If I weren’t going to Coachella (completely last minute!) this weekend, I would be at Artisanal LA in a heartbeat. It’s always one of the most unique yet conscientious shopping experiences of the year whether you’re shopping for your kitchen, garden, home or loved ones. It’s a conglomerate of some of the best ideas for livingÂ in the city and what’s more, there are demos, panels and tastings to fill your day.
A portion of the proceeds from your $10 advance admission (or $15 at-the-door) will go towards St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels, which helps feed seniors in their homes. Complimentary beverages will be available during the event, too.
Some of my favorites on the schedule include a Market Fresh Cocktail demo by Matt Biancaniello of The Roosevelt’s Library Bar, an Intelligentsia Coffee demo and tasting and a Local Craft Beer Panel by Eagle Rock Brewery and Nibble Bit Tabby.
So I while I won’t see you there, that doesn’t mean you should miss out. Buy your advance tickets ASAP.
Looking to shop local this weekend? Check out The Food Redenzvous tomorrow in Venice at the SPARC building (which so happens to currently house art galleries and formerly the Venice division of the LAPD). Though it’s great that more and more farmer’s markets are springing up in each of our individual communities, you’ll be getting something a little different at The Food Rendezvous. They make it possible for small, emerging food artisans to reach their customers despite difficult wait times (sometimes as long as 2-3 years to get a stand)Â and permit costs the farmer’s markets may incur.
Laurie Dill is a Master Gardener and on the board of the Garden School Foundation and Dominique Leveuf has a juice and beverage line with her partner sourced from local and fairly traded produce. They, as the event’s founders, aim to make Food Rendezvous interactive and inspirationalÂ with author talks and cooking demonstrations, a cookbook swap (donate your old one, get one back, keep buying for $5 each), a jam making contest and a food-related movie screening.
As for the vendors at the first ever event, you can expect Bulgarini Gelato, Josie’s EnglishÂ KitchenÂ Jams, Joelle Olive Oil, Let’s Be Frank, Morning Glory Confections, Susan Feniger’s Street and more. With more of us conscionably shopping from localÂ artisans, this looks like the start of something beautiful…
Urbanite Angelenos, rejoice. Especially if you have that little patch of soil in that planter outside your door or are even fortunate enough to live in a building or a house with a dedicated garden. It’s time to get out that green thumb (or grow one) and attend one or both of Cube LA‘s garden classes downtown.
The next installment is on Saturday, August 14th, 2010. Get ready for your fall vegetable garden – and remember to invite me to your October dinner party so I can test the fruits (vegetables) of your labor. And if you fix me a cocktail with a garnish from your herb garden, that counts, too.
Further incentive to attend will be provided byÂ Chef Ludo Lefebvre andÂ The Ludo Bites Fried Chicken Truck and Coolhaus with their delicious ice cream sandwiches. You didn’t think they’d let you go hungry, did you?
The Fall Vegetable Garden 10:30 AMÂ – 12 PM $35 per person
This class will introduce strategies for year-round food production for Southern California gardeners. Cool season gardens can provide a bounty of fresh produce. August is a great time for planning fall gardens and to start planting seeds for broccoli, cauliflower, root vegetables and a variety of delicious leafy greens.
This class will cover the basics of planting seeds and seedlings, choosing appropriate varieties to plant, understanding day length and temperature and how they affect the growth of your fall garden.
Using Garden Herbs 1:30 – 3 PM $40 per person
This class will offer fresh ideas for ways to use herbs from your garden. We will make use of common garden herbs such as rosemary, sage, lemon verbena, mint, etc. and use them to make flavored salts, herbal vinegar, butter, tea and several bath and beauty products. Participants will get to sample a variety of herbal products and get to take home an item that they make in class. Recipes will be provided.
I had been meaning to try outÂ Cube, on La Brea,Â for awhile now. I’ve consistently heard good things about the cafe doubling as a market and though it’s located next to The Tar Pit – which has been open only a few months yet I’ve managed to visit three times, already – I knew I was missing out on a good thing. A place that places itself under the organic,Â farmer’s market-to-table (Santa Monica, to be exact)Â and humane column, Cube – combined with Dine LA – gave me an opportunity to to prove myself right. Now I likely won’t make that mistake again by letting much time lapse before I go back.
Sam graciously met up on a last-minute proposal (“I just threw out my gross lunch,” his text read) for late lunching. We were lucky because by the time we had gotten there, we the grid had just regained electricity. Someone came out to take down their temporary signage indicating being closed for business until electricity was restored.
Dine LA was on. Cube’s lunch is $22 ($$), which – no matter how you feel about prix fixe menus – is a good deal because the truffle burger is usually $15 and the maple-braised bacon, $10, all before dessert. Let me tell you – I can get behind almost any restaurant that serves bacon as an appetizer. My slice – which was on a bed of pureed celery root and adorned with cipollini onions – was so tender and delicious, I had barely realized it was a filet of bacon until I had devoured the dish and finally felt its weight in my stomach.
I got the Cube Garden Greens and House Ricotta Ravioli with Braised Oxtail Ragu instead of the San Marzano Tomato Sauce, which proved to be very tasty in no small part by how fresh the pasta was. The braised oxtail gave good additional texture to the entree that had everything (psst – the greens are inside the ravioli and the ricotta is outside).
Sam ordered the Cube Truffle Burger, which came in a shiny House Brioche bun with Caramelized Shallots. Perfectly-fried Crispy Potatoes accompanied the burger as well as a side of Chipotle Ketchup, which was good but probably could have used more spice since ketchup is inherently sweet. The burger itself, “trufflized” by way of oil and not truffles themselves (for a $15 price point? let’s be realistic), was very good and though seemed smaller at first glance by comparison, is actually a more-than-generous size. The patty was fresh and juicy with a perfect pink center.
Of course, next was dessert. Sadly, they were out of the Valrhona Chocolate & Butterscotch Pot de Creme Duo but we were content on the Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake and Blueberry Crepe with Rosemary Syrup and Rosemary Gelato. Heavenly!! I loved how fresh the lemon tasted in the cake (with candied peel as an added bonus) and well, I am partial to blueberries as well as rosemary – so this was a win-win situation all around. The blueberries tasted fresh in the rosemary syrup.
You can do Cube during Dine LA, but it’s highly advised to do Cube, period… Not only is the food delicious and made with quality ingredients, it’s incredibly fun.