Yes, there's a Lobster Festival going on this weekend too, for my take on last year's
Well so far my dine-out diet has been going well, it's nice to cook a little more at home -- and thankfully, there were the kindness of "strangers" (a.k.a. food pr folks) who invited me to assorted events, so I was not a total recluse from the scene. Nonetheless, still fairly bummed out that I'll be missing the following fun going-ons ~ but I can already see the light (a.k.a. October) at the end of the tunnel!
Ends Today - Royal/T, the funky japanese maid cafe/art space/shop, is known for its occasional temporary shops and specialty menus, and this week they've been collaborating with maven Hannah Beth for a "Things I Love" Pop-Up Shop. In additional to some of Hannah's favorite cute jewelry and accessories, Royal/T also crafted a menu full of her favorite healthy nibbles, including grilled artichokes with lemon aioli ($8) and Cheesy Gardenburger with Fries ($10), or you can just stroll the space with a glass of Veuve du Vernay sparkling rosé for $5. But it all ends tonight so swing by if you're interested.
Sat., Sept. 19 - Taste the lesser-known flavors of Vietnam with Jame Beard nominated chef and "Southeast Asian Flavors" cookbook author Robert Danhi as he takes you on a culinary tour through Little Saigon to taste specialties from the Northern Vietnam region, including bo luc lac (soy glazed shaking beef with pickled onions) bun cha Hanoi (grilled pork patties with vermicelli and green papaya) bun tom co ngu (sweet potato and shrimp fritters) and many more. Plus at the end he will demo a recipe from his cookbook (which you'll also receive). This tour (as well as a Central Vietnam one on Oct. 17 and Southern Vietnam on Nov. 21st) is $75 per person, but if you sign up for three it's only $175!
Mon., Sept. 21 to Sat., 26 - Dine like a celeb at Studio City's Pinot Bistro, since during this time they will be serving the same menu that they catered for the Primetime Emmy's Governor's Ball. The $60pp prix-fixe includes "flavors from the farmers market" a playful variety of seasonal veggies like eggplant caviar & chips and layered multicolored potato salad, filet mignon with polenta ravioli, roasted zucchini blossoms and pinot noir sauce, and silky smooth milk chocolate infused with raspberry creme alongside yuzu gelee and mint lollipop. And you don't even have to deal with the paparazzo!
Wed., Sept 23 & Thurs., Sept. 24 - DineLA Restaurant Weeks are around the corner and if my past experience are any indication, it's hard to make enough time (and money) to check out all the participants I'm interested in. So Joshua Lurie a.k.a. FoodGPS is definitely onto something when he organized a progressive dinner tour of some DineLA Resto Week eateries. On Sept. 23, a $39pp dinner includes tastings at the Whist at the Viceroy, Dining Room at Hotel Shangri-La and Anisette Brasserie. On Sept. 24, it's a $49pp downtown Latin-American focused tour of Ciudad, Provecho, Rosa Mexicano and Rivera. Do both and you get a $5 discount!
Wed., Sept 23 & Fri., Sept. 25 - LearnAboutWine is bringing back its Riedel wine tasting again! Once more, Riedel Crystal USA's CEO Max Riedel will be hosting these sessions to showcase how the shape of a glass really makes a difference when tasting various wines and spirits (as I found out myself earlier this year.) the Sept. 23 tasting takes place at Snyder Diamond in Santa Monica, and the $69 event comes with a 4-glass Vinum series set while the Sept. 24 session is held LearnAboutWine's downtown haunt, and the $90 event comes 3-glass Sommelier series set. And of course, the priceless experience of meeting and learning from one of the premier glass makers in the world.
Thurs., Sept 24 - Century City Breadbar's Hatchi is back again, this time it's an "Endless Summer" menu with Remi Lauvand (formerly of Citrus at Social). Just like the previous one-night gigs, it's 8 courses at $8 per dish -- and this month's menu includes house cured Tasmanian trout with tarragon and lemon hatch pepper relish, octopus with handmade farfalle and chicken oysters and orchard pear crepe with walnuts and goat cheese.
Thurs., Sept 24 - It's a food-meets-vodka adventure at Akasha, where Chef Akasha Richmond teamed up with the makers of TRU Organic Spirits for a spirited dinner highlighting market-driven, Indian-influenced fare. Start off a reception with spicy mixed nuts and a passion fruit martini made with chile, candied ginger & hibiscus, then move onto snacks of croquettes and pakoras with a trio of chutneys and a gin & tonic made with home grown curry leaves, a very complex, sophisticated family-style chicken curry paired against a bloody mary with tomato water & pickled cucumber, and finish off with some TRU-infused sorbet and ice creams along with Akasha's homemade ginger & black pepper chai. It's $45pp+tax and 20% service charge. Reservations required.
And my favorite reads this week:
LA Times published a great list of "bargain" eats -- ranging from $1 noodle specials to $35 omakase, and a nice piece of college cafeterias going trayless to reduce food waste and overconsumption (wish they did that when I was college, could've helped with my freshman fifteen, sophomore sixteen and junior jigglies!)
CHOW.com explores American eau de vie, and lists top 10 food feuds going on recently
Meanwhile, A Hamburger Today puts out a guide to the different burger styles out there; think you know the difference between a slider and a mini-hamburger?