The 2nd Annual Sriracha Festival Returns to Great Success

Sriracha Marinated Chimichurri Steak Taco – Komodo

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.

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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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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

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?

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The Food GPS L.A. Beer Float Showdown Redux

Golden State Beer Float | Photo credit to Umammiart on Flickr

If you love beer and ice cream, this is your event. The second Beer Float Showdown returns for Beer Week and it happens on Sunday at 5:30 PM at Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park. It’s always been one of my favorite places to enjoy a pint, so it’s only fitting they be hosts to this (plus many other LA Beer Week events).

While the first put two teams head-to-head (The Golden State and Scoops vs. BottleRock LA and MILK), this better-than-ever Food GPS event will feature a total of four teams! Beer Float Showdown newcomers Boneyard Bistro (Sherman Oaks), Ladyface Alehouse (Agoura Hills), Simmzy’s (Manhattan Beach) and Tony’s Darts Away(Burbank) will face off in a Valley vs. South Bay battle of sorts. Every attendee will judge based on flavor and originality. So that’s 4 beer floats for $25 in advance or $30 at-the-door. Half the proceeds go to Share Our Strength, an organization that battles childhood hunger, so you can feel good knowing you’re helping out a great cause, pint-for-pint and scoop-for-scoop.

Feeling like more than just beer and ice cream? The Manila Machine and Mandoline Grill food trucks will be there, Verdugo style, so you can line your stomachs with some savory.

So get your tickets in advance and save yourself 5 bucks – or throw Share Our Strength a couple more and just show up at the door. I’ll see you there!!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

5:30 PM

$25 in advance
$30 at door

Verdugo Bar
3408 Verdugo Road
Los Angeles, CA, 90065
323.257.3408‎

Dine LA Quickfire Challenge at Petrossian West Hollywood

Borscht at Petrossian

Quickfire Challenges don’t only happen on Top Chef. And in celebration of the upcoming Dine LA weeks, there are themed challenges happening all over the city. Yesterday, Mark Peel of Tar Pit and Campanile defeated Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station) and David LeFevre (Water Grill) with a Guinea Hen dish. Fortunately, there are three more challenges and I will have the honor of being a judge of the “cold soup” Quickfire Challenge to take place tomorrow at Petrossian – the caviar boutique and restaurant in West Hollywood on Robertson. The other judges will be Chef Ben Bailly, Petrossian’s chef and Josh Lurie of Food GPS.

In this challenge, we’ll see Chef Akira Hirose, Maison Akira Owner/Executive Chef go up against Chef Celestino Drago, Chef Drago Restaurant Group Owner/Executive Chef. The winner will go up against the other three winners of the other challenges in early October in a finale (TBD).

Of course, it’s not good enough to just watch. You’ll get to participate, too, by taking advantage of some great happy hour prices of Petrossian specialties:

Caviartinis $10
Beers $5
Chips & Dip $10
Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Caviar $8
Borsht Shooters $2
Shrimp Papillotes $8
Salmon Rillettes $10

Absolutely delicious!

So I hope you can come and attend what promises to be a very exciting challenge. It’s going to be fun, exciting and a close contest, for sure. …Now where is my cold soup?

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

6 – 8 PM

Petrossian West Hollywood
321 N. Robertson Blvd. (one block north of Beverly Blvd.)
West Hollywood, CA 90048
310.271.6300

The Food GPS Beverly Boulevard Walking Tour

Fried Chicken at Eva

As far as Los Angeles neighborhoods in which there’s a high concentration of great places to eat, Beverly Boulevard and its vicinity has to be one of the top destinations. Fortunately, Joshua Lurie a.k.a. Food GPS has set up an eating tour that will take his guests to four such closely-located eateries. You’ll get to visit and sample a creation from each chef at Eva, BLD, Golden State Cafe and Milk all in one afternoon for a low cost of $45, including tax and tip. Meet other food-lovers and learn a little bit about the neighborhood. Sounds like a win-win way to spend an otherwise-lazy Sunday.

Have questions? Look none further than sending an email to joshua [at] foodgps.com

So buy your ticket. I wouldn’t sit on this one. Josh’s eating tours (see: Santa Monica and Downtown L.A.) have historically sold out!

Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 3 PM

Tickets: $45

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Eva Restaurant
7458 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2701
323.634.0700

Golden State Cafe
426 N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.782.8331

BLD
7450 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2701
323.930.9744

Milk
7290 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2545
323.939.6455

Tequila Mixology Contest at Ortega 120

Tequila Cocktails at Ortega 120

Ortega 120 in Redondo Beach, where you can order LA Weekly’s Best Classic Margarita of 2009, will also be the site for an inaugural “Toma Tequila” Mixology Contest. Amateurs will compete for the grand prize of a $250 gift certificate to the restaurant, an editorial feature in Mutineer Magazine and, of course, have their winning recipe on Ortega 120’s cocktail menu alongside Chef Thomas Ortega’s imaginative dishes.

No professionals allowed – only amateurs are eligible to compete. To enter, submit your best tequila-infused recipe. Judges will narrow it down to a final three, which will have been chosen on a set criteria: taste, creativity, visual presentation and mixology practicality. And you should be excited (or intimidated) to find out who the judges are, including Ortega 120’s Demi Stevens, Mutineer Magazine Editor-in-Chief Alan Kropf, Carole Dixon of FEAST LA, Hadley Tomicky of Grub Street LA and Josh Lurie of Food GPS. Selected finalists will compete live at the restaurant on the evening of May 3rd.

Other events going on at Ortega 120 for that week include:

Sunday, May 2 – Sister Cities International Charity Fundraiser
Monday, May 3 – Ortega 120 “Toma Tequila” Mixology Competition Finals
Tuesday, May 4 – Tequila University
Wednesday, May 5 – Cinco de Mayo Grand Fiesta with folklorico dancers

May the best tequila cocktail win!

Finals: Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Entry form

Submit to ortega120contest [dot] com.

Ortega 120
1814 Pacific Coast Highway
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
310.792.4120

@Ortega120