Friday, June 05, 2009
Oddly enough, I don't crave a doughnut today (though I certainly will be tomorrow when I eat some glammed-up versions at Grace). But anyhoo . . .
Lakers specials mania - yes, a bit gimmicky but hey, three makes a trend. At CRUMBS bakeshops in town, $3.75 earns you a pretty cupcake in limited edition Lakers colors (available in chocolate cake/vanilla frosting or vanilla/vanilla as standard; though they can customize from their vast selection of flavors.) Or, if you're inclined to watch, nosh and sip, Taste on Melrose is doing discounts on finals game nights, ranging from half-off bottles of wine to 2-for-1 martinis and 25% off togo orders. For even more frugal folks, swing by the Pasadena or Torrance Melting Pot for their "Dip, Drink & Dunk," where throughout the game they'll have a complementary cheese fondue bar, along with happy hour drink specials.
Grace going-ons galore - speaking of "three's a trend" if you couldn't get enough of Neal Fraser and Mariah Swain, they're whipping out plenty of savories and sweets at a trio of upcoming events. First is their doughnut tasting menu for this weekend in honor of National Doughnut Day. For $18 you can eat souped-up version of the breakfast favorites including salted caramel doughnuts w strawberries & bourbon pecan ice cream and buttermilk brown butter glazed doughnuts with warm rum-spiced milk (throw in another $15 and you get three wine pairings to go with.)
Next up is their hosting of the 5x5 collaborative for $150/person (+ $65 or $100 for wine pairing), with the chefs behind Melisse, Providence, Water Grill, Angelini Osteria (and a special appearance from Chicago's Spring Restaurant) contributing a dish, including a grilled sonoma lamb chop with summer black truffles; crispy arctic char with chanterelles, spring onions and fresh chamomile and Neal himself preparing mysterious-sounding air, land and sea.
Then on June 22, they're partnering with Edible LA and other chefs for an "Eat the Magazine" prix-fixe featuring courses like pacific rock cod with miner's lettuce, morels and sorrel blossoms and lavender creme fraiche panna cotta w strawberries and pistachios. This last event is a more wallet-friendly $48/person, $25 for wine pairings.
Finally, more Taste of the Nation LA deets - the 21st annual TOTNLA is coming in less than 10 days and it looks like it'll be a blast! With more than 45 fine LA restos representing and serving samplings of their fare (including Animal, the Bazaar, Church&State, FIG, Lucques/AOC, Mozza, Rivera, Susan Feniger's STREET) as well as a plethora of wines and beverages plus the opportunity to talk and rub elbows with the movers and shakers of L.A.'s food scene, including LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold (who's hosting the "Best Mole of LA" cookoff at the event,) Evan Kleinman of KCRW-FM's "Good Food" and Angeli Caffe, and the Mozzas' Nancy Silverton, who will be honored for her philanthropic and food education efforts.
And if you can afford the extra $50 for the VIP ticket, you'll get exclusive access to the VIP "Malibu Lounge by Moonshadows and LA Confidential" w sweets from Xooros and Kiss My Bundt, seafood from Moonshadows, complementary chair massage sessions, and a VIP goodie bag to take home. Tickets are $125/$175 advanced, or $135/$185 at the door; pricey, but it's one of the premier L.A. food events (and still cheaper than American Wine & Food Festival) + 100% of proceeds benefit programs to fight childhood hunger.
Alternatively, Eating L.A. got the scoop that the event is also looking for volunteers, where you put in time and elbow grease in exchange for free access and maybe even some behind-the-scenes look at the event. For more information on shifts, positions still available, e-mail Paul Reyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.