Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Charity

Food for a good cause


It seems that spring has brought with it an abundance of good food and good causes. Beyond the many restaurants and eateries that have jumped at the chance to provide Japan with support in the wake of the current disaster, there are many providing other charities with support, as well.

Food truck fest: On Saturday, 15 gourmet food trucks will gather in North Hollywood for a street festival to support the community. In addition to the food, there will be 40 vendors and live entertainment, including extreme martial arts and the Millennium dance group. A portion of the proceeds will go to MuttmatchLA, an organization that finds homes for abandoned and unwanted dogs.

Breadbar: Breadbar is currently supporting UNICEF's Tap Project to provide safe, clean water to children around the world. The restaurant is encouraging diners to donate $1 or more for the usual complimentary tap water served at the restaurant. Then, for each dollar paid, the restaurant will match it, all proceeds going to the project. 8718 West 3rd St., Los Angeles; (310) 205-0124.
Westfield Century City Mall, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 277-3770.

Get your wine on: The Capital Grille has released a limited-production Napa Cabernet Sauvignon for its second annual Artist Series Wine Event. With each purchase, the restaurant will donate $25 of it to the national charity Share Our Strength in support of its mission to end childhood hunger in America. 8614 W. Beverly Blvd., Suite 157, Los Angeles; (310) 358-0650. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa; (714) 432-1140.

La Brea Bakery: Along with Foundation Rwanda, La Brea Bakery will present the first annual Food & Fotos LA on April 7 at 6 p.m. The event will feature award-winning photography and cuisine from some of the city's top chefs, with proceeds used to help sponsor education for 1,500 Rwandan children. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

SLS Hotel: This will be the spot of Austria Uncorked, an event featuring hundreds of Austrian wines paired with cuisine from José Andrés of The Bazaar and dessert by Wolfgang Puck. There will also be a VIP hour just before the event, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, a local education program that provides nutritious meals to home-bound seniors and other residents in need across Los Angeles. It's not until May 2, but purchase tickets now.

 -- Emma Wartzman

3 Wine (and Beer) Events You Should Know About: Wine Riot hits L.A.; City Sip home brew classes; Bogart wine dinner at the Bazaar


Make your own beer: City Sip wine bar in Echo Park announces a series of craft beer home brew classes, starting with one on Saturday. Beer expert Alex Macy will lead the class through each step of creating an India pale ale -- that is, up to fermentation (in accordance with local laws). Students also will taste several varieties of beer and take home a guide to sources and brewing methods. $50 per person, includes the class, all materials, beer tasting and lunch. For more information or to sign up, call City Sip at (213) 483-9463.

Wine with your app: Wine Riot, a wine event aimed at the young and tech-savvy, throws its first tasting on the weekend of March 25-26 on the dining deck of Santa Monica Place. Expect 250 wines, food vendors including Coolhaus and I ♥ Pies, seminars such as "What Wines Go Best With Takeout Thai?" and music from DJ Andie Cassette. Wine Riot also has its own wine-tasting mobile phone app. The L.A. event kicks off a five-city tour that heads to Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington. Tickets are $50 to $60 a person, available online. Part of the proceeds go to 826LA, a nonprofit that encourages creative and expository writing skills for youth. 

'Cinco de Vino': The 9th Annual Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program Wine Aficionado Dinner takes place May 5 at José Andrés' Bazaar at the SLS Hotel. This year's dinner has been dubbed  "Cinco de Vino," featuring a Champagne reception and a four-course dinner served with flights of Champagne, Burgundy, Rhone and American as well as Spanish wines from Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Priorat. Lots for the live auction include dinner with Burgundy expert Allen Meadows, a seat on the Robb Report magazine annual "Car of the Year" panel, and a collection of rare wines rated 99 points by wine critic Robert Parker. To date, the annual event has raised nearly $2 million for pediatric cancer research at the Bogart labs at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Tickets are $1,250 per person or $10,000 per table of 10. Call (323) 330-0509 or e-mail info@bogartfoundation.org.

 -- Betty Hallock

Photo: Enjoy an IPA (especially if you've made it yourself). Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times.

4 Food Events You Should Know About: Meltdown Comics' meat-themed night; Corkbar celebrates its 2-year anniversary; Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery gives back; Melting Pot gives free fondue [Updated]

Meat Meat mania: Let's clink plastic cups and toast to meat. Thursday night from 7 to 10, Meltdown Comics in Hollywood will be hosting a night all about meat to kick off a new exhibition that will be on display through March 17. Alie and Georgia (of Drinks with Alie and Georgia) will be serving cocktails rimmed in barbeque sauce as guests walk through the warehouse-sized comic book emporium and feast their eyes on meat-themed artwork.

Meltdown Comics, 7522 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles.

