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 –>.
This summer’s dineLA Restaurant Week commences today and lasts 10 days – over two weekday stretches and one weekend. And since we’ve had a few of these by now, it’s probably time we got smart on maneuvering through the multitude of menus. The trick with dineLA prix fixe is that it may get people through the door, but it may or may not be quite the deal you had in mind. The danger is that you might just be stuck with fewer, albeit recommended, choices for about the same price you’d normally pay.
May I propose lunch? They tend to be better deals than dinner – often true between both offerings of the same restaurant – because there’s more incentive to increase lunch traffic with dinner reservations filling up more readily. So whether you’ve got a 9-5 in the area or are in a certain neighborhood for an audition or client appointment, there’s probably a great dineLA power lunch strategy wherever you end up.
As November 6th rolls up, we’re reminded, again and again, that the best reason to vote is to realize our civic duty. We, as a society, have been preparing for next Tuesday for a long time (Californians, with all our propositions, you know what I’m talking about). Decisions will be made as a collective whether or not we decide to personally participate, so why not embrace it?
Whether you take-away a savory dinner to enjoy at home or await the returns in camaraderie at one of the viewing parties, your “I Voted” sticker will score some points with your taste buds and your wallet anywhere around town. If you voted absentee, perhaps you’ll want to carry your stub or some other proof with you so you can make your case. Check below for a deal near you:
This few months-old gem in Atwater Village not only signifies the continued evolution and uprising of the Los Angeles brewing scene, it’s a move towards the eco-friendly, gentrification of the beer can. Costing less energy and space than glass bottles in production and recycling as well as affording more protection from the elements for its beers, cans aren’t just used for casing PBR, anymore. Golden Road is out to educate LA beer geeks and dabblers, alike.
The age of Golden Road Brewery also re-introduces sessionable beers to a scene that may have been bent on, or even obsessed with, high ABV beers just a few years back. They are also taking on IPAs by making them a custom by incorporating seasonal ingredients and making each brew truly local. Two go-to’s on those fronts: Their Golden Road Hefeweizen and Point The Way IPA.
Luckily, it’s not just a lone brewery Golden Road, helmed by Tony Yanow and Meg Gill, has up in Atwater Village, but a very cool pub offering each of their beers, 15 guest taps and a very chill, neighborhoody scene where, if you visited often enough, people will know your name. The food menu also has plenty of options for omnivores and vegans alike, so there’s something for everyone in your party.
And what better way to introduce your taste buds to Golden Road by dropping in on their collaborative Hangar 24 dinner? Their good friends from Redlands brought in 70 pounds of blood oranges from Hangar 24’s neighboring orchards thanks to their brewer Kevin Wright. Golden Road’s brewmaster, Jon Carpenter, spent the previous weeks developing a custom yeast for this very special brew, to create the end result: Valentin, a 6.5% ABV French Saison.
This one-of-a-kind beer dinner features dishes created by Golden Road’s Chef Adam Levoe, who worked closely with Jon and Kevin to craft each pairing. The five-course dinner will feature two beers from Hangar 24, two beers from Golden Road Brewing and our collaboration beer, Valentin.
Jonesin’ to see the whole menu? Look no further:
First course, paired with Valentin
Local Halibut or vegan hearts of palm ceviche with ruby red grapefruit, blood oranges and avocado salad
Second course, paired with Hangar 24’s Vinaceous
â€œSushiâ€ — Pan seared duck breast atop sweet potato hash browns with cherry reduction or vegan marinated portobello mushrooms atop crispy wild mushroom risotto with sweet soy reduction
Third course, paired with GRB El Hefe AÃ±ejo
Pork shoulder braised in GRB Hefeweizen and fresh chilis or vegan pinenut “carnitas” shredded napa cabbage, pico de gallo and spicy “crÃ¨me fraiche”
Fourth course, paired with Hangar 24’s Alt-bier
Pan seared bistro steak with roasted sunchokes, caramelized onions, fried leeks and red wine reduction or vegan roasted brussel sprouts with roasted sunchokes, caramelized onions, fried leeks and red wine reduction
Fifth course, paired with GRB Schwartz Stout
House made truffles and berries
This is one beer dinner not to miss out on! Viva Los Angeles beer!
