Taste of Abbot Kinney With VIP Ticket Giveaway + Abbot Kinney Cocktail Clash: October 23, 2011

Tasting Kitchen Interior

That young, Venice-representative food festival called The Taste of Abbot Kinney is back. And this, the third time around, they’ve got a new model to present. As a result of last year’s Taste souring due to food shortages and taste ticket overages, the board had decided to completely revamp the event. To start, they brought one of Abbot Kinney’s most important and veteran proprietors on-board as event chairman: Joe Miller.

The event returns with two ticket levels but with a centralized reception space in the former studio of Charles & Ray Eames. VIPs get early access at 3 PM with a reception hosted by The Food Network’s Adam Gertler; chef demos by Joe Miller himself and Yoshi Shima; appetizers by Primitivo, Joe’s and Gjelina; Calstar Cellar wines poured by Primitivo; Bloody Marys by Tasting Kitchen;  desserts by Crema and even a VIP gift bag.

At 4:30 PM, regular Tasting Tour takers join in with included access to the DJ’ed reception, where they also get to participate in the drawing, which includes hotel and restaurant packages from such destinations as: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, Hotel Wilshire, Hotel Erwin and Terranea Resort and original art by Ellie Riley. Participating restaurants in the Taste of Abbot Kinney also include Hal’s Restaurant & Bar, Lilly’s French Café & Bar, Casa Linda, Lemonade, Otheroom, 3 Square Cafe & Bakery, The General Store/Pop Up Gallery and Abbot’s Habit.

See below to see how you can win one of two pairs of tickets to the VIP reception

And of course, the day of tasting doesn’t just end at 6 PM. Full disclosure: I’m judging this subsequent cocktail competition!

The inaugural Abbot Kinney Cocktail Clash held at Joe’s Restaurant will be held at 7 PM for all who want to attend (free), where Ryan Wainwright of Tasting Kitchen, Dennis Kahn of Hal’s Bar and Grill and Jennifer Zerboni from Joe’s Restaurant will go head-to-head in a cocktail competition.

First round: Each mixologist will be presented with a mystery box of five ingredients that they must use in their cocktail, and will have 10 minutes to create. Potential ingredients include: Portuguese peppers, Persian cucumbers, bacon, lemon verbena, arugula, tomato, passion fruit, cardamom, star anise and huckleberry.

Second round: Each bartender will have 7 minutes to create their own, pre-planned signature cocktail. Wainwright will be making his Navy Sour, Kahn his Sapphire Sunset and Zebroni will be creating her Fisco Pig. Each cocktail will be judged on: best presentation, most original and best overall taste.

Daniel Djang of Thirsty in LA and I will be judges and guests will be able to purchase food from the bar or dinner menu at Joe’s Restaurant.

And now the giveaway…

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CONTEST

To enter to win one of two pairs of tickets to the VIP Reception + Tasting Tour of Abbot Kinney, do both of the following:

  1. Tweet: “I want to win VIP tix to @TasteofAK, @estarLA! http://estar.la/e/c1”
  2. Like e*starLA” on Facebook
  3. Leave a comment below (with your email address, which won’t be shared, so I can contact you) on what you’re most looking forward to at TofAK.

Contest closes Thursday at 5PM! I’ll contact the two winners by 7PM. If I don’t hear back by the end of the day, I’ll pick another winner (or two) on Friday morning. Be on standby at your Inboxes.

See you at Taste of Abbot Kinney!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

VIP Tasting Package: $100

3 – 6:30 PM

Tasting Tour Package: $60

4:30 – 6:30 PM

Taste of Abbot Kinney
901 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291

Giveaway: Tickets to Table 20 L.A.’s Best Bartender Competition

Video by LASates.com

These are the finals you all have been waiting for. After an exhaustive semi-final round, five finalists have emerged in Table 20’s 2nd Annual L.A.’s Best Bartender Competition. Fortunately, this final round is open to the public, and all are invited to take part.

On Sunday, October 9th from 3:30 – 7:30 PM at Elevate Lounge, you’ll get to do all of the following with your discounted (from $25), $20 admission:

And in case you need a reminder, these are the 5 mixologists and their drinks you can look forward to on Sunday. Get ready to taste some of the best cocktails in L.A.:

  • Joe Brooke, Next Door Lounge – People’s Choice
    “The Spicy Stränder”
  • Justin Pike, Tasting Kitchen – Judges’ Selection
    “Su Novia”
  • Brian Summers, Harvard & Stone – Karlsson’s Cocktail Challenge Winner
    “Blues in Orbit”
  • Devon Tarby, The Varnish – Judges’ Selection
    “Waltz #2”
  • Daniel Zacharczuk, Bar | Kitchen – Karlsson’s Cocktail Challenge Winner
    “Faster Young Fruit”

Judging the competition will be none other than Matt Biancaniello, who won the competition last year; Dale Degroff of “The Craft of The Cocktail;” Jessica Gelt of the L.A. Times; Johnny Iuzzini, pastry chef of Jean Georges; Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza and Marcos Tello of Liquid Assets.  Some serious star power awaits you at this event!

The Master of Ceremonies, Dan Dunn, The Imbiber, will be on hand to guide you through the best cocktail voting process. You’ll each get one token to be used to vote for their favorite finalist cocktail. Each bartender will receive a prize – but who will get the billboard and trip??

Also, admission to the after-party at Villain’s Tavern is included! It comes with 1 drink ticket and live band entertainment. Awesome.

