Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Benefits & Fundraisers

Small Bites: Pacific Dining Car unveils a new late-night menu. WP24's 'Asian Haute Cuisine' to benefit C-CAP. And beer class with the Beer Chicks. [Updated]


A benefit with a view: WP24 on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live is hosting "A New Evolution in Asian Haute Cuisine," a cocktail hour followed by a four-course dinner by Wolfgang Puck to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). Culinary students from Los Angeles high schools will be helping the chefs for the event. $150 per person. For tickets, call Gloria Barke, (818) 705-1260. 6 p.m. Oct. 24. (Guests who arrive at 5 p.m. will get a tour of the new Ritz-Carlton.) 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. 

4 a.m. eggs Sardou: The Pacific Dining Car introduces its new late-night menu at "late-night prices," available from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Eggs Sardou, lamb burger, duck salad and hanger steak are among the middle-of-the-night offerings. Filet and eggs is $14.95, as is the "Training Day" baseball steak. Huevos rancheros and French toast are $9.95 (each). The Pacific Dining Car, located downtown and in Santa Monica, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 1310 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 483-6000. 2700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 453-4000.

Beer, beer and more beer: To celebrate Los Angeles Beer Week, the authors of "The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer" (a.k.a. the Beer Chicks) are teaching another beer class. Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune will explore different styles and flavors of craft and artisanal beers. Learn ales from lagers, how to pick the right beer for you, and how to appreciate a tasty brew. Tickets are $40 per person, available online only. 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 24. 55 Degree Wine, 3111 Glendale Blvd., Suite 2, Los Angeles. Please DO NOT call 55 Degree Wine for tickets.

Updated, 10/14, 12:03 p.m.: The beer class with the Beer Chicks has been canceled because of a family emergency. 

Photo: Pacific Dining Car. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times. 

4 food events you should know about: Zen dining at Breadbar; Eva fundraiser and anniversary dinner; the American Wine & Food Festival; Cube's pork and beans fundraiser


Zen dining: Starting Tuesday through Sept. 28, Breadbar hosts chef David Schlosser and his “Za-Zen” pop-up, offering a taste of kappo cuisine based on a formal style of dining from Kyoto, Japan. Dishes explore the balance in traditional Japanese cuisine between seafood and farmed vegetables and sea plants. A seven-course "plant and fungi" menu includes germinated rice with barley, fresh chestnuts, lotus root pickle, kelp soup and black sesame mochi; fall mushrooms marinated, grilled and smoked in hay, with sesame and kinako paste; and fig filled with red bean and cinnamon ($34). Another menu includes hirame sashimi, pressed in kelp and marinated konbu jinme with mountain yam, nori cube, wasabi and wasabi sprout; autumn knife fish sanma with prickly ash pepper and marinated winter vegetables; and persimmon with shaved black sugar ($46). 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. 

Breadbar, 8718 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (310) 205-0124, www.breadbar.net. 

A fundraiser, and an anniversary: Eva restaurant and Share Our Strength host a fundraising dinner to help fight childhood hunger on Wednesday. Four courses feature the produce of Alex Weiser and include: potato with clam; cod caponata; chicken with charred onion; and "chocolate with chocolate." $65 per person. And on Sept. 29, chef Mark Gold celebrates Eva's first anniversary with special guest chefs Josiah Citrin, Michael Cimarusti, Walter Manzke and Sherry Yard. Five courses for $150; an additional $50 with wine pairing. Reservations required.  

7458 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 634-0700, www.evarestaurantla.com. 

Puck-a-palooza: Tickets for the American Wine & Food Festival, benefiting Los Angeles Meals on Wheels programs, are now on sale. The 28th annual bacchanalia hosted by the Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation, takes place Sept. 25 at Universal Studios' back lot. Among the chefs at this year's event: Gino Angelini, Paul Bartolotta, Floyd Cardoz, Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone, Dean Fearing, Thomas Keller, Paul Liebrandt and more. See the jump for the full list of participating chefs. The next day, on Sept. 26, Wolfgang Puck, Lee Hefter and Barbara Lazaroff with executive pastry chef Sherry Yard host the Chefs Grand Tasting Dinner at Spago. Tickets are $300 for the AWFF, and $750 per person or $7,000 per table for the Chefs Grand Tasting.

