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

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

Eva Restaurant Hosts Weiser Family Farms Dinner To Benefit Share Our Strength: September 15, 2010

Eva Restaurant (not on menu for event)

Mark Gold is at it, again. This time, Eva will be hosting a special one-night engagement with Share Our Strength to showcase produce from Weiser Family Farms. Also included in the 4-course, prix fixe menu will be wine pairings by Robert Oatley and special, eco-friendly cocktails with Veev acai spirit.

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy great, locally sourced food with wine – while fighting childhood hunger all at the same time.

Make your reservation soon. If you’ve ever been to Eva (and tried Mark Gold’s food) you’ll know that space is very limited.

Here’s the menu:

Potato with clam
Cod with caponata
Chicken with charred onion
Chocolate with chocolate

I’ll see you there!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

4 courses with wine pairings + Veev cocktails
Call to reserve, space is limited

$65

Eva Restaurant
7458 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.634.0700

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

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation On Sunday, June 6

Credit: Taste of the Nation: Los Angeles 2010 PSA – Spot #3 (Alternate Version) from Jeff Vespa on Vimeo

As is evident in my coverage on this blog, culinary and food events in Los Angeles come and go – but what is probably the most important event all year will happen this coming Sunday. Personally, this has been a long time coming – since I helped host a fashion and foodie event at the Tory Burch boutique back in mid-April to help sell tickets to this event. Share Our Strength‘s Taste of the Nation takes place at Media Park in Culver City from 1 – 4 PM, and 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales to the event go towards ending child hunger in Los Angeles. You will not find an event anywhere with more star chef power, so if the barrage of food events (understandably) overwhelm you, pick Taste of the Nation as your charitable culinary bazaar of choice.

Here’s exactly why:

The 2010 Participating Restaurants, Chefs and featured dishes:

8 OZ, GOVIND ARMSTRONG / JACOB WILDMAN
Tuna melt: albacore confit with a cucumber salad

AKASHA, AKASHA RICHMOND
Pulled Niman pork on pretzel rolls with slaw & pickles
Grilled market vegetable salad

BAR 210, MARCEL VIGNERON
Thai shrimp skewers

BAZAAR / THE SLS HOTEL, JOSE ANDRES / JORGE CHICAS
Liquid nitro margarita
Liquid olives
Watermelon gazpacho shots

BISTRO LQ, LAURENT QUENIOUX
Macedoine salad, uni dressing, Maine lobster
Chilled porcini soup, mirabelle coulis, foie gras chantilly/espuma
Soy milk white chocolat ice cream, american caviar – macarons

BLT STEAK, LAURENT TOURNDEL / BRIAN MOYERS
Shortrib tortelli “caramelles,” sweet corn, chantrelles, summer truffle

BORDER GRILL / CIUDAD, MARY SUE MILLIKEN / SUSAN FENIGER
Cochinita pibil tostaditas
Chilean sea bass ceviche sushi, from St. Joseph Center’s Bread and Roses Café and Culinary Training Program

BOTTEGA LOUIE, SAM MARVIN
Torchon foie gras with organic apple gastrique & marcona almond brittle
Heirloom tomato, watermelon & feta salad

CACHE, JOSIAH CITRIN
Market-driven seasonal creations

CAFÉ WAS, ALEX REZNIK
Bohemian bistro food

CHURCH & STATE, JOSH SMITH
Cervelle de canut
Green chickpea socca with roasted eggplant, Anaheim chilis

COMME CA, DAVID MYERS
Salmon tartare

CULINA, VICTOR CASANOVA
Burrata with peperonata and Manni estra virgin olive oil “Toscano”

EVA, MARK GOLD
Charred beef, grated radish

FIG, RAYMOND GARCIA
FIG dog with bacon habanero marmalade, cheesy comte fondue and fritos

