Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Festivals

Bon Appétit Grub Crawl is set for July 13-15

GrubCrawl_logo_black_final-After experiencing many a pub crawl abroad, the founders of Grub Crawl came back to the States with a business venture: to lead guided tours--not of bars--but restaurants. The company has been taking groups of foodies on a series of grub crawls around the Bay Area since 2009 and now brings the idea of food "crawling" to L.A.

The Los Angeles edition of the Bon Appétit Grub Crawl will be hitting up three delicious neighborhoods to dine July 13-15.

The tour starts on Friday in downtown L.A. with stops at Cole's, Umamicatessen, Las Perlas and Seven Grand. Next up on the tour, continued on Saturday, is Hollywood and West Hollywood with Mozza, Scuola Di Pizza, Pour Vous, Street, the Spare Room and Night + Market on the itinerary. Saturday's crawl will conclude with a live music performance by Vacationer at the Roxy. The final leg of the tour will include eateries on the Westside with visits to Father's Office, Sotto, Picca and Lukshon. Yum...

Attend the entire three-day event for $200 per person or pick one of the three-neighborhood food crawls for $80-$100. Tickets can be purchased online.

Bagrubcrawl.com.

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Here's who's cooking at the Festival of Books

Josiah Citrin of MelisseGuess who's going to be cooking at the 2012 Los Angeles Festival of Books in April. How's this for a lineup? Michael Voltaggio, Gail Simmons, Josiah Citrin, Chris Cosentino, Alice Medrich, Debbie Lee and Anne Burrell. Oh and Nancy Silverton is stopping by for a chat.

Voltaggio is the chef/owner of Los Angeles' Ink (recently named best new restaurant in the US by GQ magazine) and InkSack and was the winner of "Top Chef" Season 6.

Simmons is one of the judges for the series, works for Food & Wine magazine, and is the author of the memoir "Talking With My Mouth Full."

Citrin is the chef-owner of Santa Monica's landmark French restaurant Melisse.

Cosentino is the executive chef of Pigg at Umamicatessen in Los Angeles and Incanto in San Francisco.

Medrich is the chocolate queen of San Francisco (she founded Cocolat) and author of many cookbooks.

Lee is the chef/owner of Ahn-Joo, one of L.A.’s most popular food trucks, and has appeared on many television shows.

Burrell is a regular on television cooking shows, including "Iron Chef," "Next Iron Chef," "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" and "Worst Cooks in America." She recently published "Cook Like a Rock Star."

This year's Festival of Books will be held April 21 and 22 on the USC Campus.There is no admission charge, and events on the cooking stage are free. Exact days and times are after the jump.

Continue reading »

International foodie spring flings

Paris cookbook fairIf you're thinking about traveling this spring -- and not by car -- here are a few international destinations to consider:

The world's largest cookbook fair will take place in Paris in the spring. "Ooh la la" is right. The Paris Cookbook Fair happens March 7 to 11 with the first three days set aside for professionals to gather, with the final two days opened to the public. The fair brings together cookbook devotees for book presentations, cooking demonstrations, cheese and wine tastings, food exhibitions and of course cookbook purchasing. For more information, check out www.cookbookfair.com. Chocolate bar

The Mast Brothers, Rick and Michael, are heading to Belize to connect with their cacao suppliers and celebrate chocolate during their first annual Chocolate Week in April, from the 14th to 21st. The two brothers own and operate Mast Brothers Chocolate in Brooklyn where their handcrafted bars of chocolate are individually, not to mention beautifully, wrapped and sold at their tasting room, on their website and at online stores such as Dean & Deluca. The brothers are inviting chocolate lovers to join them on their voyage to Belize to visit their farmers, eat, drink and partake in other adventures while abroad. For more information, email chocolateweek@mastbrothers.com.

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Coachella 2012: What will you be eating?

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Coachella 2012: What will you be eating?

Coachella 600

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will take over the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.,  for two consecutive weekends in April, the 13th to the 15th and 20th to 22nd.

If you were lucky enough to snag tickets to this year's sold-out festival, you are probably glossing over the line-up on the daily and figuring out carpool and sleeping arrangements in between sporadic gusts of excitement and fits of disbelief that you are going to see Radiohead, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, Florence and the Machine, the Shins and the Black Keys, among many, many others.

You are probably not the least bit worried about what you will be eating during your three-day stay in Indio because, well, you've got a lot of other preparations to think about. But, you'll be happy to know that Coachella's got you covered anyway.