American Wine & Food Festival, Universal Studios’ back lot, 3900 Lankershim Blvd., Gate 3, Universal City. Chefs Grand Tasting Dinner, Spago Beverly Hills, 176 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. For tickets and more info, go to www.awff.org/tickets

Pork! Beans! Cube Marketplace & Cafe, along with Steven Sando of Rancho Gordo and Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller of Fatted Calf charcuterie, present a pork and beans rooftop barbecue fundraiser at its downtown factory on Oct. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. Dishes will incorporate products from the Bay Area's Fatted Calf (pork) and Rancho Gordo (beans). All proceeds from the event will benefit Cube Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the development of garden-to-table programs for local underprivileged children and their parents. Corey Landis & the Attacks and Quinn DeVeaux & the Blue Beat Review are scheduled to perform. $64 per person in advance, $75 at the door. 

Cube Foundation Rooftop Garden, 550 Ceres Ave., Los Angeles, www.cubemarketplace.com

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Mark Gold at Eva. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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Blue Dog Beer Tavern raises money for gulf cleanup; the Parlor Hollywood opens; yoga and breakfast at the Beachcomber Cafe at Malibu Pier

On Tuesday the Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks is holding a fundraiser to benefit the International Bird Rescue and Research Center. Based out of San Pedro, the IBRRC was among the first groups to arrive in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Blue Dog will donate 10% of the day's gross sales to the cause and also sell donated items, including strawberry chocolate cookies and T-shirts.Not in the mood for something sweet? Order a Blue Dog burger and fries or a bowl of vegan chili and you'll still be helping. 4524 Saugus Ave., Sherman Oaks. (818) 990-2583; www.bluedogbeertavern.com.

The Parlor Hollywood, the sister restaurant to the lively Santa Monica sports bar the Parlor, is opening in the former El Guapo space tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. just in time for the USA vs. Algeria World Cup match. The bar will begin regular afternoon and evening hours over the weekend and host a grand opening party sometime in the next few weeks to showcase its new gastropub food and drink menu. Expect a wide variety of sliders, wraps and salads as well as house specialties like grilled lamb lollipops and pork belly flautas. Oh and don't confuse this place with Craig Trager's new Parlour Room on Yucca Street--apples and oranges. 7250 Melrose Ave.; www.theparlorsm.com.

The Beachcomber Cafe has partnered with radio stations KIIS FM and 98.7 FM to host a regular Saturday morning event called "Yoga on the Pier" through September 4. From 8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. listeners of both stations can take part in a free yoga session on the pier (taught by Lori Rischer) followed by a complimentary continental breakfast at the Beachcomber Cafe. This is the second year the event has been held. Last year more than 150 people were saying "om" together by the end of the series, so if you plan on attending get there a bit early to reserve a prime spot for your mat. 23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 456-9800; www.thebeachcombercafe.com.

--Jessica Gelt

Photo: Patrons enjoy the pier and the ocean at the outdoor lounge area of the Beachcomber Cafe on Malibu Pier. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times.

Last-minute stocking stuffer: Giving the gift of hope (and some black truffles)

Hope There's still time to get in on the foodie bonanza over at Chez Pim: a raffle to win black truffles from France, coffee with former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl, frying pans, a two-night stay and wine tasting in Santa Barbara, a mortar and pestle, a case of your very own custom-blended wine, dinner at Ad Hoc. ... The list goes on and on; check it out here. The drawing is Jan. 18.

Dubbed in some circles as "the queen of food bloggers," Pim Techamuanvivit launched her Menu for Hope campaign six years ago to raise money for victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia. The online food community responded: Now, food bloggers around the world are involved. 