FORD’S FILLING STATION, BEN FORD
Lamb burger with wild arugula, spicy tomato chutney and melted Wisconsin hook’s baby blue
BBQ pork buns with bread & butter pickles and melted Wisconsin pleasant ridge

FRAICHE, ELDEROY ARENDSE
Albacore tuna tartare, harissa aioli, potato chips

GELATO BAR, JOEL GUTMAN / GAIL SILVERTON
Artisan gelato

GRACE / BLD RESTAURANT, NEAL FRASER
Grilled pork sliders, onion & bacon jam, violet mustard

HATFIELD’S, QUINN HATFIELD
Horseradish dusted braised short rib on smoked potatoes

JOE’S RESTAURANT / BAR PINTXO, JOE MILLER
Braised artichoke with buretta cheese and jamon Iberico
Carpaccio of pineapple, pineapple blueberry compote, coconut mousse
House-made ricotta tapas with anchovy, dried tomato, and Jimenez

LOCANDO DE LAGO, ROBERTO MAGGIONI
Gelato di Parmigiano alla Caprese (Housemade Parmesan Gelato with Market Grape Tomatoes “Caprese-Style” and 12-year Balsamic Vinegar)
Lingua in Salsa Verde (Braised Beef Tongue with Fresh Parsley Pesto)

LOTERIA GRILL, JIMMY SHAW
Papa con rajas (Potato with roasted poblano peppers)
Mole poblano con pollo (Chicken mole poblano)
Carne Deshebrada (Shredded beef with fresh guacamole and chipotle sauce)

LUCQUES/AOC/TAVERN, SUZANNE GOIN
Yellow tomato gazpacho with avocado and cilantro
Olive oil cake with citrus and pistachio aillade

M CAFE/CHAYA BRASSERIE, SHIGEFUMI TACHIBE
Tuna tartare and beef skewers, yakitori grilled

MAR’SEL, MICHAEL FIORELLI
Barbequed beef bahn mi with house pickled vegetables and chili aioli
California avocado salad fresh hearts of palm, Persian cucumber, yogurt, lemon and dill

MERCANTILE/DISTRICT, KRIS MORNINGSTAR
Shrimp and grits
Spicy pork meatball soup
Home made “Better Than Oreos”

MOONSHADOWS
Spicy tuna tartare

OSTERIA MOZZA / PIZZARIA MOZZA, NANCY SILVERTON
Panna cotta vaniglia with conserva di frutti & biscotti (Vanilla panna cotta with Mixed Berry Compote and Biscotti)

NAPA VALLEY GRILLE, JOSEPH GILLARD
Sweet Corn Agnolotti with La Quercia Pancetta

NOBU, NOBU MATSUHISA
Miso Marinated Black Cod with Butter Lettuce

PATINA, JOACHIM SPLICHAL / TONY ESNAULT
Marinated Hamachi, Cucumber Vinegar, Avocado, Granny Smith Apple
Crispy chocolate hazelnut, chocolate mousse

PUBLIC / 25 DEGREES AT THE ROOSEVELT HOTEL, TIM GOODELL / JEREMY STRUBEL
Seasonal specialties

RIVERA, JOHN SEDLAR
Tortillas Flor de Calabaza

SIMON LA, KERRY SIMON / MARIUS BLIN
Crab salad

SPRINKLES, CANDACE NELSON
Freshly baked Sprinkles cupcakes

STREET, SUSAN FENIGER / KAJSA ALGER
Burmese melon salad

THE FOUNDRY ON MELROSE, ERIC GREENSPAN
Grilled Cheese

WESTSIDE TAVERN, WARREN SCHWARTZ
California modern tavern cuisine

XIV, MICHAEL MINA / STEVEN FRETZ
Braised and Grilled Piedmontese Beef Cheeks, Lime Hoisin Glaze, Summer Corn Foam, Micro Cilantro
Hamachi Tartare, Nuoc Cham Gelee, Caramelized Lapxuoug, Peanut Carmel Powder, Compressed Cucumber

