It’s that time, again, to present the essential food events going on the next few weeks around the city. It’s a wonder that I don’t do these more often, because I often want to highlight events that I don’t have time to write about before and after they occur.
So here’s a reminder, then, to check back on the blog whenever you can (on a full size browser, not mobile) for my Google Calendar-ready events list I’ve been maintaining in the right-hand column, underneath my avatar –>.
It took a few tries, but it seems as though the flagship food, cocktails, wine & beer event of our city’s flagship publication may have this Labor Day weekend on lock. So head on over to Paramount Pictures this upcoming 3-day weekend for a celebration of delicious consumptions and libations. Tickets cost $65 per event and come with unlimited bites and swigs. See below for a preview of dishes, cocktails & people you’ll have to look forward to:
Field to Fork: Saturday, 9/1 • 11 am- 3 pm (21+) Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and Chef Ray Garcia of FIG host this session inspired by fresh, local ingredients in celebration of seasonal dishes. Look forward to cooking demos, a conversation with local farmers and a chef’s challenge. You’ll experience tastes from Cook’s County, Sunny Spot, Picca, Mo-Chica, M.B. Post and Canele, who will be plating their Shelled Bean Salad.
Everyone knows Los Angeles is a wonderful place to eat, with unmatched culinary diversity – and mobility – found anywhere else in the world. Fortunately, there are two food events happening today and tomorrow with focuses on food trucks – O.G. and nouveau – that bring you their goods in a special setting for one night only. If I weren’t out of town, I’d personally attend these two events. Instead, you’ll have to go in my place, represent and see what they’re all about.
One is brought to you by the celebrated return of Street Food Mondays, curated by Bill Esparza (Street Gourmet LA) and Evan Kleiman (owner of Angeli Caffe). Antojitos de mi Abuelita, a food truck representing Mexico City-style antojitos, or masa-based â€œlittle whims,â€ will be serving up “Comida corrida,” or a 3-course meal for only $28.
The other is a collaboration between Cast Iron Gourmet and Frysmith food truck – more on that after the jump.
Street Food Monday is back. And for tonight’s installment, it has relocated to Test Kitchen in West LA. This one is especially exciting because contemporary Sinaloan and Nayaritan cuisine from Mariscos Chente’s will be served in anticipation of the opening of a future location. Sergio Penuelas, who was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa has over 15 years experience cooking Nayaritan cuisine.
Tonight’s guests will get to enjoy his Pescado Zarandeado. Snook is butterflied and cooked over a mesquite grill. It’s a deliciously tender preparation incorporating chile and garlic. And here’s the full menu of what you can be expecting tonight – all for $35:
Tostaditas(3): Ceviche de Camaron, Pate de Marlin, Aguachile Rojo
Albondigas de Camaron: Soup with shrimp balls
Taco Gobernador: Shrimp taco with cheese
Mignon de Camaron: Grilled shrimpfillet
Pescado Zarandeado: Grilled whole fish served family style
Capirotada: Mexican bread pudding
So be sure to make your online reservation ASAP. Tonight is a great chance to get a real taste of Sinaloan and Nayaritan food. I had a visit recently to their Inglewood location, which is owned by Connie Cossio and which I can’t sing enough praises about. I would definitely attend tonight if I weren’t out of town right now!
Bill Esparza and Evan Kleiman’s Street Food Mondays at Angeli Caffe are back with a vengeance. And next Monday, they’ll be presenting Priyani Ceylon Cafe’s string hoppers. This is a limited engagement, unfortunately because Priyani has actually shut down recently due to bad location and unfavorable lease terms.
Never had Sri Lankan food? Wondering what to expect in a hopper? String hoppers are paddies made of rice noodles while hoppers are thin pancakes made from fermented rice flour. Egg hoppers instead are made with the same rice flour, however with the addition of egg in the batter. Other items from the former Priyani Cafe will also be featured.
