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2 food events you should know about: EStarLA and FoodGPS judge DineLA challenge; Church & State celebrates birthday

September 22, 2010 |  3:19 pm

Happy birthday: Church & State is celebrating its second anniversary tonight. Jeremy Berlin, who recently succeeded Joshua Smith as executive chef, will create several of his first new specials for the occasion, and the downtown bistro is preparing a special cocktail as a toast and thank you to each diner. 6 to 10 p.m. 1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles; (213) 405-1434; www.churchandstatebistro.com. 

The 'cold soup' challenge: DineLA presents its second "Quickfire Challenge" to kick off restaurant week, hosted by Petrossian West Hollywood on Thursday. This round's contestants are chefs Akira Hirose (Maison Akira) and Celestino Drago (Drago Restaurant Group). The challenge? Cold soup. Each will utilize one of Petrossian's signature items — pressed caviar, Alverta President caviar or goose foie gras with black truffle — for his interpretation of cold soup. Judges include Petrossian West Hollywood executive chef Benjamin Bailly (known for his borscht), Joshua Lurie from FoodGPS and Esther Tseng of EStarLA. Diners get to watch it all go down while snacking on happy hour specials: $10 caviar-tinis and $5 beers; $10 chips and dip; $8 cauliflower panna cotta with caviar; $2 borscht shooters; $8 shrimp en papillotes; and $10 salmon rillettes. Thursday 6 to 8 p.m. 321 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 271-6300; www.petrossian.com.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Cold cantaloupe soup and borscht at Petrossian West Hollywood. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times