Today’s LA Beer Week Pick: Musical Beer Crawl

Inside El Prado | Credit to poketo on flickr

LA Beer Week is back and better than ever. Be sure to peep the official site for the full run-down of events. And while this 3rd annual is so exciting because it’s so huge (I’m seeing about 5-10 events every day, all over town!), this makes it hard to decide between all the stellar happenings going on.

It kills me that I won’t be able to go on this tonight (Dine LA is this week, too), but this beer week event is definitely a shoe-in. The Musical Beer Crawl combines not only beer and food, but music too in only the neighborhood that could: Echo Park.

The reasons why you should go:

  • Stone Brewing Co. Norm Stackhouse will be on-hand to talk beer & present a special Stone flight at City Sip (western-most stop). Happy hour will be going on as always (5:30 – 7 PM).
  • $5 show at The Echo w/”super secret” beer keg tapping
  • $1 off beers and no corkage at brand-new Sunset Beer Company
  • 10% off records at Origami Vinyl
  • 10% off at Masa, for Chicago deep dish lovers
  • 15% off beer in pub area at Mohawk Bend
  • 2-for-1 slices at Two Boots
  • Lot 1 Cafe has a keg of Weinhenstephan’s Hopplosion & 4 taps pouring $4 pints. Buzz Bands LA has lined up Joey & Andy Siara of the Henry Clay People and more to play.
  • “Super secret, divine” keg of beer at El Prado. Origami‘s record club will be going on here.
  • The Short Stop will have a special keg at discount for crawlers only, plus $4 drafts 5 – 10 PM. Word has it it’s a big Golden Road Brewing Company debut! Yay! (eastern-most stop)

The night will commence at 5 PM. Just print out your Musical Beer Crawl Passport and bring it with you, tonight. Remember to keep an eye on the respective business hours of each participating venue so you don’t miss out!

Have fun!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

5 PM – ???

Website

Passport (print!)

Map

Sunset Boulevard, from Mohawk to Sutherland
Echo Park, CA 90026

House of An Noodle-Off Kicks Off With $0.89 Garlic Noodles Today Only

House of An Garlic Noodles

Today is National Noodle Day, so the home of LA’s famous garlic noodles will be kicking off the entry period of their first Noodle-Off.

Do you have a noodle recipe you’re particularly proud of? Submit it via this form to [email protected] or regular mail to:

Noodle-Off Recipe Competition
c/o RFPR, Inc.
5225 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 718
Los Angeles, CA 90036

…and four finalists (based on recipes) will get to compete head-to-head at the finals on Monday, November 22, 2010 at Tiato Garden Market Cafe in Santa Monica. A fifth finalist will be selected at the Orange County Noodle-Off Semi Finals held at AnQi Gourmet Bistro on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 so you Orange County entrants are in the running, too.

What, exactly, will you be judged on? Four categories, to be exact:

Taste
Visual presentation
Creativity
Cooking practicality (ease of preparation and execution)

And the judges that will be present are: Garlic Noodles Chef Helene An, House of An CEO Elizabeth An, Lesley Bargar Suter of Los Angeles Magazine, Carole Dixon of NBC’s Feast LA, Senior Editor Mar Yvette of CitySearch Los Angeles, Krista Simmons of Los Angeles Times “Brand X” and Jeff Miller of Thrillist Los Angeles.

Not a cook? Keep reading: The House of An – home of Crustacean Beverly Hills, Tiato Garden Market Café, and AnQi Gourmet Bistro – is celebrating their 30th anniversary today. To commemorate, they will be offering garlic noodles at these locations for $0.89 for today only. And how fitting, since it’s the same price a bowl of their famous noodles cost back in 1980.

So go submit your recipes and get your $0.89 noodles. There’s no better day to celebrate noodles than today.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

$0.89 garlic noodles, all House of An locations

Noodle-Off Finals: Monday, November 22, 2010

Entry form

Tiato
2700 Colorado Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310.866.5228

Crustacean Beverly Hills
9646 Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4402
310.205.8990

AnQi Gourmet Bistro
3333 S. Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714.557.5679

Hyatt’s TusCA: An Oasis For Italian In Orange County

Spinaci-Ricotta (bread-based) Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage Cheese Vellutata

It seemed to be sort of a mission when I was asked to do a tasting in Orange County – but it wasn’t the first time. I’m intrigued, though, when there’s enough confidence to invite writers to dine inside a chain (albeit somewhat upscale) hotel. Perhaps there’s enough substance there to warrant a splash. Or clatter.

Suspended "glass bubbles"
Suspended glass bubbles

The garnishes at the bar and even some of the herbs used in the kitchen are grown in their burgeoning roof-top garden. They stress that it’s small but I can appreciate any and all efforts to keep ingredients as local as humanly possible. And despite their hotel chain business structure, you can see that TusCA in its 3rd, U.S.-wide Hyatt installment differs with their added focus on using fresh ingredients. The Antipasti are solid – homemade marmalade, real honeycomb, homemade garlic paste, cornichon, whole grain mustard and fig jam round out your cheese, charcuterie and bread accompaniments.

Market Salad With Sweet Basil Vinaigrette

But as it turns out, there’s something special inside this glass-encased super hotel that – dare I wax Los Angeles behind the Orange Curtain here? – is very Beverly Center. As your silverware clinks against your china, there’s an echo to follow each and every clang. But none of this is to discount the originality and inventiveness of the bread-, not potato-based, gnocchi. Still rich and indulgent but not overwhelming – as often the potato gnocchi are – and still packed with amazing flavor.

Funghi Misti Pizza

And TusCA does well with the basics, too. The roasted tomatoes (not to be confused with the sun-dried variety) are delightful bursts of flavor in the Market Salad, dressed with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette. The flatbread Neopolitan pizza is solid. My favorite was the Funghi Misti – topped with amazing Fontina cheese, a little Taleggio and thyme and a variety of mushrooms are deliciously roasted into the pie. There’s a good selection of toppings and all are pretty fabulous, including the original TusCAn (Marinated artichoke, roasted garlic, olives and mozzarella) and Prosciutto (Asparagus, tomato, mozzarella and egg). Of course, it’s the flatbread that forms the basis of each pie and their fire brick-roasting oven is no detail to their success.

Seared Halibut, thyme, fennel and orange salad

The seared halibut was also a surprise with how well it was prepared, with the citrus in the side orange salad complimenting the still-tender, juicy filet. A solid Secondi, overall.

Affogato (Vanilla Gelato, Espresso and Shaved Chocolate)

Rounding out the end of the meal was an impressive rendition of Affogato al Cioccolato, with real shaved chocolate and a strong shot of espresso to pour over our vanilla gelato. As with all affagato, just be quick to eat the delicious dessert before it melts away.

TusCA is a surprising oasis in a well-appointed chain hotel whose clientele waffles between Disneyland visitors and perhaps Disneyland (or other) corporates. Just above the restaurant were the plans for EuroDisney conceived and developed in former office spaces-turned-suites. So there’s no mistake that the space indeed is very Orange County – but thanks to Chef Laura De Martin and Executive Chef Sayed Moalemi, the cuisine itself will take you to North Italy.

All food and wine were hosted. Additionally, a night’s stay was provided.

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TusCA – Hyatt Regency Orange County
11999 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92840
714.740.6047

Dinner menu

Breakfast: Mon – Sun: 6:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Lunch: Mon – Sun: 11:30 AM – 2 PM
Dinner: Mon – Sun: 5 PM – 10 PM