Appetizer $4 One fish cutlet (croquette) and a beef roll
Hoppers $5.50 Five String Hoppers (rice noodle patties) with sime sambal (spicy condiment) $3 Plain Hopper (thin fermented pancake) with choice of sime sambal or a *curry $3.50 Egg Hopper (fermented pancake with egg) with choice of sime sambal or a *curry
*Curries: choice of mutton or chicken
Priyani Favorites $6.50 Chicken Biryani( Rice mold with chicken, eggplant, hard-boiled egg, and cashews) $8 Lampreis (chicken curry,shrimp sambal, fish cutlet, sime sambal, and a green banana curry wrapped in a banana leaf)
Dessert $4 Wattalapam (Sri Lankan flan)
Extras $1.50 Additional condiment of a curry or sambal
Beer and wine will be available for sale
Fortunately, if you’ve never had Sri Lankan food, this will be your chance. Hop on over to Angeli Caffe for your taste of the action. It’s extremely affordable and much of the street food community will be in tow to support.
I can get behind a series that features a different street food every week. Thankfully, Evan Kleiman and Bill Esparza of StreetGourmetLA are bringing exactly that to Evan’s Angeli Caffe on Melrose every Monday. Next Monday kicks off with Ricky PiÃ±a of Ricky’s Fish Tacos. His tacos and his stand set-up have been notorious for being delicious and available only at Sunset Junction on the weekends.
The story of Ricky himself is remarkable in that he’s from a family of mechanics who have serviced the cars of Baja fishermen – with payment coming in the form of abalone, oysters, pismo clams and fish. True Baja flavors will be yours to the tune of $3 per shrimp or fish taco on Monday night at Angeli – and you’d be remiss to pass this opportunity up!
Monday, July 26, 2010
6 – 10 PM
$3 per taco
Ricky’s Fish Tacos at Angeli Caffe 7274 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90046 323.936.9086
Looks like Beverly Hills wants officially mark themselves on the map as a culinary eventÂ destination in Los Angeles – as the first annual Taste of Beverly Hills will take place on September 2 – 5, 2010. With no event legacy, the first thing I’m drawn to is that it spans over 4 days – and over Labor Day Weekend, at that! The second? The price.
Of course, it wouldn’t be L.A., much less Beverly Hills, without all the hot names on the ticket. Names like (Top Chef Season Six winner) Michael Voltaggio, Walter Mazke (formerly of Church & State), Ludo Lefebvre (LudoBites), John Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal) all showcasing their work for visitors to the event.
The weekend will commence on Thursday with an ever appropriately named picnic matched to its date, â€œ9.02.10 City of Beverly Hills Celebration.â€ You’llÂ sit under the stars with guests such as Larry King and others while enjoying live musical performances. Remember: This event is separately ticketed and not included in the all-inclusive price.
Enjoy food from over 50 chefs and restauranteurs, beer, wine, cocktail tastings, and chef demos within the Grand Tasting area throughout the weekend. The schedule is curated by KCRWâ€™s â€œGood Foodâ€ Host and Chef Evan Kleiman while the tunes are directed by Jason Bentley, KCRW music director and host of â€œMorning Becomes Eclectic.” The schedule that’s planned in the Grand Tasting area:
â€œThe Art of Mixingâ€ (Friday evening)â€”the cityâ€™s top mixologists and DJs â€œmixâ€ their talents. Ooh, la la!
â€œSecrets From the Kitchen and Cellarâ€ (Saturday afternoon)â€”chefs and master sommeliers showcase the tricks of their trades.
â€œTaste of Something Betterâ€ Cooking Competition (Saturday afternoon)â€”three finalists will vie for the crown of â€œAmericaâ€™s Top Amateur Chefâ€ and compete to represent the United States in the 2010 LG â€œLife Tastes Goodâ€ global cooking competition in Seoul, South Korea, this fall.
â€œDate Nightâ€ (Saturday evening)â€”an evening of good food, wine, music, and one-on-one time with master sommeliers and vintners.
â€œThe Art of Brunchâ€ (Sunday afternoon)â€”free-flowing brunch cocktails, live gospel and jazz performances, a 50-foot grand table featuring the cityâ€™s finest pastries and breads, along with KCRWâ€™s annual pie contest hosted by â€œGood Foodâ€ Host Evan Kleiman.
