What Carmageddon? Head To L.A. Street Food Fest on Saturday, July 16

Carmageddon - Credit to ml_kap on Flickr

We’ve been notified about this weekend for months, folks. And here it is: The 405 Freeway, on the stretch between the 10 and 101, will be closed Friday night (on-ramps begin closing at 7 PM, lanes at 10 PM) through Monday morning at 5 AM. What does that mean? Stay home if you can! Or find some alternative route (it’s hit the fan: even JetBlue is offering $4 flights from Long Beach to Burbank).

Or, you can make the most of it and, like me, Metro it on over to the other side of the 405. Pasadena, that is. I plan on taking the Red Line to the Gold Line since L.A. Street Food Fest will be providing shuttles from Memorial Park Station on the Gold Line to the Rose Bowl every 30 minutes. Plan on making it a Staycation? LASFF has also secured a special rate at the nearby Courtyard Marriott.

There are plenty of reasons to trek it on over to the Rose Bowl. Try these bites:

  • Chef Christian Page / Tione’s Quality Meats
    Sonoma Lamb Shoulder w/ Mediterranean Salsa
  • Chef Dan Moody / Relate
    Banana Bread Pudding a la Pecan Pie
  • Chef Ricardo Zarate / Mo-Chica + Picca
    Assorted Causas & Anticucho
  • Chef Javier Plascencia / Mision 19
    Grilled Oysters w/ Chicharron Short Rib,
    Serrano Chili, Ponzu Butter, Lemongrass Foam
  • Starry Kitchen
    Mystery Balls
  • Mariscos de Jalisco
    Tacos Dorado de Camaron
  • Sabina Bandera
    Uni Tostadas
  • Samosa from Naan Stop Truck
  • Naan Stop
    Samosas
  • Antojitos Carmen
    Alambre Taco + Mini Pambaso + Mini Squash Blossom Quesadilla
  • Guelaguetza
    Mole Tamales
  • Guisados
    Sopes
  • Ramen JINYA + Robata JINYA
    Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Luxe Lounge Mixologist
    Julian Cox

And if that’s not enough, head on over to Bill of Street Gourmet LA’s post on the LASFF, whereby he details the vendors he brought up from Mexico to specially attend this event with their delicious bites. Also try on the entire vendor list for size if you really want to know who’s going to be there. This event has surely moved on from a representation of the nouveau food truck oversaturation we’ve seen in these parts. Get ready for some O.G. tastes!

Steak Tartar by Ricardo Zarate

If you want to live it up and try on the Luxe Lounge for size, mixologist Julian Cox and his specialty cocktails would be the perfect reason to push you over the edge. It’s $15 more and now, only the afternoon tickets are available so be sure to jump on it ASAP. But wait, I’ve got a link for $10 off (courtesy of the famed Test Kitchen) tickets. Just look below.

And in case you were worried about the lack of culinary (and political) star power at the event, never fear: Michael Voltaggio, Mayor Villaraigosa, Jonathan Gold, Lesley Bargar Suter, Walter Manzke and Marcela Velladoid will be on-hand to judge the bites at the fest. It’ll be exciting to see just who wins in their respective categories.

So, I will see you there – with multiple bites in-hand. Don’t forget: It’s presale only and there are only a few hours left to buy so don’t sleep on this one.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

2 – 5 PM
6 – 9 PM

Presale only:
Discounted Tickets ($10 off) through Test Kitchen
Regular Presale

LASFF at The Rose Bowl
360 N. Arroyo Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106

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!!

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

L.A. Times Celebration of Food & Wine: September 5, 2010

L.A. Times Wine & Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios | Photo credit to isayx3 on Flickr

It’s another culinary bazaar (we here in Los Angeles know how often these come around) but this time, it’s our city-wide flagship publication pulling out all the stops. It looks like the L.A. Times will live up to their name, too, because there are names to be had at this event held at on New York Street (yeah, pretty funny) in the backlot of Paramount Pictures.

Feelin’ a little indie with your wine? There will also be music, as She & Him are scheduled to headline the event with a full set. Angela McClusky will support.