There were a lot of events going on over the weekend, but the inaugural LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade at Culver Studios was a culinary extravaganza to hit it out of the park. The backdrop? The famous Gone With the Wind mansion on a beautiful autumn day. Our hosts were Chefs Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (Hungry Cat) – and there was a solid showing of chefs from across the country who all offered their live talents to an event whose goal was to fight childhood cancer.
The standouts? Chris Bianco’s Antipasto dish, featuring beautifully seasoned fall vegetables and almost making us forget that it was his pizza we were looking forward to. Celebrity chef Giada of The Food Network was personally on-hand to serve up her Pasta Ponza, topped with a fried prosciutto. Paul Kahan, of The Publican in Chicago, brought forth a delicious house-made chorizo coupled with cured ham and dressed with arugula and apples. Hailing from New Orleans was a dish from Susan Spicer’s Bayona – a delicious grilled rosemary shrimp with artichoke bread pudding. Local Neal Fraser (Grace) had pig on the brain, or “Pig in a Box,” as he called it. We caught him reloading charcoal into his smoking apparatus and appreciated the pork he prepared, dressed with a side of mustard potatoes and brussel sprouts.
With all the dishes at the event making it ever apparent that it was autumn in Los Angeles, the cocktails and beer did not pale in comparison. VIP had access to Craftsman Beer, offering up their Triple Sage, Lavender Sour, Poppy Fields and Firestone brews. Hungry Cat cocktails were also in VIP and out in the common area and were delicious as ever. Of course, we can’t forget the epic dessert table from Tavern and Lucques. S’mores, caramel chocolate macarons, carrot cake – I didn’t even have room for a bite of everything on the table, though I wanted to. Fortunately, I was able to stuff in almost a half-scoop of Mozza’s Meyer Lemon Gelato. ItsÂ lemon zestÂ packed punch in the midst of a goat cheese-like flavor and consistency.
If Caroline on Crack, Lindsay of LAist and I didn’t have somewhere else to be later that day, we would have surely enjoyed basking in the Culver City sun with our perfect cocktails, food, beer and desserts the rest of the afternoon. Overall, it was such a stand-out showing that I do hope the event moves from inaugural to annual.
Held last Sunday, November 7, 2010
12 – 4 PM
Culver Studios 9336 Washington Boulevard Culver City, CA 90232-2600
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not exactly a Westside girl (I blame overload of undergraduate memories in Westwood) but if it’s a sure thing, it’s well worth it for me to make the drive in that direction. You can call it a sure thing because while not new, Tavern is Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s (Lucques, AOC) latest venture and I just had to see for myself. Well – in the company of some other foodie bloggers, that is, including Caroline on Crack, Diana Takes a Bite, Maya of ShopEatSleep, Lindsay and Sam of LAist. Brunch is that evasive meal on the weekend, always at the mercy of our discipline or irresponsibility the night before. We managed a no-earlier-than-noon reservation. Brunch, lunch … who are we to say what we can eat, when? Options are good – at least, this option proved a better alternative to Hamburger Hamlet, who had occupied the San Vicente space before.
Of course, we started with cocktails. Caroline and Lindsay ordered the Ginger Rogers – made with Plymouth gin, mint, ginger syrup and soda. It was such a refreshing drink (sharing is caring) – and not too sweet. I hoped mine was just as good.
My wish came true. Since I’ve been on a Bloody Mary kick, I ordered the closest thing; Tavern’s version was royalty, called the Queen Mary. Tavern’s twist on it was Beefeater gin (instead of vodka), cucumber & tomato juice. I was very conflicted because up until then, by far the best Bloody Mary I’ve had was made by Matt Biancaniello over at Library Bar inside the Roosevelt. But the gin pleasantly surprised me, and I think the fresh cucumber and fresh tomato juice played no small part. Since the juices were fresh and no mixes were used, they mixed well with the botanicals in Beefeater gin.