Pim, author of "The Foodie Handbook: The (Almost) Definitive Guide to Gastronomy," said during a recent phone interview that Menu for Hope has been one of the most rewarding things she has ever done, and credits the generous spirit of the online food community. "We're food people. We love food. We live food. We talk about it, write about it, photograph it ... and here we have such an abundance of food that we can do that. Not everyone is that lucky."

One thing that Pim does not do: Handle the cash. All donations are made through a third-party site and go to the world's largest food aid agency, the United Nation's World Food Program. Specifically, the funds are earmarked for Purchase for Progress (P4P), a program that helps small farmers supply food to the U.N.'s food program. Says Pim, "P4P helps farmers improves farming practices and puts more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops. This will also help buoy local economy by creating jobs and income locally. We food bloggers understand the importance of buying locally and supporting our local farms. P4P helps do the same for farmers in low-income countries around the world."  

As of Monday, Menu for Hope 6 has raised more than $28,000.

-- Rene Lynch

Photo credit: Chez Pim

Kiss My Bundt needs to sell 5,000 mini bundts to stay in business

Kiss-my-bundt The charming 3rd Street bakery Kiss My Bundt, which we have featured a few times in this blog (since its bundts and cupcakes are so tasty) is in a bit of trouble. Due to the recession and the rising cost of ingredients such as milk, butter, sugar and Belgian chocolate, the little bakery is struggling to stay afloat.

Last week, investor Erin Hill sent out an e-mail saying in part:

Chrysta [Wilson], the owner of the bakery, has been fighting valiantly since things got tough in January, but hasn't been able to build the business fast enough. So it has come down to the next few weeks, in which she has to sell about 5000 mini bundts to raise the money to keep her doors open into the Christmas season, when business will hopefully pick up.

It's surprising news, since the bakery has become a favorite with a lot of dessert-loving people I know and is often mentioned on popular blogs. Wilson even has a "Kiss My Bundt" cookbook coming out over Thanksgiving.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: A maple bacon bundt cake from Kiss My Bundt. Credit: Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times

Sampler Platter: bacon candle, food stamps, cheesecake and sugary cereals

Residents gather outside the Sonic Drive-In after a tornado destroyed parts of Newton, Miss. in 2002.

Food stamps and fancy restaurants, bacon candles and racist cookies -- it's a tale of two worlds in today's food news roundup.
--Gwyneth Paltrow's L.A. restaurant picks: Church and State, Gjelina, Shima, Madeo, Cecconi’s, Tavern, Animal, Osteria La Buca, Yong Su San, the Best Fish Taco in Enseneda, La Estrella Taco Truck, Kogi, Varnish. Goop
--Several sites are giving away pairs of tickets to Great Chefs of L.A., a benefit that happens on Nov. 8 for the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California.
--Costco to accept food stamps nationally. L.A. Times
--Living close to food is good for your waistline. Salt Lake Tribune
--Troy Smith, founder of Sonic drive-in chain, dies. Baltimore Sun
--UN delivers food aid by text message to Iraqi refugees in Syria. The Telegraph
--Sugariest cereals for kids get advertised the most. Consumerist
--Offensive Creole Creme cookies removed from Australian stores. 9News
--Chef Rick Gresh of David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago brings his edible bacon fat candle to NYC. Gothamist
--Cheesecake? C'mon, what are New Yorkers really eating? New York Times
--Moderate amounts of protein, rather than a lot, might be best for muscle. Booster Shots
--Former combat marine turned chef serves up meals for seniors as a way of giving back to community. New York Daily News

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Residents gather outside the Sonic Drive-In after a tornado destroyed parts of Newton, Miss. in 2002. Credit: Rogelio Solis / AP

Three Food Events You Should Know About: Your Oktoberfest weekend begins with beer


Oktoberfest goes global October is for Oktoberfest, but at the Culver Hotel that doesn't mean all German food all the time. Instead the iconic, wedge-shaped hotel will serve an "Around the World" Oktoberfest menu (throughout the month) that pairs beers with their matching cultural comfort food. You get five courses in all, beginning with Germany (sausage, bacon and potato salad and Hefeweizen); then moving on to Japan (sesame-crusted ahi tuna and Sapporo); Southern California (organic butternut squash ravioli and Angel City Ale); Colorado (braised Colorado lamb and Hoptoberfest); and finally Mexico (churros with vanilla ice cream/Dos Equis). Best of all? The price. Dinner is $28; make that $38 with beer pairings. Sign me up! Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Blvd., Culver City. (310) 558-9400. www.culverhotel.com.


