The time's ripe for a Blood Sugar Sex Magic from Rivera, especially when it's only five bucks tonight!
Whether you're staying in or hanging out, there's lots to do for this coming week; so here's to a delightful 4th of July!
For lovers of cheese & wine, Palate Food + Wine is introducing a Cirque du Fromage Tuesdays 7-10 p.m. where, for a easy breezy $12, a flight of three wines will be served three cheeses chosen by Todd "The Cheese Guy" Jasmin; for this coming Tuesday, the pairings will focus on Loire Valley Goat Cheeses along with wines from the Loire and Rhone regions. In case you want a little more to nibble on, there's a creative C.U.I. (cooking under the influence... of cheese!) menu with assorted fun bites for $6 each (think maytag blue chocolate bonbons and grilled cheese with Hook's 10 yr. cheddar and "Bourbon onions")
For those who are still feeling festive after Independence Day, swing by Bar Celona at Old Town Pasadena for their 5th anniversary "Running of the Bulls" special from July 5th to 9th where consulting chef Josef Centeno (formerly of Opus and Lot 1 fame) will be whipping out all-you-care-to-eat paellas, along with a complementary glass of sangria, for $22 to $28 (depending on the paella). There'll also be extra specials on July 9th, with all night $5 happy hour prices on drinks and tapas, cooking demos and tastings, live flamenco music and DJs -- and, for those so inclined, a mechanical bull for you to ride and tame at the bar. I can certainly Olé (and Aiyeeee!!!) to that!
On Friday July 10th is the Fourth Annual East LA Meets Napa festival at Union Station -- highlighting traditional and modern Latin cooking, wineries owned or operated by Latin-Americans while benefiting AltaMed Health Services, which provides healthcare to underserved populations in Southern California. The $125/person event will including tastings from numerous well-established classics as well as hot newcomers, such as Rivera, Cook's Tortas, Porto's Bakery alongside sips from J Lohr and Illumination wineries. For a full list of participants and ordering info, go to the Social Domain page here. And of course, since it does take place in the Union Station -- do your road raging 'tude, the environment, and possibly not-quite-sober-body-afterwards a favor and commute by the Metro if possible.
Finally, the motherload of all tasting events, the 27th Annual American Wine & Food Festival (benefiting LA Meals on Wheels) taking place from Oct. 2-4, 2009, are starting to sell tickets now. Even in these tough economic times, this top-dollar event series sells out fast -- from the $150/person Red Hot @ Red Seven on Friday to the actual $300/person festival at the Universal Studios Backlot on Saturday and the Chef's Grand Tasting dinner for $750/person on Sunday. So snag those tickets before you regret it.
Or if you're inclined on staying home, like I do most weekends, here's some fantastic worthwhile foodie related reads I've found from the week that was:
- Quarrygirl's "Operation Pancake" investigation into LA area vegan restaurants, and discovering quite a few of them having casein (a milk-derived protein), eggs and even shellfish in their foods!
- Alinea's Grant Achatz's column in the Atlantic on why some diners get "special" treatment -- the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
- The New York Times trying to break down the perfect burger into its various components, with major kudos to Comme Ca's version. This after their fairly recent quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, hmm. . .
P.S. found out today from foodblogging friend FoodGPS that Rivera, ringing in their summer cocktail menu, will be celebrating with $5 cocktails starting at 9PM TONIGHT - so you know where I'll be at ;)