Taste of the Nation; L.A. Wine Fest; going Italian, the prix fixe way
Foodie fundraiser: Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation culinary benefit takes place this weekend at Media Park in Culver City to raise money to help end childhood hunger. Participating chefs at this year's Los Angeles event include Jose Andres of the Bazaar, Quinn Hatfield of Hatfield's, Michael Mina of XIV, Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station and Mark Gold of Eva. An auction will include a one-hour private party for up to 30 people with Ludo Lefebvre's Ludo Fried Chicken Truck. For the full list of participants and to buy tickets, go to www.tasteofthenationla.org. Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $100 to $150 ($25 for children 12 to 18; kids under 12 are free). Media Park, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City.Wine weekend: The fifth annual L.A. Wine Fest will be held this weekend at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. The list of featured wineries is heavy on the Central Coast, but also participating this year is an importer of wines from Israel and a distributor of tequila (with 14 tequilas on the tasting roster). Sake and Scotch tastings are on the schedule too. Border Grill Truck and the Let's Be Frank hot dog cart are among the food options. Saturday and Sunday, 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $100; go to www.lawinefest.com or call (818) 994-4661. Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood.
Eating Italia: Starting Saturday and continuing through June 20, six L.A. Italian restaurants are offering special prix fixe menus featuring ingredients from Italy in collaboration with the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West and the Italian Trade Commission. Drago, Caffe Roma, Il Grano, Il Moro, Locanda del Lago and Valentino will be offering dishes such as fava panna cotta with Dungeness crab, English peas, favas and asparagus (Il Grano); risotto al Gorgonzola "dolce latte" with market red and gold beets (Locanda del Lago); and Sicilian ricotta cassata with prickly pear sorbet (Valentino). Caffe Roma, 350 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 274-7834, www.cafferomabeverlyhills.com; Drago, 2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 828-1585, www.celestinodrago.com; Il Grano, 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., www.ilgrano.com; Il Moro, 11400 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 575-3530, www.ilmoro.com; Locanda del Lago, 231 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 451-3525, www.lagosantamonica.com; Valentino, 3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 829-4313, www.valentinosm.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo credit: Share Our Strength/Taste of the Nation Los Angeles