Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Food events you should know about

Royal/T in Culver City closes this month

Royal t 600

Royal/T, the Japanese maid cafe, eatery and art space in Culver City, is closing at the end of July.

Opened in 2007, Royal/T brought Los Angeles weekly Tokyo Nouveau Champagne brunches, waitresses dressed in playful maid uniforms and the cafe's signature milk tea, among many culinary- and art-related workshops, exhibitions and events.

The shop bids farewell with final events held at its space beginning this weekend. Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon, Royal/T hosts a tea workshop with Paper Architect. Learn tips and tricks for planning an ultimate tea party from Nancy Caldwell while munching on an assortment of sandwiches, scones, desserts and freshly brewed tea. Purchase tickets online at www.royaltworkshop.eventbrite.com.

A closing brunch will mark the final cafe service at Royal/T on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with live music featured throughout the afternoon. The cafe's last scheduled shindig is a pop-up dinner in collaboration with Cordero Negro from 6 to 9 p.m. July 26 and 27. The evening's 12-course tapas tasting menu is $45 per person and will include dishes like chorizo sausage with succotash and saffron corn veloute, herbed goat cheese, stuffed pequillo peppers with basil infused olive oil, and Spanish flan. Make reservations online at www.corderonegro.com/popup.

What's next? Royal/T's owner Susan Hancock plans to take the brand on the road with various events and pop-ups.

8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 559-6300, royal-t.org.


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Photo: Royal/T storefront. Credit: Royal/T

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.



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'Food and Food Systems in the 21st Century' at UCLA's Fowler Museum

Food collage NEW

On Aug. 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., TedxLA Miracle Mile presents "Food and Food Systems in the 21st Century" at UCLA's Fowler Museum.

Spawned from the nonprofit organization TED, TEDx is a program of independently organized events that bring together people from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design (hence the name TED) to engage in the sharing and spreading of ideas. Next month's TEDx gathering at the Fowler will examine food and food production on a local and globalized scale. Speakers will address what is obsolete and what is up to par -- politically, socially, economically and culturally -- in the context of today's rapidly growing human population.

The event will be a merging of minds with guest speakers such as Jason Kelly Johnson and Nataly Gattegno of Future Cities Lab and Jonathan Todd of John Todd Ecological Design. Also joining in on the discussion of food will be Tara Kolla of Silver Lake Farms, Ken and Kathy Lindner of Lindner Bison, Laura Avery of Santa Monica Farmers Market and "Righteous Porkchop" author Nicolette Hahn Niman, among others.

The daylong event includes a pre-event mixer with access to the museum, a catered box lunch by Auntie Em's Kitchen and a post-event wine and cheese reception. Tickets are $60 for general admission or $48 for students, seniors and Fowler Museum members.

308 Charles E. Young Drive North, L.A., (310) 825-4361, fowler.ucla.edu.


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Photos: From left, Tara Kolla, Ken and Kathy Lindner, Laura Avery.

Credit: Tedxaltavistala.com

Summer events: Poolside brunches, wine tastings and sweet deals

Brunch at Mr. C Beverly Hills

Summer is officially here and what better time to take up wine tasting, indulge in lunch by the pool or take advantage of some sweet discounts? Lucky for us, Los Angeles has a slew of restaurants hosting events and offering specials this summer. Here's a couple listings to enjoy:

Fig & Olive is introducing a new summer apertivo happy hour that kicks off Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m.: happy hour cocktails and wines priced at $8 and a complimentary Mediterranean tasting plate. Beginning next week, this summer promotion will be available Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Mr. C Beverly Hills has teamed up with the Darren Dzienciol’s Bartelier Group for a series of poolside brunches and cocktails at the "Mr. C Yacht Club" located at the Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hills. The brunches will start June 24, the one-year anniversary of the hotel. Guests can munch on a classic Italian Cipriani menu of pizzas, pastas and grilled items from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the 4,500-square-foot outdoor pool deck with private cabanas. The hotel's signature Bellinis will be served throughout the day as well as specialty cocktails by Belvedere vodka. You have to be on the list to get in, so advance reservations are required. Continuing with the nautical theme, starting in July, boats will dock on Beverwil Drive, where the hotel is located, including a 27-foot runabout.

