3 Events: Fig & Olive; Good Girl Dinette; Valerie Confections
Fall's fruit: The first week of November is National Fig Week, and in homage to the fall fruit, Fig & Olive Melrose Place will feature a three-course fig tasting menu Nov. 1-3. At $44 per person, the menu's dishes include a roasted veal tenderloin with fig chutney served with celery root puree, caramelized endives and finished with Manzanillo olive oil; a tajine with free-range chicken marinated with Moroccan spices and served with Black Mission figs; and a creme brulee cheesecake served with olive oil, sage crisp and macerated figs with thyme. 8490 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, (310) 360-9100, figandolive.com.
Food nostalgia: On Nov. 1, Good Girl Dinette is hosting a dinner in celebration of Monique Truong's latest novel, "Bitter in the Mouth." The novel centers on a woman with gustatory synesthesia, in which spoken or written words evoke sensations of taste -- when she hears the word "cute," she tastes mashed potatoes; when she hears "god," she tastes walnuts. The novel is set in the '70s and, fittingly, so is the event's menu. The diner's owner, Diep Tran, dusted off cookbooks from the era to create a 1970s Vietnamese-inspired menu with recipes such as her grandparents' oc hap la gung (sea snails wrapped in ginger leaves). "My grandparents busted out those sea snails only for important company," Tran said. "If I saw that they brought home a bucket of snails on ice, I knew that boneless stuffed chicken wings and asparagus crab soup and those banquet-size tabletops weren't far behind." Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online. 110 N. Ave. 56, Los Angeles, (323) 257-8980, goodgirlfoods.com.
Six days of sweets: Valerie Confections will hold its annual fall open house at the Silverlake boutique and kitchen with six days of product tastings. Beginning Oct. 31, the complimentary tastings will include popular mendiants, petit-fours, sweet and savory pies and the debut of a loose-leaf tea assortment, with flavors such as "blushing berry" and "toasted fig," blended by the American Tea Room. L.A.-based artisan chocolatier Valerie Gordon and her team have been wooing Angelenos with handmade classic chocolates and confections since 2004. The confections can be found at locations such as Joan's on Third, Olive & Thyme and the Santa Monica (Saturday) and Hollywood (Sunday) farmers markets. 3360 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, (213) 739-8149, valerieconfections.com.
-- Caitlin Keller
Photo credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times