Popping bottles: Raise your glasses and mark Saturday on your calendar, when Corkbar celebrates its two-year anniversary from 5 to 10 p.m. with a $2 tastes menu, happy hour pricing and a hefty dose of limited-edition beers.  Your stomach and wallet will thank you for filling up on the likes of “ball park sliders” with pork sausage and relish on a pretzel bun or mac ‘n’ cheese with pasilla chiles. On the big night, Stone Brewing will unveil its limited edition Lukcy Basartd Ale that commemorates the 13th year of the brewery’s Arrogant Bastard Ale. Although your memory may be hazy, it certainly has the makings of a night to remember. 

Corkbar, 403 West 12th St., Los Angeles; (213) 746-0050.

Beer for a good cause: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery has announced its 15th annual partnership with local fire departments with the Fire Chief Ale limited-time-only promotion. From Tuesday through April 17, the restaurant will be featuring its popular seasonal beer along with an accompanying menu.  For every pint of Fire Chief Ale sold during the promotion, Rock Bottom will donate 25 cents to local fire departments and their related charities.

Rock Bottom Restaraunt, 8980 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla; (858) 450-9277.

National Cheese Fondue Day: Make your reservations now for The Melting Pot Restaurant's celebration of National Cheese Fondue Day on April 11, when they'll be serving free cheese fondue at all of their locations. For now you can visit their website and watch videos of their head chef talking about all things cheese, including Cheese Weight Lifting, Cheese Facial, Cheese Brain Freeze and Cheesy Pick Up Lines.


-- Emma Wartzman and Max Diamond

[Updated 1:16 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled the names of the beers being highlighted. Stone Brewing is serving up Lukcy Basartd Ale, which commemorates the brewery's Arrogant Bastard Ale.]

Got more orange than you know what to do with?

We can't all be Virginia Paca, the gardener profiled in October who grows food and donates it to food banks. But this winter those of us with orange trees laden with fruit might take a page from the book of that Pasadenan. What more fitting holiday activity could there be than to glean our home orchards and donate fresh fruit to local pantries? As winter closes in, that fruit very well may be oranges. It is pure serendipity that an activity that feeds people is also good for the orange trees. Read more at our Home blog:

Photo: Dominic Conte picks oranges from a tree overdue for harvesting. Credit: Emily Green

3 food events you should know about: Share Our Strength benefit at Test Kitchen; Taste of Mexico; dinner for Barbara Fairchild at Eva


Share Our Strength, a nonprofit that aims to end childhood hunger in the U.S., presents a benefit dinner featuring five courses from five chefs at the Test Kitchen on Dec. 13. The menu from chefs Alain Giraud, Walter Manzke, Michael Voltaggio, Neal Fraser and Jordan Kahn includes wine pairings: oxtail consomme, mushroom royale and black truffles (2009 Baker Lane Syrah Rosé); scallops with hazelnuts and cauliflower (2008 Stoller Dundee Hills Chardonnay); black cod, chicken dashi, matsutake (2009 Martian Ranch Viognier); grilled pork tenderloin with squash, chestnuts, bacon and violet mustard (Josh Klapper La Fenetre Pinot Noir); and coconut bavarois with coffee ice cream, Thai basil, peanut croquant and chicory. The cost is $500 per person, which includes an invitation to the opening reception (there also will be separate ticket sales for the opening reception). SOS founder Billy Shore will speak at the event. Reception, 6 p.m.; dinner, 7 p.m.

Test Kitchen, 9575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. For tickets, contact Judy Walker at jwalker@strength.org or (949) 481-7792. 

Los Angeles Mexican restaurants La Casita Mexicana, Guelaguetza, Frida Mexican Cuisine and La Monarca Bakery hosts the Taste of Mexico, which takes place Saturday at Vibiana downtown. The Taste of Mexico's Bicentennial Celebration: 200 Years of Mexico's Cuisine will feature tastings of regional Mexican dishes, samples of tequila and mezca, and entertainment including mariachi and dance performances by troupes from Oaxaca and Jalisco. Tickets are $75 presale, and part of the proceeds go to Heal the Bay. 5 to 10 p.m.

Vibiana (former Cathedral), 214 S. Main St., Los Angeles. For more info and tickets, go to Thetasteofmexico.org.

Eva restaurant is throwing a dinner party for Barbara Fairchild on Dec. 21. Chef Mark Gold along with Octavio Becerra of Palate, Laurent Quenioux of Bistro LQ, Mako and Suzanne Tracht of Jar are each cooking a course in appreciation of Fairchild's tenure as editor in chief of Bon Appetit. Seatings are at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. $95 per person, plus $50 for wine pairings. (Also, Eva begins brunch service on Sundays, starting Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) 

7458 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 634-0700; Evarestaurantla.com.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Test Kitchen. Credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Eat My Blog: Sweet menu for a sweet cause

What are you doing Saturday? Great! You can join us at the third annual Eat My Blog bake sale to benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. It's being held at Tender Greens, 8759 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Those who remember the first two bake sales will be pleasantly surprised at how much this event continues to grow under the guidance of founder and organizer Cathy Chaplin (perhaps better known in the blogosphere as the voice behind Gastronomy and on Twitter @GastronomyBlog). There will be more than 2,000 baked goods from 50-plus bakers and bloggers, including smoked salt toffee, candy cane marshmallows, curry macarons and bacon caramel popcorn. Click here for the full menu. The Daily Dish will be there too. I'm bringing my usual: Crack Pies.