Drago Centro is celebrating a new seasonal cocktail list by head bartender Jaymee Mandeville. The restaurant is offering its signature cocktails for $8 on June 27. You can also grab a bite with the all-day happy hour menu with items priced under $10.

The Royce at The Langham Hotel Royce Manager and Director of Wine Eric Espuny will present a series of summer wine tasting classes on July 7 and Sept. 1 at noon. Guests will learn about seasonal wines, specific regions and varietals and tips for ordering and buying wine. The July 7 class ($45 per person) will focus on rosés, Provence and the Sept. 1 class ($500 per person) will focus on the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti vintage 2009. This class and tasting will feature Echezeaux, Grand Echezeaux, Richebourg and La Tache. Advance reservations are required and available beginning July 17.

Napa Valley Grille's monthly winemaker dinner series will feature the St. Helena-based Beckstoffer wines for a five-course wine pairing dinner on June 26 at 6:30 p.m. Beckstoffer winemaker Drew Huffine will guide the tasting and tell guests about the wine making process. Chef Boudreaux will prepare a seasonal summer menu of farro salad, pan seared scallops and more.

Shutters on the Beach has teamed with Coolhaus to offer their sweet treats to beachgoers all summer long. The Coolhaus cart will be parked in front of the hotel selling their desserts and sweet snacks Friday through Sunday. To view additional days and times visit  Facebook.com/ShuttersontheBeach and eatcoolhaus.com. The Coolhaus treats will also be available at the Coast Beach Café and Bar at the Shutters hotel.


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Photo: The pool at the Mr. C Beverly Hills, where their summer poolside brunches will take place. Credit: Mr. C Beverly Hills

2012 San Sebastian Gastronomika kicks off Oct. 7

2012 San Sebastian Gastronomika

Start planning now! The 2012 San Sebastian Gastronomika kicks off Oct. 7. And this time the French are coming as the Spanish Basque gastronomy conference pays tribute to “the country that brought us Carême (a.k.a. 'the king of chefs and the chef of kings'), Escoffier and Nouvelle Cuisine.” 

Who’s crossing the border for the 13th annual event? So far super-chefs Alain Senderens, Pierre Gagnaire, Michel Bras and Alain Passard. Representing the great legendary restaurants, Anne-Sophie Pic (the only woman in France to have obtained three Michelin stars) and Michel Troisgros and for the new wave bistros, Iñaki Aizpitarte of Le Chateaubriand and Yves Camdeborde of Le Comptoir. Many more chefs, both young and in mid-career are promised, including a strong contingent of pâtissiers from France. Could that mean macaron king Pierre Hermé?

And those stellar names are just the guests of honor. With Spanish Basque chefs so much in the news and on the check lists of gastronomes around the world, the San Sebastian food event draws top chefs from all over the globe to participate, hobnob with friends, and fan out to eat in San Sebastian’s best restaurants. For participants, there will be workshops, classes and lectures, plus bartenders competing in the 2nd International Gin and Tonic Contest. 

With five months left to go, the program is still in the planning stages. One piece of advice: If you think you might like to attend, make a hotel reservation now. You can always cancel. The site has a list of hotels and bed and breakfasts starting at 80 euros (about $98).

For more information on the Oct. 7 to 10 conference, go to www.sansebastiangastronomika.com.


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Photos: 2011 San Sebastian Gastronomika. Credit: San Sebastian Gastronomika

The Getty's celebrity chef series returns April 4

Tuscan_sun_cookbookThe celebrity chef series is back at the Getty Center in Los Angeles as well as the Getty Villa in Malibu. The series, beginning April 4, connects food and wine with the collections and exhibitions at both museums.

The first of the series will take place at the Getty Villa and will feature Frances Mayes, author of "The Tuscan Sun Cookbook." The event will include a book signing and discussion led by Mayes on her culinary adventures and life in Tuscany, Italy, followed by a three-course prix fixe lunch based on recipes from the new cookbook.

While at the Getty Villa, visitors can tour the Roman-inspired gardens featuring fruit trees, fragrant annuals and perennials used by the ancient Romans in cooking. Daily tours of the gardens are free.

