Four Upcoming Food Events in L.A. You Don’t Want To Miss

Duck Taquitos (Red O), Boat Noodles (Pa Ord), L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, LA Beer Week 2012 – thanks to Caroline on Crack (Clockwise L-R)

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 –>.

Without further ado…
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See You At L.A. Times’ THE TASTE: September 1-3, 2012

Flavors of LA: Plan Check Smoked Jidori Fried Chicken – Photo credit to naftels on Flickr

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.

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Two Food Truck Events You Should Know About: Antojitos de mi Abuelita at Street Food Mondays, Cast Iron Gourmet & Frysmith at Black Boar Bar

Antojitos de mi Abuelita

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 “little whims,” 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.

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Street Food Mondays at Test Kitchen Features Mariscos Chente’s

Pescado Zarandeado (Snook)

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:

Ceviche de Cameron
  1. Tostaditas(3): Ceviche de Camaron, Pate de Marlin, Aguachile Rojo
  2. Albondigas de Camaron: Soup with shrimp balls
  3. Taco Gobernador: Shrimp taco with cheese
  4. Mignon de Camaron: Grilled shrimp fillet
  5. Pescado Zarandeado: Grilled whole fish served family style
  6. 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!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

6 – 10:30 PM

Reservations available online only

Test Kitchen
9575 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Street Food Monday Returns: Sri Lankan Priyani Ceylon Café Presents Hoppers

String Hoppers With Pork Curry, Coconut Sambola and Dal Curry | Photo credit to PleasurePalate.com

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.

Menu

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.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

5 PM – 10 PM

Angeli Caffé
7274 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
323.936.9086

Street Food Mondays: Ricky’s Fish Tacos at Angeli Caffe

Ricky's Fish Tacos | Photo credit: Cathy Danh of GastronomyBlog.com

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 Piña 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!

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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

Taste of Beverly Hills On September 2-5, 2010: Tickets On Sale Today

Overview of Beverly Hills

Looks like Beverly Hills wants officially mark themselves on the map as a culinary event 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, “9.02.10 City of Beverly Hills Celebration.” You’ll 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 KCRW’s “Good Food” Host and Chef Evan Kleiman while the tunes are directed by Jason Bentley, KCRW music director and host of “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” The schedule that’s planned in the Grand Tasting area:

  • “The Art of Mixing” (Friday evening)—the city’s top mixologists and DJs “mix” their talents. Ooh, la la!
  • “Secrets From the Kitchen and Cellar” (Saturday afternoon)—chefs and master sommeliers showcase the tricks of their trades.
  • “Taste of Something Better” Cooking Competition (Saturday afternoon)—three finalists will vie for the crown of “America’s Top Amateur Chef” and compete to represent the United States in the 2010 LG “Life Tastes Good” global cooking competition in Seoul, South Korea, this fall.
  • “Date Night” (Saturday evening)—an evening of good food, wine, music, and one-on-one time with master sommeliers and vintners.
  • “The Art of Brunch” (Sunday afternoon)—free-flowing brunch cocktails, live gospel and jazz performances, a 50-foot grand table featuring the city’s finest pastries and breads, along with KCRW’s annual pie contest hosted by “Good Food” Host Evan Kleiman.

Okay, Beverly Hills! Show us what you got. Tickets are 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 “90210 City of Beverly Hills Celebration” on Thursday is an individually ticketed event for $150.

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Thursday, September 2 – Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tickets: $125, $150 or $500

The Taste of Beverly Hills, Presented by Food & Wine
Adjacent to:
Beverly Hilton
9900 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
877.434.TOBH (8624)

Save Nina’s Food: Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nina's Quesadillas | Photo credit to LASates.com
Nina's Food | Photo credit to LASates.com

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 tried a variety of O.G. and N.S. (new school) street food vendors  at the site of 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 really 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.  The torta, soaked in enchillada sauce then griddled became a sort of savory, spicy bread pudding filled with potato, cheese and chorizo.  Her Quesidillas are justly famous, a pile of cheese on the griddle turning into Queso Fundido that’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 notoriety along with the good. 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 of Asociación 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-Gordita 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 to 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:

Nina’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 – griddled or fried – cheese only $3.50

Quesadillas or gorditas $6.50
Guisados (fillings)
Huitlacoche – Corn Fungus
Flor de Calabaza – Zucchini Flowers
Hongos – Mushrooms
Chicharron prensad
Tinga – Spicy Chipotle Beef

Bowl of pozole w/condiments $5
Nina’s salsa seca (to-go) $5
(Combo of sesame seeds, peanuts, chile de arbol)

There will also be a selection of beverages:
Agua de Limon
Agua de Sandia
Soft Drinks/Ice Tea
Selection of Beers

Further reading:
Help Nina of the Famous Quesadillas – Evan Kleiman of KCRW Good Food

Breed Street Vendor Nina’s Food Takes Home the First Ever L.A. Vendy Awards – Midtown Lunch LA

Vendy Awards Update – Nina’s Foods the Winner – LA Weekly Squid Ink

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Nina’s Food Fundraiser

Sunday, June 20, 2010

11 AM – 3 PM

Angeli Caffe
7274 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
323.936.9086

Eat My Blog Redux on June 19 at Tender Greens

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!

You can look forward to delicious eats from local baking star power like KCRW Good Food host Evan Kleiman, Chicks with Knives, Debbie Lee, Drago Centro, Starry Kitchen, Bakelab, Cube, Fraiche, Choppe Choppe, Hollywood Corner, Valerie Confections, Plaisir, Scoops Ice Cream, and Tender Greens themselves. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be featuring a selection of hot beverages to help wash down all your sweets!

Not enticed, yet? Get there early before everything is gone – including bacon brownies, chocolate whoopie pies and “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! “We 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,” 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 - if you wait, all the good things will be gone!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

10 AM – 4 PM

Eat My Blog at Tender Greens
8759 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069