Demonstrations will be taking place for your pleasure and education, as will panels by the following:

  • Michael Voltaggio – Winner, Top Chef Season 6
  • Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo – Animal Restaurant
  • Mark Peel –Campanile, The Tar Pit, Top Chef Masters Seasons 1 & 2
  • Suzanne Goin –AOC, Lucques, Tavern and The Hungry Cat
  • Jimmy Shaw -Loteria Grill
  • Ludo Lefebvre – LudoBites
  • Betty Fraser – Grub, Top Chef Season 2
  • Chris “C.J.” Jacobsen – The Yard, Top Chef Season 3
  • Alex Reznik – Ivan Kane’s Cafe Was, Top Chef Season 7
  • John Sedlar – Rivera
  • Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario
  • Ricardo Zarate – Mo-chica
  • Russ Parsons – Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Noelle Carter – Manager, Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen
  • Rene Lynch – Assistant Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Jessica Gelt – Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
  • Betty Hallock – Deputy Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Krista Simmons – Associate Editor, Brand X

And of course, high brow or not, it wouldn’t truly be a Los Angeles food event without food trucks present. Don Chow Tacos, Wahoo’s, The Sweets Truck, The Buttermilk Truck, DosaTruck, Coolhaus will all be there if you so prefer your food off a 4-wheeler.

Wine, sake and spirits from various vendors will help you wash down your bites. Blackheart Spiced Rum, Broc Cellars / Broadside Wines, Conway Family Wines, Dutcher Crossing Winery, Evan Williams Hong Reserve Bourbon, Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards, Gekkeikan Sake, Hook & Ladder Winery, Lunazul 100% Agave Tequila, Kook Soon Dang Beer, Michael David Winery, Rideau Vineyard, Sinatra Family Estates, and Venteux Vineyards will all be present during the event.

If you buy in advance, you’ll save $10. The best part is that general admission attendees also get to enjoy a good number of pours (8 to be exact) with their food. But if VIP is more your speed, you’ll get unlimited pours and in addition, you’ll get to taste bites from these participants. Benefiting from ticket sales are Share Our Strength and the Los Angeles Times Family Fund, so you can feel good that you’ve spent your day also supporting worthy causes.

Seems like a it’ll be a great debut. I’ll see you there.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

12 – 8 PM

$125 VIP Admission ($135 door)
$55 General Admission ($65 door)
$40 Concert Only, advance and door

Tickets

L.A. Times Celebration of Food & Wine at
Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Chinatown Summer Nights Are Here

Go Metro to Chinatown | Photo credit to brianlattaphotography on Flickr

It seems that August is quite the month to experience Los Angeles. And if you need ideas, start with the first ever Chinatown Summer Nights to get a taste of L.A.’s original epicenter of the Chinese American experience. Call it a revival of sorts – because we urbanites are tired of San Gabriel Valley getting all the attention, aren’t we?

This Saturday and every other Saturday in August, Chinatown Summer Nights will showcase cooking demonstrations, the area’s restaurants and bars, stores and art galleries, music, martial arts demonstrations, interactive dance and movement workshops, family workshops and even temporary public art installations. And of course, there will be (OK, non-Chinese) food trucks – specifically Nom Nom Truck, India Jones Chow Truck, Spring Street Smoke House, The Patty Wagon, Papas Tapas and Fry Smith.

One of the best perks of the festival is presented in the form of discounts to the local restaurants in Chinatown. Be sure to print the coupons since you’ll need them to claim your discount (or get your copy at the festival’s info booth). Participating restaurants will include Hop Woo, Golden City, Full House Seafood, New Dragon Seafood and Golden Dragon.

Family workshops will run from 5 – 8 PM and cooking demos will take place in the West Plaza at 5 and 8 PM. Sharon Hoy, a top Chinese chef and cookbook author, and Eddie Lin of Deep End Dining will be the MCs. KCRW DJs Raul Campos, Anthony Valdez, Jeremy Sole and Aaron Byrd will alternate each week to spin tunes for your dancing pleasure in the Central Plaza.