The book signing and lecture are free although advance tickets are required. The prix fixe lunch is $75 per person or $90 per person with wine pairings. For more information on the schedule of events in the celebrity chef series, visit www.getty.edu.

17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, (310) 440-7300, getty.edu.


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4 Events: Ray's and Stark, Chaya, Golden Road Brewing, Papilles

ChayaBirthday party: On March 5, Ray's and Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is celebrating its first year with a party. Executive chef Kris Morningstar has devised a menu featuring the best dishes of the year, such as chile with chorizo, dates, local goat cheese and almond sauce; squid ink pasta with garlic, chile, mint, opal basil and bottarga; and crispy pork belly with black vinegar sauce.   Sommelier-barsmith Paul Sanguinetti and general manager Martin Riese will DJ throughout the evening and guests will be able to participate in free screen printing on the patio. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 857-6180, www.raysandstarkbar.com.

Good things come in threes: To commemorate Chaya Downtown's third birthday, the restaurant is featuring a three-course prix-fixe menu ($33 per person) and $3 happy hour specials during March.  The menu will consist of roasted heirloom beets with baked cana de cabra cheese, arugula, fennel and balsamic must, grilled Wagyu flank steak and sweet potato frites, with Belgian chocolate fondant with raspberry coulis and mascarpone ice cream for dessert. For happy hour, guests can savor bar bites such as the spicy tuna hand roll, buttermilk-poached chicken skewers with soy glaze and seven spices, and a flat bread of the day with a chef’s choice of marinara, olives, asiago and arugula.  On March 16, the official anniversary date, Chaya Downtown will host a “Flights and Bites” wine tasting with Chateau Ste. Michelle for $33 per person. 525 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, (213) 236-9577, www.thechaya.com.

Beer for benefit: Golden Road Brewing is teaming up with the Whole Planet Foundation to raise money for the organization by hosting a beer festival on March 11.  Attendees will be able to sample the brewery's signature beers, including the Point the Way IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen, Either Side of the Hill (strong ale) and Get Up Offa That Brown.  Food will be provided by Whole Foods Market and local vendors.  The foundation is dedicated to alleviating poverty in the developing world by providing families with the tools to expand their home businesses.  Tickets for this event are $20 per person and can be purchased online. 5410 W. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, (213) 373-4677, www.eventbrite.com, www.goldenroad.la.

"Off the Clock" wine tasting: On Sunday, wine aficionado Santos Uy will be highlighting five wines along with a myriad of sweet and savory bites from his new restaurant, Papilles, at local wine shop Domaine LA.  The featured wines will include a 2010 Batic Pinela and 2000 Lopez de Heredia Rosado. The tasting is capped at 25 guests, with tickets ($15 per person) available for purchase online6801 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 932-0280, www.domaine547.com.


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Photo: Chaya Downtown. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

3 Events: L.A. Beerathon; Westside Connections; wines at LACMA

Ray's & Stark Bar at LACMA

Beer, beer, beer: $55 will get you into the first L.A. Beerathon happening throughout downtown Los Angeles on March 31. The route featuring 26 bars, which means 26 beers, won't be released until the week of the event and the names of the venues will be released one at a time starting 26 days beforehand. Stay updated on the event's details by checking out www.labeerathon.com. 

LACO + foodies: The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra teams up with Jonathan Gold, Susan Feniger and Michael Ruhlman for Westside Connections, a chamber music series exploring the relationship between music and food at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Gold, Feniger and Ruhlman will discuss food-themed music in the three-concert Thursday-night series starting March 1. Ruhlman takes on the first event of the series with the music of Rossini, Puccini, Falla and Paul Schoenfield; Gold joins the program on March 22 with music by Bach, Bernstein, William Bolcom, Timothy Andres and Dohnányi; and Feniger will lead the discussion April 5 with the music of Saint-Saëns, Martinů and Ravel. Tickets are $45 per person or $120 for a three-concert subscription. 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, (213) 622-7001, laco.org.

