Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

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

Cheesee
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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Photo: California Crottin made at Redwood Hill Farm in Sebastopol, Calif.

Credit: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times

Orange County restaurant week kicks off this weekend

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Orange County restaurant week starts Sunday. Multi-course menus with three price categories for lunch ($10, $15 and $20) and dinner ($20, $30 and $40) will be offered by 100 participating restaurants throughout the county.

Participating restaurants to anticipate include Pizzeria Ortica in South Coast Plaza, the Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona Del Mar and French 75 Bistro in Laguna Beach, among others.

The event runs through March 3. Diners can search participating restaurants by location and price point as well as make reservations online.

For more information, check out www.orangecountyrestaurantweek.com.

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Photo: Pizzeria Ortica. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

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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Dia de Los Muertos 2011 at Hollywood Forever

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On Oct. 22 L.A.'s "Dia de Los Muertos" -- a.k.a Day of the Dead -- will be celebrated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Throughout the cemetery's grounds, traditions such as sacred ceremonial tributes and altar creations will pay homage to beloved, departed souls.

EnchiladasAnd expect Mexican food, lots of it. Mexican eats -- tamales, sopes, enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, champurrado and more -- will be available from an array of vendors including restaurants like La Parrilla in West Covina, praised for their corn tamales and potato sopes.

Gates open at 12 p.m. and close at 12 a.m. Check out ladayofthedead.com for event details. [UPDATED: An earlier version of this story said Hollywood Forever was the only cemetary to host a Day of the Dead celebration; there are others.)

6000 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A., hollywoodforever.com.

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Top photo credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Bottom photo credit: Anne Cusack / 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 Day 2011 sweeping the nation on Oct. 24

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From coast to coast, Americans will have the chance to participate in thousands of events in salute to Food Day 2011 on Oct. 24. For the sake of healthful, affordable food, produced in a sustainable manner, Food Day presses the nation to strive for better diets and improved policies.

Sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit watchdog group that has fought for better nutrition, more informative food labeling and safer food, Food Day is not taking funding from government or corporations. An advisory board for the event includes Michael Pollan, Alice Waters and other authors as well as physicians, anti-hunger advocates, politicians and authors.

CarrotsEvents benefiting Food Day in the Los Angeles area include a market-inspired three-course dinner hosted by Closed on Mondays at Canele in Atwater Village ($35 a person) and a "Chef's Healthy Breakfast Day" for students, organized by the L.A. Unified School District.

Visit Food Day's website for more information on how to get involved and where to attend an event. 

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Photo credit: David Karp / Los Angeles Times

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

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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

Food highlights from The Taste: Sept. 3 in Beverly Hills

More than 30 L.A. restaurants including Ray's & Stark Bar, Mezze, Public Kitchen + Bar, Craft and Cafe Rodeo, among many others, set up shop at The Taste in Beverly Hills on Saturday for unlimited tastings in addition to the event's cooking demos, wine seminars and panel discussions. Below are some snapshots from Saturday's event.

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Watermelon with basil oil and sea salt from Chaya.

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Duck shawarma from Momed.

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Pork belly from Sotto.

The weekend-long event runs through Labor Day. Check out the event's highlights and activities at events.latimes.com/taste.

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Photo credits: Caitlin Keller

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.