From looks of all the upcoming going-ons, looks like the groundhog's out of the hole! And with the heat wave I can definitely use a summer wine fizz!
Tomorrow, 6p to 11p - La Mirada's Cabo Taco Baja Grill will have their Winter Warmer Beer Festival, bringing in delightful, heftier brews perfect to warm your soul (even if the weather isn't exactly chilly) - over 20 beers are available for sampling, such as Bootleggers' Chocolate Mint Porter, Port Brewing's Santa's Little Helper, Lost Abbey's Gift of the Magi and New Belgium's 2° Below. $25 gets you a commemorative glass and eight taster tickets ($2 extra for each additional tickets, though if it's anything like their previous beer fests -- those eight are plenty enough given their "sample" pours.)
Sunday, Feb. 21, 4p to 7p - It's the Stir It 28 cocktail party fundraiser to help Haiti earthquake relief/recovery efforts. Numerous foodbloggers (including me!) will be serving up their homemade appetizer and dessert bites, and The Liquid Muse will be serving a variety of specialty cocktails and alcohol-free "mocktails"! $35/person at the door, or $30/person with advanced RSVP by contacting me. Additional info on their facebook page here.
Monday, Feb. 22, 7p to 10p - South Coast Plaza's Charlie Palmer restaurant will be holding a "Mixin for Haiti" cocktail competition for the American Red Cross's Haiti Relief Fund. Watch as some of SoCal's finest bartenders mix up some lively cocktails in a friendly contest. To sweeten the deal, guests can try out the competing cocktails for just $7 each!
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 8p - Edison's famous "Radio Room" returns, the first with Joseph Brooke (formerly of Copa D'Oro in Santa Monica, and winner of season 2 "On the Rocks" bartender competition) at the helm as their new director of spirits. Guest bartenders tonight include Erick Castro (of Bourbon & Branch and Rickhouse in San Francisco) and Brian Miller (of New York City's Death & Company) making cocktails such as High Tea (black tea infused gin w honey, lemon milk and soda) Kentucky Buck (bourbon, strawberry puree, turbinado syrup, lemon juice and ginger beer) and Miss Behavin' (apple and pear brandies with chamapagne and citrus sugar). Also live jazz entertainment from The Vagabond Opera! $10/person cover.
Wednesday, Feb. 24 till April 10 - continuing their culture of pop-up and collaboration, Third Street's Breadbar will team up with Debbie Lee (who previously partnered with Gyenari for "Seoulful" dishes) for a limited time "Seoultown Tapas" engagement. Dishes start from $8 and will be reflect a fusion of Korean and tapas fares, such as: Korean rice cylinders with maple smoked bacon and jalapeno ponzu; kimchee ramen with egg drop, spicy fish broth and japapnese popcorn; pork and potato stew with charred Korean peppers and spicy mustard greens and sesame doughnuts with chestnut glaze.
Thursday, Feb. 25, 5:30p - In partnership with model/actress/cancer survivor Olivia Fox, Fraiche Santa Monia will hold a cocktail party benefiting her charities (CONCERN foundation / L.A. Marathon) and to launch its new bar and lounge menu. The signature cocktail of the night "Olivia's crush" costs $20, but the entire Jackson goes towards Fox's charities and the healing cocktail will be made with a enticing mix of vodka, blackberries, acai, reishi mushrooms, mint, housemade ginger syrup and prosecco. Oh, and you can meet Fox and her friend, Kevin Connolly of Entourage fame, in-person as they mix things up from behind the bar.
Phew! And this week has been pretty prolific in interesting food-related reads too! Here are some of my favorites:
-Watching your weight doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor, as Rants and Craves shows with her delicious sunomono with octopus recipe
-The Wanderkind highlights the hilarity of As Seen on TV ads with the EZ Cracker video (who cracks their eggs against a table top?!) and similarly fun list of useless kitchen knick-knacks at Good Bite
-Frank Bruni uses El Bulli's impending closure to put boastful foodies in their place
-Slate looks into the arbitrary nature of expiry date labeling on foods
-LA Weekly's Squid Ink dishes on Bazaar's water menu, but no water sommelier yet!
-SeriousEats solves the conundrum of a charred & dry burger versus a soft & juicy burger with its FLOOD burger (basically, a burger stuffed with the frozen, rendered juices of another burger before cooking)
-The Atlantic covers the blind taste test showdown between Wal-Mart and Whole Foods produce
-Finally, the Hot Knives made a vegetarian faux gras for a PETA cash-prize challenge, only to find themselves disqualified for using butter (the recipe and video are cool though!)