California living: Paying homage to LACMA's California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way" exhibit, Ray's & Stark Bar is serving a custom wine flight featuring California wines from Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Sommelier Paul Sanguinetti has selected the featured vintages including J Vineyards' Brut Cuvée 20, Medlock Ames' Sauvignon Blanc and Balance's Red Field Blend. The tasting costs $18 for 3-ounce pours of the three featured wines. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., (323) 857-6180, raysandstarkbar.com.


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Photo: Ray's & Stark Bar at LACMA. Credit: Dustin Downing

4 Food Events: Winter ColLAb, 'bill-to-tail' feast and more


Winter ColLAb: L.A. craft-beer trailblazers Ryan Sweeney (Verdugo Bar and the Surly Goat), Brian Lenzo (Blue Palms Brewhouse), Clay Harding (38° Ale House & Grill) and Tony Yanow (Tony's Darts Away and Mohawk Bend) have come together once again to present ColLAboration a pop-up mobile craft beer garden.  The event will be held at the Belasco Theater in downtown L.A. (located near the Metro Blue Line) on Feb. 26.  The beer garden will feature signature winter brews from Bootleggers, Bruery, Dogfish Head , Eagle Rock Brewery, Eel River, Hangar 24, Golden Road Brewing and more.  Pliny the Younger from Russian River (only available on tap) will also be on site.  There are several ticket packages available ranging from $15 to $38, which can be purchased online1050 S. Hill St., Los Angeles, (213) 746-5670, www.collaboration.la/.

Napa Valle Grille:  Executive chef Taylor Boudreaux and Summerland Winery founder Nebilo “Bilo” Zarif have crafted an exclusive five-course wine pairing dinner ($75 per person) to showcase Central Coast wines on Feb. 24.  Diners will sample an '08 Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir paired with crispy duck breast and chanterelles, parsnip puree, mushroom foam and micro basil; and an '09 Santa Ynez Valley Syrah to complement an oven-roasted venison chop with seared foie gras, Parmesan potato cake, creamed Bloomsburg spinach and a truffled Syrah reduction.  Seating is limited, reservations are recommended. 1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 824-3322, www.napavalleygrille.com.

Muscovy duck dinner:  On Feb. 23, Locanda del Lago continues its whole-animal dinner series with a five-course meal featuring Muscovy duck sourced from San Joaquin Valley’s Grimaud Farms. For $70 per person, with unlimited house red and white wines (or $54 per person without wine), guests can savor dishes such as housemade duck pâté with Pink Lady apple-mustard compote, duck ravioli with shallot confit reduction, and roasted duck breast with espresso sauce and sautéed Swiss chard.  Reservations are required for this dinner. 231 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 451-3525, www.lagosantamonica.com.

Vertical Wine Bistro: In honor of leap year, the wine bar is offering food and drink specials for a mere 29 cents on Feb. 29.  Guests who order a glass of wine can receive a second glass for 29 cents (there are 55 varieties to choose from).  For those diners who have come with an appetite, they can create their own pairing of one cheese and one charcuterie for 29 cents.  The full menu will also be available. 70 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 795-3999, www.verticalwinebistro.com.


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Photo: Meg Gill, president and co-founder of Golden Road Brewing, and Mohawk Bend restaurant and bar owner Tony Yanow. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Make a trip for cheese: California's Artisan Cheese Festival

California's Artisan Cheese Festival will take place March 23-25 in Petaluma, Calif. The sixth annual event draws artisan cheesemakers, cheese experts, brewers and wineries from all over for a weekend of seminars, demonstrations, tastings and pairings.

The three days of cheese will also feature farm tours around Sonoma and Marin counties, a cheesemaker dinner featuring chef Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards Grill in Napa, a Lagunitas Brewery tour followed by a six-course, cheese-filled meal with beer pairings and a brunch hosted by Zazu's Duskie Estes, winner of last year's Cochon 555.

Participating artisans at this year's festival include Cowgirl Creamery, Marin French Cheese, Laura Chenel's Chevre, Bleating Heart, Bellwether Farms, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Valley Ford Cheese Co. and Weirauch Farm & Creamery, among many others.

Tickets are $45 per person.

745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma, (707) 523-3728, artisancheesefestival.com.


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.