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This weekend at Descanso Gardens: Come for the cherry blossoms, stay for the bento box

March 16, 2011 |  7:00 am

Cherry Blossoms

For all the urban sprawl that sometimes makes Los Angeles seem like a concrete jungle, Descanso Gardens breaks the mold with its picturesque landscape of woodlands, gardens and botanical collections. 

The official arrival of spring, heralded with a cherry blossom festival this weekend, gives all the more reason to stop by. Yet another reason: Chef Benjamin Rios, responsible for the garden's cafe and well versed in cooking for large events during his time with Patina catering, is preparing everything from bento boxes to offering a cooking demonstration on Japanese cuisine. 

Be on the lookout for fresh produce and some of Rios' very own herbs and vegetables, some of which is grown in Descanso Gardens' own backyard. The cherry blossom festival takes place from Saturday to Sunday and includes authentic Japanese tea ceremonies on Saturday at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. as well as a lecture on cherry trees that are also for sale.

1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge; (818) 949-4200; www.descansogardens.org.

--Max Diamond

Photo credit: Nick Ut/Associated Press