The Latin Food Fest is on its way to Los Angeles once again. Always one of the early food events of the year, this go-round is taking place March 20 and 21 in Santa Monica.
The capstone of the weekend is the Grande Tasting on Saturday, which features 100 different vendors, from restaurants to chefs to food and drink retailers. Unlike, say, Tacolandia or other more heavily focused events, the Latin Food Fest celebrates all that Latin America has to offer by way of cuisine and culture. Distilleries pour everything from cachaca to mezcal to pisco and sotol, with Spanish jamon, tacos and other food available elsewhere.
Better still, the Latin Food Fest represents one of the best ways around to enjoy Baja beer and wine, particularly from regions like the Valle de Guadalupe, Tijuana, and Mexicali. Usually, tough import restrictions make large quantities of wine and beer from the area all but impossible — even if it is one of the most exciting culinary regions around.
The Grande Tasting runs Saturday, March 21 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Hangar 8 at the Santa Monica Airport. VIP tickets get early access at 11 a.m. and a private dining area, but are three times as expensive ($150). General admission runs $50, with some of the day’s proceeds going to the L.A. Food Bank.