Datebook: Your week in food and dining events
Far East flavors: Come one and all to the Japanese Food and Sake Festival 2009. Organized by a group of Japanese government agencies and nonprofit organizations, the festival aims to introduce the public to some of SoCal's most popular Japanese restaurants and food providers. Hyatt Regency-Orange County, 11999 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove. 5 to 8 p.m. $40 in advance; $50 at the door. (818) 907-9764. www.japanesefoodculture.org.
A date with fame: The Single Gourmet is hosting a dinner for would-be daters at the Robert DeNiro-backed WeHo joint Ago. Although it's not quite as hot as it once was, Ago never seems to lose its patina of glamour (or its famous clientele). Come for the Italian dinner and an opportunity to meet someone special, stay for a chance to lock eyes with the boy from that sitcom you love. Ago, 8478 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. 7 p.m. social, 8 p.m. dinner. $95. (323) 655-6333. www.singlegourmetlaoc.com.
Cooking with a king: Jump at the chance to take a cooking class with chef Celestino Drago. One of L.A.'s most celebrated Italian chefs, Drago has a way with pasta that just might rub off on you (if you're lucky). Drago Ristorante, 2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (Location subject to change, so call in advance.) 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. $130. (310) 824-7408. www.celestinodrago.com.
Sustainable seafood day: Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific invites the public to learn how to use food from the sea in a way that is healthful for humans and the environment. Sample seafood, watch cooking demonstrations, check out a variety of educational booths and learn how to cook delicious, low-cost sustainable seafood dinners at home. Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to aquarium members, $23.95 adults; $11.95 children. (562) 590-3100. www.aquariumofthepacific.org.
The art of sushi: You may never become a sushi master but why not try your hand at crafting the delicious rolls you so love? Happy Trails is offering a three-hour class featuring instruction in making a variety of sushi favorites including maki, spicy tuna and vegetable hand rolls, as well as vegetable tempura. Happy Trails Catering, 207 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena. 6 to 9 p.m. $85. (626) 796-9526. www.happytrailscatering.com.
-- Jessica Gelt
Photo: Chef Celestino Drago prepares pasta at his new downtown restaurant, Drago Centro. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times