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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“Beats and Bites” – Wednesdays at The Viceroy

Poolside at Whist, The Viceroy

For the next eight Wednesdays, it will be hoppin’ poolside at The Viceroy. KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad has teamed up with the venue and Chef Tony DiSalvo (Whist) to showcase four international themes with the launch of “Beats and Bites.” Tomorrow, Garth himself will kick things off with reggae, whereby you’ll enjoy a customized, individual plate of Jamaican and Caribbean bites for $25 each. Plan your visit between 6 – 9 PM each Wednesday in August and September, and you’ll be swinging your hips as your tastebuds are tantalized.

Aug 4 & Sept 1: Reggae – Jamaican/Caribbean *Garth Trinidad will host to kick-off series*

black beans, rice and peas, shredded beef, fried plantains, jerk chicken, beef patties, pork curry with rice and beans

Aug 11 & Sept 8: Cajun/Creole – New Orleans

oysters on the half, crawfish etoufee, jambalaya, chicken gumbo, red beans and rice, beignets and iced chicory coffee

Aug 18 & Sept 15: Flamenco – Spanish

gazpacho, assorted chorizos, Spanish cheeses, olives, marcona almonds, pintxos, paella, tortilla de patatas

Aug 25 & Sept 22: Samba – Brazilian

salt cod croquettes; feiojada; churrasco of beef; coxinha-chicken and potato croquettes; hearts of palm salad; caruru-shrimp stew with okra, fresh ginger, peanuts and cashews

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Wednesdays in August and September, 2010

6 – 9 PM

$25 plate of themed bites

Poolside at The Viceroy
1819 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.260.7500

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

Fox Hills Turns Into Westfield Culver City

westfield_CC

Formerly known as the mall kids went to to find rare sneakers, the Culver City Mall shed its Fox Hills image and opened to the public late last week after a $180-Million makeover – the latest Westfield reinvention. Opening week may be a time as good as any to test their experiment out – proof that Korean food in LA now bleeds. Barring a fair shot at the other food court options, you can always make a beeline to KyoChon, a favorite Korean fried chicken joint amongst foodies (or peep for the full list). Well, Hot Dog on a Stick is all it takes to draw me in, but I’ve never even had KyoChon yet so Culver City will be my excuse. I’m also going to at least peep my head inside Manna Korean BBQ to spy on their layout and music selection – just see if they pump out 160 BPM K-Pop on loop while diners wolf down all-you-can-eat poor cuts as in their Olympic Blvd location. Inferring from PR images I’ve peeped, it seems as though the dining layout will be similar to that of the Westfield Century City open dining terrace concept. Other fronts slated to open later on include Yen Sushi & Karaoke and Crème de la Crepe.

It’s opening week – so starting today, Monday, October 12 til Sunday, October 18 this Westfield rendition will be celebrating a la Taste & Tunes. KCRW is hosting a Digital Music Lounge where listeners can experience “virtual live sessions from inside KCRW music studios” with Jason Bentley at the helm. Entertainment will be provided during lunch and at happy hour. Also, for the entire week, customers will receive a scratcher card – the prizes for which include free drinks and food from any of the dining options inside Westfield Culver City. Also, don’t forget to stop by the Westfield Gift Shop to enter to win a 50″ Insigna plasma HDTV.

If you’re making a trip of it and bringing the kids, be sure to visit on Wednesday, when Radio Disney will host an “After School Break” concert and Westfield Culver City will kick off their weekly “Kids Eat Free” promotion by participating eating fronts. Saturday, newcomer Mayer Hawthorne of Stones Throw Records will be performing in concert at 3 PM.

Opening Week:
Monday, October 12 – Sunday, October 18

Westfield Culver City
6000 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230
310.390.5073