Continue reading

Stella McCartney Joins Share Our Strength At Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Stella McCartney, RTW Fall '09 | Photo Credit to Business of Fashion

Get ready for a short but beautiful road trip. Just head up the 101 to Ojai, where yes – another shopping benefit – will focus its efforts on raising funds for Share Our Strength (umbrella org over Taste of the Nation) and Help of Ojai. You’ll get to shop – poolside - Stella McCartney‘s 2010 Spring & Summer lines while nestled in that Valley Inn 30 minutes south of Santa Barbara. A vegetarian lunch is included and you’re encouraged to bring the family. Your kids will get to indulge in planned fun activities and a face painter will be on-site.

The best part of your admission to the shopping event is that it comes with a complimentary day pass to Spa Ojai. So after you shop, you can lay back and relax in some posh amenities – especially if they’re anything like the rest of the resort-hotel (impeccable). Just be sure to mention code “SDSP” to the representative when you call to make your reservation.

What a fun getaway with the girls! Helping end child hunger never needed a better occasion; retail therapy, beautiful scenery, delicious food and a day at the spa come packaged as one. 

Saturday, April 25, 2010

11 AM – 2 PM

$60 adults, $30 ages 5 – 12, free under age 5
Includes shopping, vegetarian lunch, Ojai Spa day pass (code: SDSP)

Flyer

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
905 Country Club Road
Ojai, CA 93023
Reservations: 888.697.8780

View from Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Tory Burch Teams Up With Taste of the Nation

I’m proud to announce that I’ll be co-hosting a special shopping event at the Los Angeles Tory Burch boutique on Thursday, April 8th along with power fashion and beauty bloggers Dena of Dluxelist and Christina & Stephanie of Paisley Petunia to benefit Share Our Strength!

At the private 6 – 8 PM shopping event, attendees will be able to buy their discounted ticket to the Taste of the Nation culinary event taking place on Sunday, June 6th from 1 – 4 PM in Culver City. Normally, tickets run $100 for regular admission and $150 for VIP, but at our special shopping event, you’ll be able to buy tickets in person for $15 off ($85 and $135, respectively; child tickets remain $25). All proceeds – yes, 100% - from ticket sales benefit Share Our Strength’s efforts to end child hunger. It’s a great way to experience the premier Los Angeles chefs and mixologists and taste great wine in one spot for an afternoon in the beautiful California sun while supporting a great cause. If you are one of the first 50 at the event to buy a ticket at the shopping event, you’ll also receive a luxe gift bag full of a ton of beauty products and other goodies, including Pinky Vodka!

And when fashion and food forces combine, the incentives don’t stop. Make this a night out with the girls – champagne and h’ors doeurves will be served, and you’ll be encouraged to shop the Tory Burch Robertson boutique for 10% off all full-priced merchandise while Tory Burch donates another 10% to Share Our Strength. And if you have bought a Taste of the Nation ticket, you’ll be able to take advantage of the full 20% discount and keep it all yourself!

This is a private event (business hours are only until 6 PM) and the store is only so big – so be sure to RSVP (rsvp.totnla [at] gmail [dot] com) to secure your spot! I hope to see you there – ready to browse & shop Tory’s beautiful designs and prints – and to support a great organization like Share Our Strength!

Further reading:

Taste of the Nation 2009 – MyLastBite

Taste of the Nation 6/14/2009 – Ravenous Couple

Top 8 Tastes from 2009 Taste of the Nation – Food GPS

Share Our Strength Website
Taste of the Nation Website
D~LuxeList
Paisley Petunia
Tory Burch Profile on CNN Money

Thursday, April 8, 2010

6 – 8 PM

$15 discount ($40 on at-the-door price) on TOTNLA tickets

10% off Tory Burch full-priced merchandise or 20% off if you buy TOTNLA ticket

Free gift bag for 1st 50 tickets bought

Tory Burch Boutique
142 N. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310.248.2612

@TOTNLA