Tasting Abbot Kinney Join what's being dubbed an urban adventure with the very first Taste of Abbot Kinney. Walk the famed street on an eating and drinking tour of its many popular establishments. If you buy a ticket, you can get a taste from almost every restaurant on the street including the Tasting Kitchen, Joe's (which is also hosting a bartending competition), Marla's Kitchen, Three Square and Equator Cafe. Certain places will also offer wine or Champagne. Ticket holders will also receive discounts at many of the street's retail shops (Salt, Surfing Cowboys, Patio Culture and more). Proceeds benefit Inside Out Community Arts, a nonprofit that brings arts education to underserved L.A. school children. Check-in is at 920 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 397-8820. www.tasteofabbottkinney.com.

A tea tour If you're a tea fan, you might want to consider joining Kuvlov (founder of the Valentine's Tea Festival) for an in-depth tour of the Fowler Museum's exhibition "Steeped in History: The Art of Tea." The exhibition (and tour) focuses on the history and culture of tea in the East. The tour will be followed by a lunch created by chef Kristy Choo of Jin Patisserie. Last of all you'll wind down with tea purveyors 1001 Plateaus and a tasting of rare (and aged) Chinese teas. Fowler Museum, north campus, UCLA; enter campus lot 4 at Sunset Boulevard at Westwood Plaza. L.A. (310) 825-4361. www.fowler.ucla.edu.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

KCRW fans feast at Loteria Grill


"Good Food" host Evan Kleiman and Loteria Grill chef/owner Jimmy Shaw fed their fans the other night at a party for about 250 KCRW subscribers. If you subscribed to the public radio station during Kleiman's show one recent Saturday, you got an invite.

The menu mixed her rustic Italian menu and his Mexican dishes, including a butternut squash lasagna, big bowls of beautiful multicolored tomato salad, squash blossom quesadillas and beet gnocchi -- which one guest said looked like pink marshmallows.

Loteria on Hollywood Boulevard was filled with "Good Food" fans, who applauded Kleiman and Shaw with great enthusiasm, fueled perhaps by the bright pink prickly pear margaritas.


Desserts were nearly inhaled: cookies from Platine, plum cobbler from Kleiman and chili lime caramels from Little Flower Candy Co., among others.

"I want to thank all of you so much for your generosity in supporting the show," Kleiman said, standing on a chair to be seen over the crowd. She also thanked Shaw by saying, in part, "I want to knight this man."

-- Mary MacVean

Photos: Evan Kleiman and Jimmy Shaw at donors party. Credit: KCRW

Seven food events you should know about: Your weekend is all about the festivals



Grecian yearn Open wide and say “Opa!” It’s time for the annual Los Angeles Greek Festival. Enjoy a wide variety of authentic Greek dishes and pastries, including spanakopita, Greek barbecue, pork souvlaki and baklava. Also on the menu: an appearance by celebrity hosts Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson; traditional Greek costumes; dancing; live music; Greek beer and wine; specialty shops; and more. Saint Sophia Cathedral, 1324 S. Normandie Ave., 5 to 11 p.m. Fri.; 1 to 11 p.m. Sat.; noon to 10 p.m. Sun. Adults, $5; children under 12, free. Friday night is free for all. (323) 737-2424. www.lagreekfest.com.