New to the scene: There will be catnip cookies and dog biscuits for sale, as well as donations from local chefs, businesses, restaurants and food trucks, including the Manila Machine, Daily Dose, All Jarred Up, Isabella's Cookies, Sprinkles, Debbie Lee, Starry Kitchen, Bakelab, Hollywood Corner and Tender Greens. Coffee hounds (like me) who must have a little caffeine to wash down their sweets will be happy to see the addition of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to the lineup. DomaineLA, Colorado Wine Co., Rosso Wine Shop and Lou Wine Bar also will be donating gift cards. 

Chaplin asks that you please bring singles: Most items will be priced at $1 to $4.

The first two events raised more than $8,000 for the food bank.

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Illustration used with permission

Angelic cookies


I have a problem with cookies. Actually, I have two problems. The first is that I can’t resist a good one (or three or four). But then I inevitably feel guilty afterward. No more! Project Angel Food, the charity that cooks and delivers more than 13,000 meals a week to people affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening diseases, has just released its own line of really good cookies, baked at the Project Angel Food kitchen near Hollywood and Vine. There's a sugar cookie with lemon icing, a really nice subtle gingersnap and a crisp-style chocolate chip. They're available at the Pavilions in West Hollywood and Hollywood and, best of all, those markets have agreed to donate the entire price of the package of cookies back to Project Angel Food. A sweet win-win.

Project Angel Food Bakers cookies, $3.99 per package. Available at Pavilions Hollywood, 727 N. Vine St., and Pavilions West Hollywood, 8969 Santa Monica Blvd. For more information, go to www.projectangelfood.org.

-- Russ Parsons

Photo credit: Glenn Koenig/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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House committee passes 'Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act'

KIDDOS Everyone from Top Cheffers to Jamie Oliver to Michelle Obama agrees that our nation's school lunch program is hungry for change. And it's no wonder such prominent figures are ready for the next course of action, given that 1 in 5 children are obese or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Thursday the "Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act"  was passed by the House Education and Labor Committee, bringing the nation's kids one bite closer to the possibility of more nutritious meals.

The act aims to improve access to school lunch programs, help schools improve the quality of meals by adding a 6-cent-per-child increase in budget, encourage partnerships with local farms, allow unused food to be donated to food banks, increase access to healthful food outside school hours and improve food safety and integrity. (For a full rundown of the stipulations, click here.) It allots $8 billion over 10 years to achieve those goals, quite a bit more than the $4.5 billion proposed by the Senate Agriculture Committee's Child Nutrition Bill passed in March.

"From our view [the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act] is really the best child nutrition bill that we've ever had. It includes stronger nutrition standards and grants for farm-to-school programs," says Gordon Jenkins, program manager at Slow Food USA. "The amount of funding however, is very modest at the $.06 addition to the current $2.68, which leaves only about $1 for ingredients. It won't be enough to make a significant change. That can be modified on the floor if Congress hears it's important enough."

Both bills have now reached the floor and need to be passed by their respective chambers and reconciled before they can become law. 

Jenkins says it's important that the debate be scheduled soon, though. School lunches will be on the back burner during the month of August since Congress is on recess, and the current bill expires in September. "Last year, they had to pass a temporary one-year extension, putting the schools' programs in status quo. The schools will be encouraged but will not have funding. What it really means is that the bill will have to be rewritten and reintroduced again."

Michelle Obama issued a statement urging the House and Senate to take their child nutrition bills to the floor and pass them without delay. "The President looks forward to signing a final bill this year, so that we can make significant progress in improving the nutrition and health of children across our nation.”

-- Krista Simmons

Photo: Kids at Larchmont Charter showing off their school garden-grown tomatoes. Credit: Krista Simmons

White Light White Night is back with Rocco DeLuca and plenty of good eats

Rocco-deluca The local nonprofit Walk With Sally, which was founded by Nick Arquette, is once again holding its annual White Light White Night celebration to raise money to fund mentor programs for children whose lives have been affected by a family member being diagnosed with cancer. The festive event takes place on the rooftop of a Torrance BMW dealership and features music by singer Rocco DeLuca, a silent auction and a host of food and beverage stations featuring goodies from 14 local restaurants including Muchos, Zinc Lounge, Twelve and Highland, Buona Vita, Four Daughters, Memphis Café, Sylvios, Gonpachi and Gotta Have S’More.

18800 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance. 6 p.m. Saturday. $100. www.walkwithsally.org.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Rocco DeLuca. Credit: Ted Newsome


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.