Border grillYou won't go hungry in this desert. Whether you're looking for street food or raw and gluten-free options, there's a little something for every stomach inside the venue and campgrounds. Big name food trucks such as Kogi, Border Grill, Gravy Train Poutinerie Truck, Coolhaus and the Greasy Wiener will be stocking up supplies and heading out to Indio.

Vendors such as Spicy Pie, selling New York-style pizza, and Waffleman Ice Cream Sandwiches will also be setting up shop at the festival's food area, known as the Terrace, along with a number of local restaurants, including Jackelope Ranch, Las Casuelas Quinta, Fisherman's Market & Grill, La Quinta Baking Co. and a beer garden.

A genius addition, and probably a much needed health kick after filling up on spicy pork burritos from Kogi and Coolhaus' ice cream all weekend, is a certified farmers market featuring local, pesticide-free and organic produce, juices, baked goods and snacks.

For more information on Coachella's eating options, check out www.coachella.com.

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Photo: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

Abbot Kinney Festival set for Sunday

Abbot Kinney Festival
On Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Venice is putting on a free festival to showcase the artsy neighborhood's talent and creativity. Border Grill Truck

Spanning from Main Street to Venice Boulevard, food trucks including Baby's Badass Burgers, Border Grill Truck, The Dim Sum Truck, Knockout Taco Truck, Dogtown Dogs, South Philly Experience and Cool Haus, and beer gardens from The Brig, Stella Artois and Widmer Brothers Brewing will fill up Abbot Kinney Boulevard.  

The music lineup looks good too, with performances by Thundercat, Dumbfoundead and Mia Doi Todd, among others.

Check out abbotkinney.org to view the festival guide.

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Food Events: Moon Festival, Nancy Silverton and more

Chinatown new Moon over me, moon festival: The 73rd Moon Festival is happening  Saturday in Chinatown. The event is free, and in addition to the moon viewing, music, a ping-pong tournament and storytelling, there will be food trucks such as Chunk-n-Chip Cookies, Crepe'n Around, Don Chow Tacos, Flying Pig, the Poutine Truck and White Rabbit as well as a Grand Star Craft Beer Garden in the Central Plaza. 943-951 N. Broadway, L.A., chinatownla.com.

Help the hungry: The Palm Springs Cultural Art, Food & Wine Festival is taking place Saturday too, at the Hyatt Regency Suites in downtown Palm Springs. A portion of the proceeds will go to Well in the Desert. Tickets are $25 per person. Make reservations by calling Aneka Brown at (760) 288-0918. 285 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, (760) 322-9000, palmsprings.hyatt.com.

A chat with Nancy Silverton: On Oct. 5, Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza co-owner NSilverton_kleiman_lg newancy Silverton chats with KCRW-FM (89.9)'s "Good Food" host Evan Kleiman about Silverton's latest book, "The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes From Los Angeles’s Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria," at the Skirball Cultural Center. A Q-&-A and book signing follow the program, which begins at 8 p.m. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. 


Wine country weekend: More than 150 wineries will host events during Paso Robles' Wine Harvest Weekend, Oct. 21-23. Activities include a blending seminar, grape stomping and winemaker dinners. Try some wine ice cream at Chumeia Vineyards, food and wine pairings at Peachy Canyon Winery or sit down for a farm-to-table harvest dinner at Calcareous Vineyard. Pasowine.com.  

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Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival Oct. 13-16

Eventmap

The first Los Angeles Food & Wine festival will take place Oct. 13-16. The event will feature 100 celebrity chefs, 300 wines and more than 70 events.

From a clam bake to sampling caviar, a myriad of events are planned, with tickets priced from $100 to $500.  There will be cooking demos, lunches, dinners and after-parties.  The event will kick off with a red carpet premiere at the Nokia Plaza, where Hollywood celebrities and celebrity chefs will come together to taste 200 different wines.  The festival culminates with Wolfgang Puck's brunch and charity auction on Oct. 16.

You can expect to see L.A. chefs such as Sang Yoon, Nancy Silverton and Josiah Citrin. Other notable chefs that will be attending include Daniel Boulud, Masaharu Morimoto and  Tom Colicchio.

A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Los Angeles chapter of Meals on Wheels.  Tickets can be purchased online.

Update: An earlier version of this post said Ludo Lefebvre and Thomas Keller would be attending the festival however this does not reflect the current list of events.

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Photo: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

DineLA announces lineup for fall restaurant week

Dinela 
DineLA has announced its lineup for fall restaurant week, taking place Oct. 2-7 and 9-14. More than 300 restaurants from the South Bay to Pasadena will participate in the two-week event, now entering its seventh season. 