Okay, Beverly Hills! Show us what you got. Tickets areÂ available today for $125 per person for a day session pass, $150 for an evening session pass and $500 per person for an all-access weekend package. Again, the â€œ90210 City of Beverly Hills Celebrationâ€ on Thursday is an individually ticketed event for $150.
I admit it. I made a huge mistake by missing the first ever L.A. Vendy Awards about a month ago, in May. And to this day, I suffer having never triedÂ a variety of O.G. andÂ N.S. (new school) street foodÂ vendors Â at the site ofÂ one, well-organized event. Of course, the argument of who’s who, we’ll leave out here.
But one thing’s for sure – the vendor I reallyÂ missed out on was Nina’s Pambazos and Quesadillas, originally of Breed Street fame. Nina Garcia is notorious for her Pambazos, which Evan Kleiman, KCRW’s Good Food host and Vendy Awards Judge so vividly describes in this way:
The first bite of her Pambazo was like being hit in the face with a big punch of flavor followed by an incredibly comforting and satisfying textural surprise.Â The torta, soaked in enchillada sauce then griddled became a sort of savory, spicy bread pudding filled with potato, cheese and chorizo.Â Her Quesidillas are justly famous, a pile of cheese on the griddle turning into Queso Fundido thatâ€™s scraped into a corn tortilla made to oder and garnished with your choice of chicharron, zucchini flowers, huitlacoche etc.
The problem is that since her Vendy Awards honor, it has brought on the bad notorietyÂ along with the good.Â The police have had a bit of a time breathing down her back, lately – with her not-exactly-mobile operation being a griddle and tables. And so Evan, along with Erin Glenn, Chief Executive Officer ofÂ AsociaciÃ³n de Loncheros L.A. Familia Unida de California are trying to raise money in order to get Nina into her own truck. Thanks also goes to Bill Esparza who passed along the word to us food bloggers so we could get the word out to you.
The Pambazo-Quesadilla-GorditaÂ Fest fundraiser will be held on Sunday from 11 AM – 3 PM at Angeli Caffe on Melrose just west of La Brea. Buy a Pambazo, Quesadilla and/or Gordita for yourself and everyone’s father. It’ll be the best tasting fundraiser you ever did help support. And you’ll also be helping toÂ sustain an important part of L.A.’s culture.
If you can’t make it and want to make any size donation, please make your check out to Nina Garcia and send it to:
Ninaâ€™s Food c/o Carl Berquist Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles 2533 West 3rd Street, Suite 101 Los Angeles, California 90057
Check the menu for Sunday’s event below:
Pambazo $5 (A roll soaked in Guajillo Chile Sauce filled with Potato and Chorizo and Griddled)
Quesadillas â€“ griddled or fried – cheese only $3.50
The bloggers of the now-semi-annual Eat My Blog bake sale are coming together for the second time on Saturday, June 19, 2010. In one of the most impressive baking efforts in the city, 100% of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. This time, Eat My Blog will be held at Tender Greens West Hollywood where over 2,000 goods from over 70 bakers will be on display – all items costing a simple $1 – $4 each. Bring cash!
Not enticed, yet? Get there early before everything is gone – including bacon brownies, chocolate whoopie pies andÂ “intriguing debuts [like] Momofuku’s Crack Pie from the Los Angeles Times’ Daily Dish and Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting from Pat Saperstein of Eating LA,” says Diana Takes a Bite, one of the members on the Eat My Blog committee. What’s more, benefiting the LA Food Bank and fighting hunger should be reason enough to satisfy your sweet tooth; at the last Eat My Blog, over $3,000 was raised! â€œWe are excited to partner with the Foodbank again, especially after visiting the facility this winter to see how the money we raised would be used,â€ said Cathy Danh, author of Gastronomy and founder of Eat My Blog.
I’ll see you bright and early that Saturday in June. After all -Â if you wait, all the good things will be gone!