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Even better? I’m giving away 3 pairs of tickets to this event. To enter:

  1. Comment with the name of your favorite contending cocktail. Be sure to include your email (which I won’t share) so I can get in touch with you via email and Twitter.
  2. Tweet: “I want to go to @LABestBartender competition, @estarLA! http://bit.ly/qFaH3S”
  3. “Like”  e*starLA on Facebook

You must do all 3 in order to be eligible. Contest closes at 5 PM on Friday, October 7, 2011. I’ll be contacting you immediately after. No response within 3 hours means I have to pick a new winner or three.

If you’re ready to purchase your tickets, use code “estarlatix” to get $5 off!! Score!!

Good luck!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

3:30 – 7:30 PM

Tickets: $25 $20 (code: estarlatix)

Elevate Lounge
811 Wilshire Blvd.
21st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Taste of Abbot Kinney – A Taste of Venice: Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tasting Kitchen: Taste of Abbot Kinney 2009

Seems like there’s quite a lot going on this weekend – and Taste of Abbot Kinney doesn’t really make the selection any easier. This event is for those looking to experience the overall vibe of Venice, since Taste of Abbot Kinney has changed a bit from last year, its inaugural event. One of the differences is that Intelligentsia and Lemonade aren’t participating, but there are plenty other outposts of their product. What you can expect is a unique Venice experience on a Sunday afternoon tailored specifically to you.

The biggest difference this year, however, is there are “tasting tickets” that you’ll exchange at each venue for food, drink or experience. The day, which benefits Inside Out Community Arts, will have options other than food available. Floyd’s will have a mobile haircutting booth, Nite Spa will provide mini massages and everyone is entered to win a 52″ Sony LCD TV, a night’s stay at The Standard Hollywood and more.

The brick and mortar bites I’m most looking forward to have to be Tasting Kitchen, Lilly’s, Primitivo and Jin Patisserie. Of course, there will be food trucks – because no L.A. food event is complete without them. The highlight will certainly be the Ludo Truck. Dogtown Dogs will be on hand to offer their specialty hotdogs.

So, what are you up to on Sunday?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

3 – 7 PM

Tasting Tickets (go up after October 22):
15 tickets – $25 ($30)
30 tickets – $50 ($60)
45 tickets – $75 ($90)
60 tickets – $100 ($120)

Taste of Abbot Kinney
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Main Street – Boccaccio Avenue

Hatchi Mix At Breadbar Goes Liquid As New Monthly Mixology Series

Pre-Prohibition Cocktail: The Sazerac

You may be familiar with my previous Hatchi mentions, with each rendition featuring a high profile chef from around Los Angeles. The series at Breadbar has upped the ante for May, however, and will now be featuring the best mixologists on a monthly basis for, again, one night only as “Hatchi Mix” debuts on Thursday, May 6th.

The menu will feature cocktails priced at $8 each, made by the featured mixologist of the night. Kicking off the series is Devon Espinoza from Abbot Kinney’s Tasting Kitchen, who offers his “Vive le Cocktail” concept featuring pre-Prohibition libations – like the Sazerac, which is arguably America’s first cocktail, dating back to pre-Civil War New Orleans. Also on the menu: The Martinez (gin, vermouth, maraschino liqueur), by the legendary bartender Jerry Thomas in San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel during the late 1800s; the Manhattan, called the father of the Martinez and the grandmother of the Martini; and The Last Word, a Prohibition-era drink with gin, lime juice, Chartreuse and often with maraschino liqueur.

With a menu like that, it’ll be hard to pass this Hatchi Mix up. But keep on the lookout for future guest mixologists, like Joel Black of the Caña Rum Bar at The Doheny, highlighting Rum cocktails on June 3, and Julian Cox of Rivera, with a focus on Tequilas on July 1. (Mmm…I hope that includes the Barbacoa.)

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

6 PM – 2 AM

$8 per cocktail

BreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310.277.3770

The First Taste of Abbot Kinney

It’s safe to say that the first ever Taste of Abbot Kinney can be logged in the books as a success. I had a great time going from restaurant to restaurant (especially in the company of Caroline on Crack, H.C. of LA-OC-Foodventures, Sam of LAist – while running into The Delicious Life and Choisauce), having bites of everything each storefront offered to entice us back on a later date. For the most part, the Abbot Kinney restos put in good effort in making sure each guest got to enjoy a decent-sized portion rather than token smidgens. My main qualm was that there could have been more wine and cocktails served for the pairing. After all, regular price admission was $60 per person (or if you were savvy enough to catch the discount on Goldstar, $41 with ticket fee).

But there were pleasant surprises. It was my first time at most stops – with mental notes made to revisit Lemonade, Intelligentsia and Tasting Kitchen. Avoid: The Brig – an Abbot Kinney “dive” bar undergoing an eastside identity crisis, who served up a Brazilian Lemon Drop. It was Brazilian in the sense that it was made with rum, not vodka – but rum is sweet and lemon drops are sour, so the point escaped me. Stick to the 1:2 pours here, as the point of this bar is to knock ’em back rather than to actually taste. The rib from Beechwood served at The Brig, while an unfair gauge on the establishment’s food as a whole, was sweet, average and unremarkable.

Back to Lemonade (yes, it’s a chain) – who gave us a generous portion of their delicious cucumber mint lemonade and a sampling of three salads (above): Sesame vinaigrette atop snap peas and edamame, Hazelnut vinaigrette atop roast beets and pickled red onions, and roast cauliflower, golden raisins and almonds in a light curry sauce. Three salads, three words: Bursts of flavor. Super fresh ingredients. Perfectly, lightly seasoned. Must try it.

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