Saturdays, August 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2010

5 PM – 12 AM

Free admission
Shuttle will be provided to/from Chinatown Gold Line Metro and Central Plaza
Free bike valet

Chinatown Summer Nights
Chinatown, Los Angeles
Between Broadway & Yale Street, from College Street to Bernard Street

SoBe’s Lean Into Summer Party

This is a last-minute one, folks. But hey – it’s free, and it’s at the über-hip De La Barracuda, an art-music-skate venue located in West Hollywood. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another art gallery that also houses a mini skate park, hair salon and tattoo parlor. Hosting you tomorrow will be LA designer Dr. Romanelli and De La Barracuda founder Miguel de la Barracuda. Sip up your SoBe drinks and soak in all the urban culture via ultra-exclusive art, skate decks, and other apparel from Dr. Romanelli.

The Dublab Soundsystem DJs Ty Segall and Very Be Careful will be spinning tunes for your audial sensibilities. It’s all ages, so there will be SoBe flavors for everyone – including mixed drinks for those over 21, so bring your ID. Food trucks will be on-site, cool activities with prizes and giveaways will happen throughout the day. All you have to do is RSVP via email with your name.

See you there.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

3 – 9 PM

RSVP: rsvpnightmoves [at] gmail [dot] com

De La Barracuda
7769 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
323.852.7179‎

LA Street Food Fest Summer Tasting Event: Saturday, July 24

Photo credit to avilon_music on Flickr

There’s something huge and exciting going on next Saturday. Folks, “it’s” not back. Because whatever it was, is relocating and then arriving as an improved version of its former self. It’s the LA Street Food Fest’s Summer Tasting Event – to take place at The Rose Bowl on Saturday, July 24th.

And now that the fingers have been properly placed on the pulse of the street food buzz craze phenomenon that continues to see growth and expansion in Los Angeles (and like no other city, mind you) every single day – say good-bye to that ultra low admission price. But what it also means is saying good-bye to those impossibly long lines and 3-hour waits, splitting up with your camarades and changing money in the dead of the hot, summer sun.

You get the entire all-you-can eat food truck and street food vendor experience for $45. Or get VIP parking and access for an extra hour for $65. This time, the staff won’t be constrained by their trucks and food will be served from booths. This event aims to be your one-stop stadium.

There will also be a Cook-Off Competition, judged by a panel of experts led by Top Chef Master Susan Feniger (Border Grill, Ciudad, STREET). Every signature bite at the event will compete for “street cred” in categories like Best Old School, Best Nouveau Street Food, Best in Show and People’s Choice.

Some trucks will be making their debuts at the event, including Whisk LA, The Fox Pizza Bus, The Mighty Boba Truck and The Creole Truck. “Surprise chef” appearances are also promised. Get a mini treatment from the Bliss Spa booth. Wash your street eats down with a cold brew (or two, or three…) at one of two Singha Beer Gardens. Other refreshments include Sailor Jerry rum cocktails, IZZE, Honest Tea and Dry Soda. Snap and grab your event souvenir from the Oh! Snap photo booth, which will be taking free prints. Raffle prizes and giveaways? Check. Free parking for everyone? Check. Attendance capped at 5,000? Check.

Looking for live music? The all-girl LA art rock band Warpaint and all-guy LA indie rock band The Deadly Syndrome will be on hand to sonically stimulate while your tastebuds are beguiled.

There are also two worthy causes that will benefit from the proceeds of ticket sales. St. Vincent Meals on Wheels will be able to feed more homebound seniors & Woolly School Gardens will be able to plant Woolly Pocket gardens at three LAUSD schools.

Alas, none other than the girls who brought you that notoriously packed (as in 20,000 deep) Street Food Fest back in February could’ve learned how to do this right. With attendance capped at 5,000 in one of the most famous American football venues – I have a hard time poking holes in this one. Buy your advance tickets now – VIP, even, for that extra hour - because if last time was any indication, it’ll be sure to sell out.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

4 PM (VIP) or 5:30 – 9 PM

Website
Tickets (pre-sale only): $45 GA; $65 VIP

GA: Unlimited samples of eats & drinks, complimentary parking, photo booth prints and concert

VIP: Early entry at 4 PM, all of the above plus VIP parking

Children age 7 and under admitted free with a paying ticketed adult. No dogs allowed.

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California 91103