Crustacean elation Been longing for lobster all summer but haven't been able to make the trek to your favorite beachside dining spot? You're in luck because the Original Lobster Festival has arrived, featuring live Maine lobsters steamed in what is being called the "world's largest cooker." Nibble on all the sweet, buttery meat your hungry heart desires at the giant food court while listening to live music and watching other festival goers shake their bibs on the dance floor. Rainbow Lagoon, 400-403 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach. 5 to 11 p.m. Fri.; noon to 11 p.m. Sat.; noon to 10 p.m. Sun. Adults, $13 in advance, $15 at the door; children under 12, free. www.originallobsterfestival.com.


A Delta deal It's Mississippi picnic time in L.A. For 33 years this event -- sponsored by the Mississippi Culture & Heritage Society of California -- has drawn devotees of the American South with its picture-perfect promise of a lazy picnic. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and smack your lips over deep-fried Yazoo City catfish and BBQ ribs from Romie's in Tupelo. To whet your whistle there will be free sweet iced tea from McAlister’s Deli in Oxford and free (while supplies last) Lazy Magnolia beer from the eponymous Mississippi brewing company. Montecillo de Leo Polito at Elysian Park, 2010 Stadium Way, L.A. Noon to 6 p.m. $20. (323) 967-3316. www.mississippipicnicla.com.

Splendor in the valley Join L.A. Weekly food writer and critic Jonathan Gold for a discussion called "the Rise of Regional Cuisines in the San Gabriel Valley." Sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Southern California, the event will give attendees a glimpse into San Gabriel Valley's fascinating journey toward becoming home to the largest Chinese population outside of Asia. Gold will talk about the many regions represented in the area's restaurants, along with their various specialties. Mark Taper Auditorium, downtown library, 630 W. 5th St., L.A. 10:30 a.m. Free. (323) 663-5407, http://culinaryhistoriansofsoutherncalifornia.org

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Six food events you should know about: Your weekend just got foodier


Peachy keen: Craft has announced the arrival of its second annual peach harvest and tasting menu. The peaches come from Masumoto Family Farm in Fresno, where pastry chef Shannon Swindle and several other Craft employees traveled to help with the harvest. The resulting seven-course tasting menu includes wild John Dory, chanterelle mushrooms and pickled peaches; and braised veal breast, flageolet beans, mustard greens and peach jam. 10100 Constellation Blvd., Los Angeles. The menu will be served until the peaches run out. $100 with a $65 optional wine pairing. (310) 279-4180. www.craftrestaurant.com.


Hot August nights: The Wine Assn. of the Duke of Bourbon presents a "wine concert" featuring vintages from four California wineries: Diamond Creek Vineyards from Calistoga, Rombauer Vineyards from St. Helena, Napa Valley's Orin Swift and Silver Oak Cellars from the Napa and Alexander valleys. Bread and cheese will be served, but eat dinner in advance. You'll need a full stomach to get through this packed evening. Warner Center Marriott, 21850 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills. 7:15 p.m. $48. (818) 341-1234. dukeofbourbon.com.


Tasting Eagle Rock: Sample food from some of Eagle Rock's most popular restaurants, including Brownstone Pizzeria, Larkin's, Senor Fish and the new CaCao Mexicatessen. Proceeds from the event, which is being hosted by the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and the Chamber of Commerce, will benefit the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness. GLAD, 2222 Laverna Ave., Eagle Rock. Noon to 4 p.m. $25 for adults, $10 for children 12 and younger. (323) 478-8000. www.gladinc.org.

A wholesale party: Purchase a variety of fine gourmet imports at the same wholesale prices that many of the city's notable restaurants pay. French specialty food store and cafe Nicole's Gourmet Foods and its import and distribution company, Gourmet Imports, will host a one-day event during which customers can visit the warehouse and choose from a variety of discounted artisan cheeses, charcuterie, specialty olive oils, vinegar, mustard, pasta, salts and more. Barbecue will be available if all that shopping makes you hungry. As an added bonus, Alex Brown of Hot Knives is the cheese impresario for Gourmet Imports. Gourmet Imports, 961 S. Meridian Ave., Alhambra. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (626) 570-6900. www.nicolesgourmetfoods.com.

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