A. Beer Week events were curated andÂ celebrated around the city. It was a beautiful thing to witnessÂ Angelenos walking away from events, bars and gatherings ever moreÂ appreciativeÂ and knowledgable about suds the past ten days.
Now, there were plenty more people with better stamina than I who attended probably double or even quadruple the number of events that I did – and props to you whether you’re also press or aÂ beer distributor by trade. Whatever the degree of which you decided to participate, one thing was certain: Beer Week is an exciting time to be in Los Angeles. Here’s why:
- You may witness a celebrity chef’s decision toÂ revamp his beer program. Nobody is exempt from learning – nobody – andÂ at the first ever Dogfish Head beer dinner held in Los Angeles, Chef Eric Greenspan confessed that his appreciation for craft beers has been renewed since his college brewing days. Now, at The Foundry on Melrose, you can findÂ a highlightedÂ craft beer for the month paired with an entree expressly by Chef Greenspan, himself.
- You get to experience the evolution of aÂ dessert that just a couple years ago never even existed. Yes,Â I’m talking aboutÂ the now-popularÂ beer float. There were fourÂ such creative renditions of beer floats at Food GPS’ Beer Float Showdown II with Boneyard Bistro‘s Floris Apple with salted Bourbon and cinnamon ice cream taking the prize. A close second was Simmzy’s cherry pie rendition … oh, was it so hard to vote for the winner!!
- It’s a great occasion to try an L.A. beer you’ve never tried and/or visit an L.A.Â pubÂ you have never been to. Beer is really hot in L.A. right now, and Beer Week is only helping. One only needs toÂ reference theÂ entrance of The Bruery a couple years ago and Eagle Rock Brewery one year ago into the foray. Or the opening of Nibble Bit Tabby just last Spring. Naja’s Place, the place where all beer taps go to heaven, ranks up there as one of the only reasons I will visit the South Bay.
- You get to experience food-beer pairings that blow your mind. Like the Dogfish Head Sah’tea paired with Chef Greenspan’s Smoked Cod Brandade with potato, cauliflower and eggplant. The juniper berries, black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper in the Sah’tea were highlighted so well against the salty brandade (yet tempered by the cauliflower and eggplant), I’m salivating just thinking about it again. Another mind-blowing pairing was the Hot Knivez‘s Brugge Rodenbach cherry-ciabatta grilled cheese paired with The Bruery’s Oude Tart, a sour Red Ale which had dark fruit and oak notes that matched the Rodenbach-soakedÂ cherries in the homemade ciabatta so deliciously. The Hot Knivez-Bruery Symposium at Verdugo Bar was another delightful event.
- You may have dibs on theÂ first batch – of something – to exist or hit the West Coast. The beer industry knows that L.A. Beer Week is the place to be, so you best know it, too. The Delawareans at Dogfish Head sent over its 10% ABV Burton Baton, an oak-aged old ale and Imperial IPA blend, to Los Angeles just for this event.
- You get to try rare beers you have never tried – or even heard of – before. File this under Category: Obvious. Yesterday, at the culiminating event of all L.A. Beer Week events, the Union Station party in which you got unlimited 4 oz. pours for $40, you could taste a Samuel Adams sour ale in one sip and Craftsman Triple Sage in the next – with Victory Brewing Company’s version of Saison du Buff in the next. Be sure to walk around the party with at least one beer geek on hand (and mini stein in the other)Â to expedite the best recommendations and tastes to your lips.
It’s an exciting time for beer right now in L.A., and with this being only the second beer week – and a super successful one – I can see the excitement only growing. And brewing. 😉 I’d like to thank everyone I’ve bumped into along the way for making it a great few days to suds it up. There’s really nothing like great beer and great company.
October 7 – 17, 2010
Stay tuned for 2011 dates
Venues all over Los Angeles
Next weekend, you can find a lot of Los Angeles’ local goods downtown in one spot thanks to Artisanal LA. It takes place in The Cooper Building and not only will you be able to shop, you’ll be able to attend live workshops and more.
Saturday, there will be a Sustainable Caviar Cooking Demo and Tasting by Christopher Klapp and Chef Ben Bailly, aÂ Hand Made Egg Cozies Demo by Common Thread Studio, a Growing and Cooking With Artisanal Pumpkins Demo by Peninsula Hotel’s Chef James Overbaugh. On Sunday, Suzanne Griswold and Rachael Narins of Chicks with Knives will be doing a Pickling 101 demostration and tasting as will The Beer Chicks be hosting a Craft Beer Panel (and tasting) featuring brews from Eagle Rock Brewery & Nibble Bit Tabby, the recently opened brewery in town. You can also peep the full vendor list here.
Admission is $10 in advance or $15 at-the-door and includes Honest Tea, Dry Soda, Function and Bonadea drinks; local craft beer and organic spirits tasting (for 21+ only); a tote bag for the first 1000; access to the workshops, demos, arts and crafts; a chance at giveaways;Â unlimited re-entry for the weekend and partial proceeds to the LAUSD Edible School Garden Programs. DJ Bryan Davidson will be spinning the tunes.
So buy your tickets in advance and save yourself $5 – as well as guaranteed entry since the lovely organizers are expecting to have to turn people away at the door. I’m also giving away a couple tickets here on the blog, so simply comment in this post with what you are most looking forward to at Artisanal LA for your chance to win. Entries will close on Wednesday, October 20 and I’ll inform the winner that night.
See you there!