Diners can experience DineLA veterans such as Drago, Spago and Casa Vega as well as newcomers including Fig & Olive, Picca, Wood & Vine and Scarpetta Beverly Hills.

The deluxe, premier and fine dining categories will make Los Angeles' diverse restaurant landscape affordable for diners, allowing Angelenos to try popular and up-and-coming restaurants via three-course meals for lunch, priced at $16, $22 and $28, or for dinner, priced at $26, $34 and $44.

To check out the full lineup for this year's program, go to discoverlosangeles.com.

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Photo: Wolfgang Puck at DineLA 2009. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

More musings on deep-fried butter

DeepfriedA writer from the Health section -- yes, Health -- goes to the Orange County Fair for more than funnel cakes: 

Let's face it -- going to a county fair is like getting a free pass to junk food land. All bets are off, and no one gives you the admonishing finger if you follow a platter-size funnel cake with a deep-fried Oreo chaser. In fact, while carrying around the deep-fried butter I was bestowed admiring glances from other fair-goers. You have to love a place that offers something called a "Coronary Combo" of deep-fried butter and chocolate covered bacon.

Of course, eating the artery-clogging treat (and the rest of the stuff I'll tell you about in a minute) was all done in the name of journalistic investigation. Or something. I was here to find out if fair foods are all they're cracked up to be. Are they really worth the calories and the extra hit of Metformin, even if it's a once-a-year thing?

Click here for more. 

See next Monday's Health section focusing on dining out. What if chefs could trim up to 25% of the calories from their dishes without sacrificing taste?  The L.A. Times asked chefs from local restaurants Ammo,  Melisse and Street to see if they could trim up to 25% of the calories from their dishes without sacrificing taste. Also: restaurant letter health grades deconstructed and a look at a new healthy fast-food restaurant chain created by former McDonald’s executives.     

Photo: Deep-fried butter with whipped cream. Credit: Jeannine Stein/Los Angeles Times.

Wine Events: 'Wine & Fire'; Buttonwood Farm; Melville dinner

Grapes

'Wine & Fire': The Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance celebrates its American Viticultural Appellation's 10th anniversary with a weekend of tastings and open houses Friday to Sunday. A Saturday morning symposium will focus on the history of the Santa Rita Hills featuring a panel with some of the region's pioneers who initiated its AVA status. An afternoon "grand tasting" will follow at La Purisima Mission in Lompoc with Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and several other varieties produced by local wineries and vineyards. Tickets are $100 to $175. For more information and the weekend's full schedule, visit www.staritahills.com.

'All Buttonwood' Farm dinner: Buttonwood Farm Winery's sixth annual farm-to-table twilight dinner is Saturday. [Updated 4:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said the dinner is on Sunday.] The event will take place on the 39-acre vineyard sitting atop a riverbank above the Alamo Pintado creek bed in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA. The dinner will feature farm-raised beef and lamb, farm-grown vegetables and award-winning Buttonwood wines. Tickets are $100 per person. 1500 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, (805) 688-3032, buttonwoodwinery.com.

Melville Winery dinner: On Aug. 18, Chad Melville of Melville Vineyards and Winery in Lompoc will head to Mammoth Lakes to pair his wines with dishes by chef Ian Algeroen at Skadi Restaurant. The evening's meal will consist of seasonal produce and ingredients from the restaurant's own Walking Beam Ranch. The dinner will highlight the 2011 growing season and Melville's Estate Pinot Noirs. Seating is limited. To inquire about reservations and cost, contact Skadi at (760) 934-3902. 587 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, (760) 934-3902, skadirestaurant.com.

'In-Focus' tasting: On Aug. 29, the Santa Barbara County Vintners Assn. is hosting a wine tasting event at a|k|a Bistro in Pasadena, followed by two winemaker dinners at a|k|a Bistro and Bistro 45. All four of Santa Barbara County's AVAs will be represented by the 18 participating wineries including Arthur Earl, Babcock, Fess Parker, Hitching Post, Melville, Qupé and Kenneth Volk. The tasting, from 3:30 to 6 p.m., is $16 per person. The subsequent winemaker dinners, beginning at 6:30 p.m., are $60 per person. Reservations may be made by calling (626) 564-8111. For more information, visit www.akabistro.com or www.sbcountywines.com.

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Photo: Pinot Noir grapes ripen at Fiddlestix Vineyard overlooking the Santa Rita Hills.

Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.